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'Rat Race' co-stars Amy Smart and Vince Vieluf

Amy Smart  

Amy Smart (Tracy Faucet) has a number of feature films to her credit, including “Road Trip,” “Outside Providence,” “Varsity Blues,” “How to Make the Cruelest Month” and the upcoming independent film “Scotland, PA.” Vince Vieluf (Blaine Cody) has starred in “American Werewolf in Paris,” “Clay Pigeons” and “Dropping Out,” which received critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival. Amy Smart and Vince Vieluf joined the chat room from the CNN Center in Atlanta, GA, to discuss Paramount Pictures' movie "Rat Race."

CNN: Thank you for joining us today, Amy Smart and Vince Vieluf, and welcome.

AMY SMART: Happy to be here!


CNN: Can you tell us a little bit about the movie and the characters you play?

SMART: I'm Tracy Faucet, and I play a helicopter pilot with an insane temper.

Vince Vieluf  

VIELUF: I'm a mix between Einstein and Corky, with a self-induced speech impediment. I play Seth Green's brother. It's a Jerry Zucker film, and it's an ensemble with Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimy, Jon Lovitz, Rowan Atkinson, Seth Green.

SMART: It starts in a casino in Vegas, and six different groups get an opportunity to win 2 million dollars in a race to a train station locker in Silver City, New Mexico.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: How was flying in that helicopter?

SMART: I took a few flying lessons, and I love flying in helicopters. I did most of my scenes from the helicopter, and it definitely is a rush. I learned to love flying when I was in a helicopter in Kauai once. It's great to just levitate where you are.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: Hello, do you get any time for a normal life?

VIELUF: I think so. Because most people get an opportunity to have children, or have a large friend base, and ours is no different, except I find my friend base is constantly changing. I get a lot of time to spend with my family, because the job affords me lots of time off. Although I spend a month out of the year with my family, it's a solid month, and once again, I'm a child.

SMART: For me, I love having that normal life of cooking, gardening, taking yoga classes. Away from doing films, we're all just real normal people. There's not a huge difference. TV makes us larger than life, but if you don't let it go to your head, you see the bigger picture.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: What is the most fun you had shooting the movie?

VIELUF: I did all my own stunts, Seth Green and I. We used a lot of harnesses, a lot of technology that they used in "Matrix," and got to use it in an absurd comedy, flying around in the air without insurance people watching, acting like monkey man.

SMART: For me, it was definitely in the helicopter, scaring the pants off of Breckin Meyer.

CNN: How similar is the movie to "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"?

SMART: It has a real similar format.

VIELUF: People are hauling butt to get the money, like Mad, Mad World, but it's like reality television, because back in Las Vegas, people are tracking us and betting on who will get the money, which is a new twist on an old format.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: Out of all of the cast members who did you enjoy working with the most?

SMART: I would have to say Mr. Vieluf!

VIELUF: And I'd say Ms. Smart!

SMART: And we loved Rowan Atkinson!

VIELUF: Mr. Bean!

CHAT PARTICIPANT: Amy or Vince did you do theater before you got into film?

SMART: I took a lot of acting classes, but have not yet done live theatre.

VIELUF: All I did was theatre, and that's why I'm broke! I did a lot at Actor's Gang Theatre, at Tim Robbins' theatre.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: How long was filming for the movie?

VIELUF: Four and a half months?

SMART: No...

VIELUF: It was for me!

SMART: Okay :)

CHAT PARTICIPANT: Can ask if they notice any similarities to "Cannonball"?

SMART: Yeah!

VIELUF: A bunch of road hi-jinks But with more action!

CHAT PARTICIPANT: It seems Amy and Breckin Meyer (Nick) have great on screen chemistry. Is it like that in real life?

SMART: We do have great chemistry off screen -- we're just buddies!

CHAT PARTICIPANT: Were any cows harmed during the filming of that hot air balloon scene?

VIELUF: Only me! No, they were actually almost all fake cows. I was in the suit, the cow suit, with my mouth full of milk when they milked it. Every time they yanked a teat, I spit the milk out. On the DVD. :)

CHAT PARTICIPANT: What struck you as interesting when you read the script?

VIELUF: The script could have been easily a three or four hour movie, and knowing Jerry Zucker, I was amazed he would pull this off in an hour and a half film format. It's a great film for the audience with ADD, and once I heard the cast, and looked in my bank account, everything fit in.

SMART: First off, I loved my character, and then I honestly didn't see how they'd make this film, but because it's Jerry Zucker, you trust him to pull it off wonderfully.

CNN: Director Jerry Zucker is famous for comedy having directed films such as "Airplane" and "Naked Gun," but has also produced films such as "My Life" and "Walk in the Clouds" which are more serious in nature. What was it like working with Zucker, and where does this film fit in on the spectrum?

SMART: For me, I really played pretty settled characters, and to have the opportunity to work with him. in his most loving, patient way, kept pushing me out of my comfort zone, and brought out things that I didn't know I had stored up in this little body.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: While filming this movie,did you guys add your own ideas or mainly stick to the director's way?

VIELUF: Jerry Zucker really gave me the opportunity to use my improvisation background. To Jerry, the character and the action is driving the story, so I felt in the midst of my self-induced speech impediment like I was allowed to fill in the blanks.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: do you have any advice for someone they has done a lot of work in movies but still hasn't got a principle role yet?

VIELUF: Keep on truckin!!

SMART: I agree with Vince. Just keep pursuing that dream, and don't give up.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: What was the worst thing and the best thing you liked about working together?

SMART: The worst thing was it was so hard to keep a straight face when we were shooting the end scene, for all the cast, because he kept busting out laughing, and seeing him, I'd stare at Breckin to keep a straight face. The best thing was talking with him off camera.

VIELUF: We have yoga and meditation in common, and so there was quite a bit of time for serious personal growth while we were in the mountains of Canada, pretending to kill each other.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: Did ya'll play pranks or jokes on the cast during the shoot?

VIELUF: Oh, yeah! Throughout filming with Cuba Gooding Jr., almost every cast member tried to sneak in a "show me the money" line. For instance, we would be like, "I don't know if there will be any money in this locker... they didn't show me no money, did they show you the money?"

CHAT PARTICIPANT: DO you both plan to work together in the future?

SMART: I hope so! I'd be the luckiest little mermaid in the world!

VIELUF: I'd be a very lucky merman, and Seth Green and I are in the midst of putting together another movie with Paramount, and I'm begging them to make Amy my lover/relative.

CNN: Do you have any final thoughts to share with us?

SMART: Whatever your dreams may be in this lifetime, don't give up. There are too many things that will bring you down, but don't let them.

VIELUF: See this movie, and don't smoke crack.

CNN: Thank you for joining us today

VIELUF: Thank you! Have a good one!


CNN provided Amy Smart and Vince Vieluf with a typist. This is an edited transcript of the interview which took place on Wednesday, August 8, 2001. Warner Bros. is a division of AOL Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

• 'Rat Race'

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