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'New In Town' stars share off-screen friendship

  • Story Highlights
  • Zellweger and Connick became friends quickly on the "New In Town" set
  • "I wanted to go to work every day and laugh, and I did," Zellweger says
  • The film offers hope during the country's hard times, Connick says
  • "New In Town" opens in theaters everywhere this Friday
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The romantic comedy "New In Town" puts co-stars Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. at odds through most of the film. But behind the camera, the story was completely different, the pair told CNN.

Harry Connick Jr. and Renee Zellweger enjoyed working with one another on the set of "New In Town."

Harry Connick Jr. and Renee Zellweger enjoyed working with one another on the set of "New In Town."

"I had a great time. [Connick is] such a nice guy. He shows up on set and makes everyone laugh, and it's just a nice day at work," Zellweger said.

Connick agreed, saying the off-camera friendship with his co-star made the on-camera experience an enjoyable one.

"Renee is the type of person that I got to know quickly. Well, I became friends with her quickly. She's a very mysterious, wonderful young lady," Connick said.

Directed by Jonas Elmer, the film follows Zellweger as Lucy Hill, a Miami, Florida-based corporate shark who travels to a small Minnesota town to oversee the closing of a small factory. Upon arrival, Lucy clashes with the factory's union representative, Ted Mitchell, played by Connick. As the two begin to understand one another, their icy relationship soon melts into romance.

But the romance between Lucy and Ted is only one side of the story. Zellweger said she was instantly drawn to the role for its humor.

"I loved the physical comedy part of Lucy Hill's experience. I laughed out loud when I imagined the scenarios, and I could not wait to go and play around with that," she said, "I wanted to go to work every day and laugh, and I did."

Famous for her roles in such comedies as "Nurse Betty" and "Bridget Jones's Diary," Zellweger is no stranger to the comedic scene. With "New In Town," the actress was eager to once again play a part that would make audiences laugh.

"I think the laughter, that's therapeutic," she said.

At a time when the country is struggling through a financial recession, Connick said, "New In Town" provides that necessary therapy. While the film centers on the troubles of one rural American town, it showcases a dilemma familiar to the entire country.

"I think there's a good balance of what people are really feeling right now, and you walk away from this movie with a real feeling of hope and like, 'We're going to be all right,'" he said.

"New In Town" opens in theaters everywhere this Friday.

CNN's Jack Hannah contributed to this story.

All About Renee ZellwegerHarry Connick, Jr.

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