There’s a character in Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s romantic comedy Blended that is the sizzle on every steak, the Fourth of July fireworks, the life of the party. Petite and pretty, movie newcomer Jessica Lowe’s wicked delivery and comic intelligence takes “life of the party” up several dozen notches. Once seen, she’s not forgotten.
Sandler asked her to play Ginger in Blended, a guest at the African resort where Sandler and Barrymore meet accidentally after a bad blind date stateside. He tapped into Lowe’s talents, honed from natural wit and training at Second City in Chicago and its European branch in Amsterdam.
M&C sat down with Lowe in Toronto after witnessing the birth of a comedy star in Blended.
M&C: Ginger shakes her booty and chest a lot! It’s almost part of her personality.
Lowe: Yeah! I did that a lot. That’s scripted okay? And the contraption on my chest to make me look like that was so heavy. The role was written for a busty Asian and they opened it up to barrel chested white ladies so we had to figure out how to fake it. They took a little of what God gave me and they made this push up bar to the extreme, sewn specially and extra things in it. Like a flotation device.
M&C: So how would you describe Ginger?
Lowe: She’s a well-meaning dum- dum. She doesn’t understand that she dresses inappropriately. I would never dress like that. This is just how she is and she’s not going to apologize for it. Her heart never changes, when Jake smiles at her she’s going to feel like a melting, big chocolate bar, a man bar, and it is encouraging to her that he doesn’t hate her.
M&C: So did you improvise? Did they let you?
Lowe: Yes, they kept a lot. Kevin Nealon who plays my husband and I had this personal game where I would insult him, negging, I would say how he looks ugly or smells like he had a salmon mouthwash and held be I’d like to cut out your teeth with my tongue just disgusting, the most disgusting lovebirds into the world. I love it! That was improvised. He’s supposed to hit me with the arrow like Cupid so he shoots me and that’s where the script stops. I improvised talking the arrow out of my boob stabbing him with a bunch of times and he vomits from the pain of the stab wound and I eat it up of the table and that’s all improvised and they kept it!!!! The director said “Well done on you!” The kids were like a perfect tabula rasa, like “Nooo!!” and the little girl would be like shocked. One of the kids said “How do you have no shame?” and I said “I have years of experience!” They definitely care what people think and at this point I’m like “I’m just going to do what is funniest!”
M&C: How did you hook up with Adam Sandler?
Lowe: I got a frantic call from my agent’s assistant and she said “Hey are you close to the Sony lot?” I said “No, why?” I’m going to a non-paid web series meeting… in Burbank the opposite side of LA. Adam Sandler wants to meet you in the next two hours. I had just had a giant breakfast burrito and I was driving along the side of the road and almost vomited don myself, put hairspray in my hair and zipped on over to Sony. And then he was just the nicest and said “Why have I never seen you before?” I was living in Amsterdam for 2 years doing sketch and then on a cruise ship and he said “I like your stand-up – the little boy reading Fifty Shades and Gray and your Drunk Yoga video”. ….after my director’s session, the second audition, I saw some famous people in the hallway vying for the same position, I’m not gonna say who, so I called my mom “: guess who I just saw”. Mum says “She’s going to get it because she is famous”. Aww”. Thanks mom! so I got a three dollar bottle of wine and I thought “I’m gonna make a yoga instructional video” and I filmed myself drink doing yoga which I don’t even practice, I’m a runner, frigging fox pose, drunk, the music’s crappy and posted it and forgot about it. And five days later Adam Sandler’s complimenting me on it? I was like Arrrgh! “I did do that, I’m pretty proud of it.”
M&C: What lies ahead?
Lowe: I just finished my first pilot, forty pages just flowed out of em and the best thing is that I am now repped by Kevin’s managers because they saw clips, dailies, “Who’s the chick?” That made me so excited and they read my script and they’re probably lying and blowing smoke and they said “I can’t believe you’re such a good writer”. Maybe this will be the only film I’ll ever be in. I’ll be haunting the Hollywood cemetery and going “I was a big star back in ’14 shaking my titties. This is my house now. I live in the cemetery!”