"She came in, auditioned, and I liked her very much," recalls Ross, who initially was leaning toward a more recognizable name.
The platonic duo, friends since high school and now housemates with the sort of bad credit rating and depressed ambitions we've come to expect from the yakety slackers in many Kevin Smith comedies, put out a casting call for people willing to perform sex on camera. Of course, what Zack and Miri actually make -- and what Rogen and Banks power their way through with a cherubic energy above and beyond the call of duty for a premise so inconsequential and puerile -- is another Kevin Smith comedy.
(Zack the java monkey's minimum-wage job at a Starbucks knockoff would make presidential candidates weep with election-season empathy.) The pair even volunteer their own services, willing to "do" sex on screen if that's what it takes to get the electricity turned back on.
But she desperately wanted the female lead in the adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's best-seller.
Horse racing had been a passion of hers since childhood, when her dad would take her to the track.
This iteration, climaxing with the making of the porno movie within the movie, is all of the above, with Smith on -- okay, not steroids, but maybe a Venti Frappuccino half skim with foam. The sex talk is dirty and silly; the sex action in porn scenes, while ostensibly dirty (with the exaggerated assets of former porn actress-turned-winking parody of a porn actress Traci Lords fully bared) is even sillier; and the 10th high school reunion that Zack and Miri decide to attend just to assure themselves that "even though we're broke and didn't amount to anything ...
we're better than these people" is a thicket of scores to be settled for past snubs that still sting.
And still, Smith throws in a limp third act before the dunderheads can admit their obvious lurrrve.
Besides Rogen and Banks, the cast is a scroungy mix of Smith regulars (including Jeff Anderson and muse Jason Mewes), porn pros (including Lords and Katie Morgan), and new ensemble additions including Craig Robinson (he plays Darryl on "The Office") as a married pal pining to see some new breasts and thus willing to underwrite the porno production costs if he can be in on the casting sessions.
writer Kay Cannon, who one day in 2007 casually had mentioned to Banks that she wanted to write a film set in the irresistibly dorky world of competitive a cappella.