In the film, an uptight and by-the-book Officer Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) tries to protect the sexy and outgoing widow, Daniella Riva of a drug boss as they race through Texas, pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.
Vergara allows that “because Daniella is the wife of a drug dealer, she has this very wealthy, very comfortable life. But all of that comes with the drama of being married to a dealer. I’m sure she has a lot of fun, but she has a lot of problems, too.”
And those problems seem to have hit an all-time high when Cooper arrives—early—to pick her up. “Certain events go very differently from how they were supposed to,” Vergara continues. “Daniella and her husband are supposed to testify and then they are to be quartered in a witness protection program. But things happened that they couldn’t control and now my character is on the run with Officer Cooper, so the whole plan completely changes.”
“Sofía has such a brilliant understanding of comedy on the finest of levels, down to the smallest words that come out of her mouth,” director Anne Fletcher says. “She plays this strong, dominant female so well that she doesn’t even need to swear to get her point across; she can put out a perfect put-down in just two words—in English or Spanish. Sometimes we also shot what was written in English in Spanish just because it was even funnier, thanks to her ability to be so wonderfully hilarious in both languages.”
The director admired Vergara’s ability to amp up her performance on a dime, too. “She’s funny, and then you get into the next take or the next one, and you can’t believe the layers upon layers of comedic finesse she’s adding. She is such a dichotomy, such a natural-born comedienne in that beauty queen body. If anyone still thinks a woman can’t look that beautiful while being that funny, Sofía proves them wrong.”
If the idea of using her physical assets to get what she wants is a no-brainer to Daniella, it’s never even occurred to Cooper. “Daniella uses what she has to get what she needs. She probably looked around her and thought, ‘This is what I look like, so I’m going to use this,’” Fletcher expounds. “On the other hand, Cooper completely suppresses her womanhood. I don’t think she does it consciously, but she would never think to actively utilize her feminine wiles to her advantage.”
As producer Dana Fox remembers, “The most fun thing about working on this movie was watching these two women try not to laugh during scenes. Their characters hate each other for a lot of the movie, but they were clearly cracking each other up, so it was really funny to watch them break and laugh at each other. They were really professional and tried not to do it too often, but sometimes they just couldn’t help it—and neither could we.”
“I’ve always loved buddy comedies, especially when they have texture and grit and heart and humor all mixed together,” Fletcher states. “But the topper for me, what makes me go back to them over and over, is the chemistry between the two people, and I think we have that tenfold here with Reese and Sofía.”
Set for release across the Philippines on May 7, “Hot Pursuit” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.