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Yours, Mine, and Ours
By Gerri Miller

Scholastic News Online was invited to visit the set of Paramount Pictures new film, Yours, Mine and Ours, and it was outrageous! A remake of a classic Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda movie from the 1960s, this version stars Dennis Quaid as Frank Beardsley, a widower with eight children, and Rene Russo as Helen North, a widow with 10 kids. They were high school sweethearts and when they are reunited, the sparks fly again and they marry.

Unfortunately the melding of two large families doesn't go quite so easily. That's when the fun—and laughter— begins!

Here are some quick snippets of our visit with the Yours, Mine, and Ours kids!

KATIJA PEVEC (Christina Beardsley)

What's it like having 17 brothers and sisters?
Katija: Having 17 brothers and sisters is awesome in so many different ways—including the fact that you're never alone and there's always entertainment around you in one way or another. You never have to worry about being by yourself. Once you get all of us together and we're happy together, it's unbelievable. It's definitely chaotic at points, of course.

What was the most chaotic moment?
Katija: Probably the paint scene. There's pudding, frosting, spray paint, feathers. Our jobs were to paint, plaster and put up wallpaper, and we go completely against everything and have a humongous fight. It's a huge mess.

What kind of character is Christina?
Katija: She's kind of a split personality. At school she's a cheerleader, she's a queen bee, she looks down upon other people and thinks very highly of herself. Then at home she becomes this motherly figure who's very sweet, and due to the lack of a mother in their family she takes care of the family and helps out a lot. She takes that kind of queen bee thing to hide herself; she's insecure. She has to think highly of herself so it doesn't show that she's really nervous. At home she's the motherly figure she really is.

Did you make any friends on the set whom you will stay in touch with?
Katija: Yeah, Danielle Panabaker. We're the same age. Drake Bell is awesome too. Miki Ishikawa, everybody!

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TYLER PATRICK JONES (Michael Beardsley)

What's it like having 17 siblings, even for pretend?
Tyler: When you have 18 kids, you always have friends all over and kids to play with. I think it would be kind of chaotic, making dinner for everybody every day.

Is it easier to get away with stuff in a big family?
Tyler: Probably. The only problem with that one is you have 17 brothers to rat on you. I try not to be too bad.

How did you get interested in acting?
Tyler: It's a weird story. I was at a birthday party. I was like 6 years old and my soon-to-be manager saw something in me and talked to my mom and dad. I tried it out and liked it, and I've been doing it for about five or six years. My favorite so far is this or Bad News Bears, My other movies—Minority Report and Red Dragon and Fathers and Sons and Feast, which is Project Greenlight movie—had no other kids in them.. This and Bad News Bears are my first comedies and there's lots of kids around to have fun with.

Whom did you become closest to in the cast?
Tyler: Everybody. This cast is so nice and friendly and cool to hang out with.

Did you get a crush on any of the girls?
Tyler: Nah!

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DRAKE BELL (Dylan North)

Do you have brothers and sisters in real life?
Drake: I have three brothers and a sister. I'm the youngest.

So how does it feel to have so many kids around?
Drake: I love kids. They're so much fun. I was excited to be in this movie because it was going to be cool to hang out with little kids. But oh man, [I worried] it was going to be long days with them not hitting their marks. But they are little professionals. They come in, they do their job. They go out and play and then come in and do their thing.

Did you see the original movie on DVD?
Drake: Yeah, I have that on DVD. My mom loves that movie. I loved Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda in it. It's classic.

How does this compare?
Drake: There are a lot of differences. There's much more of the kids in this one. This is more across the board because you have the love story between Dennis and Rene for the older audience and for the younger audience we have all the gags with the really young kids, and we have Phoebe stealing Christina's boyfriend, and William's and my relationship, so it's for all ages.

Since you are also the star of Nick's Drake and Josh, you have lots of fans—what's been your craziest fan experience?
Drake: There are a lot. I've gone to amusement parks and had the same group of girls follow me the entire day. They think you don't see them, that if they look away real fast you won't notice. Then my phone number got out on the Internet. I started getting all these phone calls from unknown numbers and area codes I'd never even heard of before. It would be, "Is this Drake? OMYGOD! Click."

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Describe your character in Yours, Mine & Ours.
Danielle: Phoebe North is the eldest of the North children, and she tries to help out and be a second mom whenever Helen has a lot going on. She's also, as most of the North family is, very creative and she writes her own music and plays guitar and sings songs.

How is it having so many siblings?
Danielle: Crazy. I have one real one [sister, Kay Panabaker] and 17 fake ones, and they're all really wonderful. It's been a great experience. I don't think I could ever be in a family with 18 kids, but it's been a lot of fun.

Whom have you become closest to?
Danielle: Katija and I have become very good friends. We have a lot of scenes together. Neither of us have to go to school on set, so we hang out a lot and make song-mix CDs. Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Counting Crows, old Elton John, a little bit of everything.

What were your favorite scenes?
Danielle: Nothing specific. I love it when all the kids are on set. There's so much energy and the kids are so precious. There's something really wonderful about the child's perspective. Everything is new and amazing and wonderful and stunning, and that's great to be around.

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How old are you?
Jen and Jess: Eight.

Are you playing that age in Yours, Mine and Ours?
Jen and Jess: Yes.

Are you identical twins?
Jen and Jess: Yes.

How do people tell you apart?
Jen: I have two moles.
Jess: I have one mole.

Do you ever play twin-switch tricks on people?
Jess: Yes. Jacqueline the makeup artist changed our moles.

Did it work on everyone?
Jess: They got confused.

Is this your first movie?
Jen: Yes.

What was the worst scene for you?
Jess: They threw mud in my eyes, and I was crying. But it was really pudding.

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What's it like having so many brothers and sisters?
Miranda: There's never a dull moment. It's so much fun on set. I'm an only child so it's fun. I'm having a blast on set with everybody.

Tell us about your character.
Miranda: My character's name is Joni North and I'm kind of like the rooster in the family because I have to wake everybody up every morning with my saxophone. I've never played saxophone before—this is my first time. I got to take a couple of lessons, and it was so much fun.

Will it be you or dubbed?
Miranda: I'm not sure, but they are teaching me to play "Reveille" though.

What was your favorite scene?
Miranda: We have to do reshoots on the paint scene today. We did it last week, and it was so insane. We got to throw cake batter, which was supposed to be putty. Everyone was eating the cake batter. We had pudding and all sorts of stuff that was supposed to be paint and glue. It was in our hair, and we had to go to school like that. We took showers here afterward. Hair and makeup helped us.

Ever have a real food fight?
Miranda: In elementary school once, and it was a lot of fun. A friend of mine started it, and he had to clean up the cafeteria. He said it was worth it though.

Who have you become friendliest with?
Miranda: I'm really lucky to get to work with Drake again. I did the Drake and Josh show with him. I made friends with a lot of people like Haley Ramm, who's playing Kelly in the movie. I also like Miki. Everyone's really fun.

Any crushes on the guys?
Miranda: Nope, not for me. I heard somebody has a crush on one of the guys!

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HALEY RAMM (Kelly Beardsley)

Tell us about your character.
Haley: I play Kelly Beardsley, and she's the jock in the family. She loves soccer. I love this character. She's very tough. She's a tomboy.

Are you really a jock?
Haley: I like to watch hockey. I'm really not a jock. I dance—that's the closest I get.

What's it like having so many brothers and sisters?
Haley: I only have one brother in real life, so it's very different working with 17 siblings. In real life I'm the youngest.

Best part of being a member of this cast?
Haley: Working with all the kids is a lot of fun. I've made a ton of friends, and working with Dennis and Rene and Raja.

Did you see the original movie?
Haley: The funny thing is my dad got that for me for my birthday, and I watched it. I loved it and then I auditioned for this and got it. Lucille Ball is one of my favorite actresses.

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DEAN COLLINS (Harry Beardsley)

You turned 15 during this shoot, right?
Dean: Yeah. I didn't really expect people to know it was my birthday but I got a cake at lunch. It was cool. Everybody was really nice about it.

Do you have siblings in real life?
Dean: Two older brothers and one sister.

Does the movie make you want more siblings?
Dean: I'm going to stick to my own family for now. After this movie, I'm probably not going to even want kids. It's so chaotic! It's crazy. But it's a lot of fun. I'm enjoying myself here.

What's your character like?
Dean: He's different from everybody. He's quiet. His dad is U.S. Coast Guard, so he's always moving to different homes. He doesn't ever feel that where they move is home, so he never unpacks his suitcase. He's bothered, but he doesn't show it that much. He's kind of to himself, pretty quiet.

Does he come out of his shell?
Dean: A little bit. When they meet the families, no one likes the other family; the other family doesn't like us. But he does come out of his shell a bit.

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MIKI ISHKAWA (Naoko North)

How many siblings do you really have?
Miki: Two older brothers.

How does this compare?
Miki: It's a lot crazier. You never get bored, that's for sure. You always have somebody to hang out with and eat lunch with.

Tell us about the character
Miki: I play Naoko North—she's the punkish one in the family. She has a DVD camera and goes around taping everybody really up close in their faces. It really gets annoying after a while.

Did you get to wear interesting outfits?
Miki: Most of my outfits are from the '60s, mostly I wear black, really cool stuff.

How does it compare to what you usually wear?
Miki: It's different. I wear some of the same stuff, but I wouldn't wear all of it at the same time.

What's the meanest things you do to your parents in the movie?
Miki: We make them fight a lot to try to split them up, over stupid stuff.

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SLADE PEARCE & ANDREW VO (Mick North and Lau North)

Did you guys become friends on this set?
Slade and Andrew: Yes

What do you do together?
Andrew: We play games like Pokemon Ruby Red and Pokemon Emerald.

How did you become good friends?
Slade: We both like animals in real life.

So you're the animal lover in this...
Slade: Yeah I've got a pet pig, two dogs, a crow and a cat and a hamster.

How is that working with all of them?
Slade: I'm usually chasing the pig around the house. I'm doing a scene today where I put the pig in Frank's bed.

What pets do you have at home?
Slade: I have an American bulldog, Baron, and Chihuahua, Belle.

And your character?
Andrew: Lau North. I'm into fashion, I love to design, baby! I'm a stylish person. I'm not in real life. My mom still dresses me.

Who do you play?
Andrew: I'm playing Noah.

Do you have brothers and sisters?
Andrew: I have one sister. I'm the oldest.
Slade: I have two brothers and one sister. I'm the youngest.
Andrew: If I had 17 brothers and sisters it would drive me crazy.

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Did you play any pranks on the girls?
Andrew: We were at Disney Ranch and Danielle was in her trailer and we hid and we jumped out when she opened the door. It was all the middle kids.

LIL' JJ (Jimi North)

Is it fun making this movie?
Lil' JJ: So far I'm having a good time. I'm enjoying myself, I'm just happy to be working and meeting new people. It's cool working with 17 kids. You learn different stuff from different people.

What's your character like?
Lil' JJ: Jimi has a wild imagination. He's very good at math. Whatever comes to mind, he's quick to say it or do it.

Are you like that?
Lil' JJ: A little bit. Whatever comes to mind, if I want to say it, I will say it. I'm cool with math. Math is my favorite subject. I relate to it.

Lil' JJ: I have two brothers and one sister. I'm the oldest.

When you were in Beauty Shop, did Queen Latifah really throw you out on the street?
Lil' JJ: I did most all my own stunts. When she threw me out, that was me flying in the air. That was me landing. I got a little bruised up.

How about this movie—any bruises?
Lil' JJ: In this one we had a paint fight, we had a couple of parties. This one was more having fun, more action and getting into stuff. No bruises. But we had paint in our hair and our mouths and eyes.

Did you see the original Yours, Mine and Ours?
Lil' JJ: No I haven't, but people were telling me that it was a real good movie. I want to see it and see the character I play.

Any ad libs?
Lil' JJ: I like doing what's in the script, but if I don't feel comfortable I also like to add something to make it more real. In the party scene Raja the director said one take we'll do just the script line and another you can do your thing. I like that about Raja, that he lets you do your own thing. I added in a different touch. My first line was "It's $10 to get in, 2 for $15 and ladies get in free" so when a guy tried to sneak in I go, "Hold on Slim..." and another part when they have some kegs, I go, "When the kegs go rollin..."

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