Meet Keri Russell

The actress who stars as the love interest of Adam Sandler (pictured here) in ‘Bedtime Stories’ talks about her remarkable career and great love for Hawaii

Yu Shing Ting
Friday - December 26, 2008
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Co-starring with Adam Sandler in the new Disney film Bedtime Stories, Keri Russell plays a young woman much like herself in real life - sensible and responsible

In Bedtime Stories, Keri Russell and Adam Sandler’s characters ‘don’t really like each other at first’

Actress Keri Russell, a fan of Hawaii, returns to the Islands this Christmas by way of a new movie, Bedtime Stories, in which she co-stars with Hawaii regular Adam Sandler.

“I’d love to go (to Hawaii) more often, but now that I live in New York it’s a longer flight, and especially with a 1-and-a-half-year-old, it’s a very long flight,” says Russell, who spoke to MidWeek from her hotel room in London where she was doing international press for the new movie.

“I was in Hawaii a couple of years ago and I had a great time. And my parents lived there when they were first married.

“Hawaii is one of my most favorite places on earth. I have a special affection for the North Shore of Kauai, but I do truly love it all.”

During her most recent trip here, which was with husband Shane Deary the year before they had their son River, Russell says they hiked, swam and drove.

“We hiked the Na Pali Coast on Kauai and it was really amazing,” she recalls.“My husband is really athletic, so we sort of ran, jogged it the whole way - all the way down to the secret beach and then all the way back up. I’d love to go back.

“Actually I said (to Sandler), let’s do press in Hawaii and he said OK, and then he ended up having a baby and Disney got involved, and we didn’t. But we keep joking that we should do press in Hawaii. It’s just so beautiful. It’s paradise, and the people are cool. Also, my husband surfs, so it’s nice for him.”

In fact, she gave him a new surf-board for his most recent birthday.

In Disney’s Bedtime Stories, Russell plays Jill in addition to a host of fantasy characters including Jillian Queen of Fairies, Raven Jillian and a mermaid.

The movie is an adventure comedy starring Sandler as Skeeter Bronson, a hotel handyman whose life is changed forever when the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to mysteriously come true. When he tries to help his family by telling one outlandish tale after another, it’s the kids’ unexpected contributions that turn all of their lives upside down.

“I am sort of the responsible caretaker to Sandler’s irresponsible caretaker of his niece and nephew while their mom is away,” says Russell about her role in Bedtime Stories. “At first, my character thinks Skeeter is really immature and irresponsible and annoying, which he is. But after spending more time with him, she starts seeing him involved with the kids and starts to think he’s not such a bad guy. He starts to charm her.

“And working with (Sandler) was so great. He’s so fun and exactly what you’d think he’d be - normal, kind, funny. And he’s a good dad.”

According to movie director Adam Shankman (Hairspray, The Pacifier, A Walk to Remember, The Wedding Planner), Russell was chosen for the part to complement Sandler’s comedic sensibilities.

“Keri’s incredibly likable and smart,” noted Sandler.“Our characters don’t really like each other at first, so it was fun to bicker back and forth.”

Russell, 32, has starred in a number of major motion pictures (including August Rush, Mission: Impossible III, We Were Soldiers, The Girl in the Park), independent films and television shows.

Her performance in Disney’s Bedtime Stories marks a return to her Disney roots as her early acting career began with a role in the all-new Mickey Mouse Club from 1991 to 1994.

“There was a lot less dancing for me in Bedtime Stories,” says Russell about the difference

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