Working with your best friend can bring plenty of laughs — and in Leah Remini’s case, it can also bring tears.
Remini’s character Joan was supposed to be giving her best friend Maya (Lopez) a pep talk before a high-status job interview when Remini decided to improvise her lines mid-scene. She started off by asking Lopez’s character, “Who’s the champ?” — something the real-life BFFs say to each other off-screen. This time, though, Remini added in a little something extra to their hype session: a slap.
Lopez didn’t take this change idly. Instead, she slapped back, and that’s when Remini lost it. “She slapped me back so hard it made me cry from laughter,” she told EW.
Similar to other rom-coms we’ve come to know and love J.Lo for, Second Act centers around Maya, a working-class store assistant manager who gets a second chance at a corporate career after embellishing her résumé. But while Maya’s résumé is fake, her onscreen friendship with Joan is anything but. “When you have a real relationship with somebody, you can’t write that stuff,” Remini said, leading to plenty of other improvised scenes.
“[Maya’s] reaction is always funny because that’s [Lopez’s] reaction to me; she rolls her eyes a lot if I grab her boob or annoy her...Annoying her makes me laugh, so I’d do different things in different takes, so you’re seeing her real reactions,” Remini explained.
Safe to say friends who laugh and cry together, stay together.