ABC newswoman Diane Sawyer does not speak a line in the new romantic comedy "The Switch," but she has an important role.
Her picture on the cover of "New York" magazine is a key prop in the movie about Jason Bateman character's efforts to impregnate his best friend (Jennifer Aniston) through artificial insemination. To put it delicately, Sawyer's magazine cover is the unlikely muse to Bateman's initial efforts in the process. It's one of the funniest moments of the movie.
The filmmakers only found out at the last minute before shooting the bathroom magazine rack scene that they needed Sawyer's permission. Fortunately, co-director Josh Gordon tells PopcornBiz, "she got the joke."
"She was very game," he adds.
There was an understandable need for clarification on Sawyer's part. But the filmmakers also used the movie's star and executive producer Aniston to call her friend Sawyer to put her at ease.
"(Sawyer) was definitely curious about the scene," says co-director Will Speck. "She also knows Jen, so that was helpful."
"We feel very grateful we got her," he adds, "She was a tough get."
But why the 64-year-old Sawyer? Chalk it up to good genes on Sawyer's part and a joke playing off the New York backdrop of the movie -- along with Bateman's character's quirky sensibilities.
"Why not?" asks Speck. "She's the perfectly sexy woman in an unlikely and funny kind of way."
For the record, the filmmakers say that Sawyer has seen the relevant part of the movie and enjoyed the joke even after it was executed. It's a good thing.
"The backup plan for the scene was a piece of greensheet so that you could put in whomever we wanted," says Speck.
They didn't even get to thinking about other options. "But we definitely had pitches from local newscasters that we had absolutely no interest in," he adds.