Ed Burns On Marriage And Movies

ed burns in a scene from The Groomsmen. Bauer Martinez Entertainment

These days New York-based actor-director Ed Burns is happily married to a stunning supermodel (Christy Turlington) and the doting father of two little children. But things weren't always this blissful.

Around the time of his 2003 nuptials, life was chaotic: there was the wedding planning, the thought of kids on the horizon, and all of his guy friends and their girlfriends were in a frenzy.

"Anytime somebody is getting married, someone else is pressuring someone else with, 'When are you going to pop the question?' And other people who are married are questioning their vows," Burns said in an interview with TheShowBuzz.com at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. "So, all of those kinds of things were in the air."

In turn, Burns decided to do what he does best: write about it. The heart-warming story he penned is the foundation for his new comedy, "The Groomsmen." The low-budget film, which also stars Britney Murphy, Jay Mohr, John Leguizamo and Donal Logue, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival and will be in theatres in New York and Los Angeles on July 14.

TheShowBuzz.com chatted with Burns about the movie and his favorite filming location, New York City.

Tell me about your character in "The Groomsmen."

My character, Paulie, has gotten his long-term girlfriend (played by Britney Murphy) pregnant and they've decided to have a hurry-up wedding. Paulie is wrestling with the fact that, not only is he about to get married, but he's also going to have a baby three months after that.

He's brought together his four childhood best friends to serve as his groomsman. That serves as the catalyst for each one of them to look inward and examine where they are in their lives.

How did you come up with the idea? I read that your wife, Christy Turlington, had something to do with it.

She had something to do with part of it. I'd written a version of this script after my movie "Sidewalks of New York" came out in theatres and was completely ignored. So I was like, "Alright, I need a hit." So I sat down and tried to write something big and funny and broad, like in the "Meet the Parents" vein. And that just isn't my skill or my sensibility. The script wasn't any good, so I just put it on the shelf.

Three years later (in 2003) when I was getting married, things were just coming to a head. Some things between us, some things between my friends and their girlfriends. Anytime somebody is getting married, someone else is pressuring someone else with, "When are you going to pop the question?" And other people who are married are questioning their vows. So, all of those kinds of things were in the air.

We were talking one night about how this wedding is causing all of this commotion. Christy goes, "You should go back to that script you have and write that version of it. The honest version of what really goes on when someone gets married." And that's what I did. I dug this script out and reexamined it and wrote what I think is still funny, but a more honest representation of men in their mid-30s and the lack of ability to mature.

Did you have cold feet before you got married?

I didn't have cold feet before getting married but before my daughter was born (in 2003) I definitely wrestled with, "God, I still feel like such a kid." I still hang out with the same guys I hung out with; we still play our dopey Saturday afternoon softball game. We all still feel like 22-year-olds. Do I know how to be a good dad? You discover you do because you have no choice. You kind of figure it out and do it.

  • Amy Bonawitz

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