Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten

The longtime writing partners discuss their new film, working with Anna Faris and future projects

Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith have become a fixture for the "chick flick" in Hollywood. After they met under rather unique circumstances, the pair broke onto the scene with 1999's 10 Things I Hate About You, which they followed up with the widely-successful Legally Blonde. The writing duo's latest film is The House Bunny, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on December 19. I had the chance to speak with these scribes over the phone, and here's what they had to say.

I saw you both attended different colleges, so did you both have experiences with sororities at your colleges?

Kirsten Smith: I had a brief experience with a sorority, before departing unceremoniously, but Karen had a much longer and fruitful experience with her sorority.

Karen McCullah Lutz: I was an Alpha Gamma Delta, four years.

{bold|So were there any sororities like the Zeta's at your school?

Karen McCullah Lutz: There was one, but it's probably based more on these sort of quirky girls that popped into our brains, than an actual, specific sorority.

So how long have you had this idea and when did you both first start writing it?

Karen McCullah Lutz: We met Anna (Farris) about two and a half years ago and she said she wanted to play a Playboy bunny who got kicked out of the mansion, and we went and had to figure out where that bunny went after she got kicked out. Then we saw the studios, and that was how it went.

Kirsten Smith: Yeah. The movie was written for the comedic talents of Ms. Anna Faris, so she could grace us with her leading-lady role, which she really hasn't done before other than the Scary Movie's. That was our motive.

Yeah. It really seems like Anna is coming into her own over the past few years.

Kirsten Smith: Yeah. We saw her in the movie Just Friends. Did you see that?


Kirsten Smith: Yeah. We had seen some of her other work, but that was kind of the moment where it was like, "Ahhhhh! She's just crazy and brilliant."

So did she just come up with the initial idea or did she help develop the story along at all?

Karen McCullah Lutz: She came up with, yeah, the initial character and, after we came up with the story we all kind of massaged it together before we went to the studio.

Kirsten Smith: Yeah. We kind of collaborated with her all throughout the process and she just has a really good instinct for comedy and character and has funny ideas, so it's pretty nice to have her as a partner in crime. She's giving you the gold all the time.

There's a pretty talented lineup in the supporting cast as well. You have Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings and Rumer Willis. What did these actors bring to the roles you had written, and how closely did they come to what you had envisioned for them?

Karen McCullah Lutz: Well, Emma was just amazing. That role was actually written for an Indian actor. When they were auditioning they discovered Emma and, guess what? She's no longer Indian. This girl Emma is hilarious. She's brought so much. She ad-libbed a bunch of really funny lines. Her quirky energy was just so manic.

Kirsten Smith: Yeah. She has one of those rambling-when-she's-nervous kind of things. When she talks about throwing the shoes up over the telephone wires and it's just like that sort of thing is so endearing and charming. It never gets old to me when I'm watching the movie. Colin Hanks, I thought he brought so much subtle charm and tenderness to that part and we just had a wonderful time working with him. It's hard to find the right guy, sometimes, and we thought he was wonderful.

I believe this is your first time working with Happy Madison Productions. How did you get along working with (Adam) Sandler and Allen Covert on this film?

Karen McCullah Lutz: We got along great. We're doing another one with them, and with Anna as we speak.

Oh really? Can you talk a little about that?

Karen McCullah Lutz: Sure. We just did the pitch that we sold to Paramount and it's about two estranged sisters teaming up and they have rich husbands.

Kirsten Smith: Yeah. It's kind of like a fun, golddigger buddy comedy.

(Laughs) A golddiger buddy comedy.

Kirsten Smith: Yeah, one of those. You know that genre.

So you've both written a number of films throughout the years. How did you both initially meet and start writing together?

Karen McCullah Lutz: Well, I was living in Denver, writing scripts, and Kirsten was a "D-girl" at a film production company. She had read a couple of my scripts and she gave me a call and we got together for drinks the next time I was out in L.A. and we started writing a script together on cocktail napkins that night.

Kirsten Smith: D-girl, by the way, means that I was a girl in a cubicle that reads scripts and basically doesn't have a view of the outside. I think Karen might have thought I was a high-falootin power lady, but, alas, not really the case. It enabled us to meet on a blind date, basically.

Karen McCullah Lutz: I pictured her with a window and a view of the Hollywood sign, when she was actually in a cubicle across from a strip club.

Colleges and fraternities have long been fodder for films. What do you think it is about The House Bunny that is set apart from everything else that's out there?

Karen McCullah Lutz: Um, it's better.

Kirsten Smith: Well, I think it's a girl's movie, but it also has the benefit of having a girl who's beyond college age, who's been out in the real world. This is a girl who has never really set foot on a college campus before, in my mind, I don't think, and so it's a lot of just discovering college life from an outsider's eyes. Also, there are about 25 makeovers for the price of one in this movie, so there's that, which I personally love.

Karen McCullah Lutz: There's a giant Aztec party, which we're hoping will catch on with the college kids. You know how Animal House made toga parties popular? We're hoping all fraternities and sororities start having Aztec parties.

With all the films you have written, has there ever been a desire to direct as well?

Kirsten Smith: Oh yeah. I just directed my first short film and Anna starred in it, actually, which made my job so much easier. I would love to direct a feature. I'm looking forward to doing that in the next year, year and a half here.

Cool. So is that short going to be online or anything?

Kirsten Smith: You know, it was online. It was through Glamour Magazine. I'm not sure if it's still online, but I know that iTunes is going to start having the shorts that were made this year. Demi Moore made one, Courteny Cox made one and I made one and I think they're going to start having them up in March. So keep checking out iTunes and it's a free download.

I saw there was a script floating around for The Bachelorette Party and another for a Nine to Five remake. Is there anything you can say about the development of those?

Karen McCullagh Lutz: The Nine to Five remake died years ago and The Bachelorette Party will hopefully get made in 2009.

Do you have any casting lined up for that at all?

Karen McCullagh Lutz: I have a couple of ladies who are interested, but I cannot confirm anything at this time.

So is there anything you can tell us about The Ugly Truth, or anyting else that you're both developing right now?

Karen McCullagh Lutz: Yeah. The Ugly Truth comes out April 3. It's testing really well and we're pretty excited about it. It's rated R, it's our first R-rated comedy and we quite liked it. We're looking forward to more.

Finally, the DVD comes out on the 19th and the film did rather well at the box office, so how do you think this younger generation will respond to the DVD?

Kirsten Smith: Hopefully they'll really like it. They liked it in the movie theater. There should be many drinking games done to The House Bunny. It is defintely a popcorn, comedy blast of a movie so hopefully people will watch it and watch it again.

Well, we'll have to work out some sort of drinking game for that then.

Kirsten Smith: Yeah.

Well, that's about all I have for you. Thank you both so much for your time today.

Kirsten Smith: Thank you.

Karen McCullah Lutz: Thank you.

The House Bunny brings the collegiate laughs to DVD and Blu-ray on December 19.