Based on the 2009 bestselling novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, “Admission” revolves around straight-laced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) who lives by the book, both at work and at home. But Portia is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the free-wheeling John Pressman (Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah, his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted — but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.
For the filmmakers, the role of John Pressman called for an actor who could hold his own opposite Fey.
Producer Andrew Miano notes, “Paul Rudd was the ideal actor because he is so versatile; he goes from indie films to laugh-out-loud popular comedies to edgy stage work.”
Producer Kerry Kohansky-Roberts adds, “When they were at school together at Dartmouth, John perhaps had a crush on Portia. She’s taught herself to forget a lot of what went on for her there. Now, though, there’s a spark between them as John wants Portia to make the maternal connection with Jeremiah. We knew that Paul Rudd partnering on-screen with Tina Fey could make these emotional sea changes persuasive.”
Fey and Rudd clicked comically. As Rudd explains, “Tina and I had done some sketch comedy on Saturday Night Live, but working with her starring in a movie was amazing; she had such a handle on the part of Portia. Coming into this, you know Tina is going to be funny, but she deflects all of her jokes. She’s not schtick-y; that’s not her style. Instead, she plays into what’s funny in the situation and the character, making sure that the humor emerges naturally.”
In many ways, Rudd’s description of Fey perfectly mirrors his own approach. By sharing a very natural sense of humor, both actors were able to tell a story that is at once funny and filled with emotional depth.
“Before filming, [director] Paul Weitz and I had met to talk about who Pressman was – including things that weren’t necessarily in the script, like his history with Portia as he would remember it,” shares Rudd. “In speaking with Paul, I knew this was a character I wanted to play.”
“Admission” will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas starting March 22 – the same opening day as the US. Moviegoers can catch the film at Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3, Trinoma, Alabang Town Center and Market! Market!