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Paula Patton: ‘I’m Naturally Good at Physical Comedy Because I’m a Klutz’

Director David E. Talbert shares that Patton tripped over his foot at their first meeting for 'Baggage Claim'

It was clear skies and zero turbulence when “Baggage Claim” writer-director David E. Talbert and his stars Paula Patton, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, Adam Brody, Boris Kodjoe and others checked in September 25 at downtown’s Regal Cinemas L.A. Live for the premiere of their romantic-comedy about a flight attendant scouring the friendly skies in the hopes of rekindling romance with one of her exes.

I’ve been wanting to work with [Patton] since we first got this movie going,” Talbert told the audience before the screening started. “When I met her, she came into the room and I think she tripped over my foot, I said this woman is actually the one who I want to be [lead character] Montana Moore because she’s not only beautiful, but she allows herself to be vulnerable. She allows her heart to be on her sleeve … Paula, you represent everything that the icons of old and the leading ladies of romantic comedy represent, but you also boldly blaze a new trail for the next generation.”

Later, at the after-party at the Conga Room, cast members laughed about real-life embarrassing moments with paramours (Scott said she once tripped and fell down the stairs when she saw an ex; during their courtship, Patton’s husband Robin Thicke caught her spying on him when she doubted he was just hanging out with his friends; and the fortunate Brody denied ever doing anything awkward in front of an ex).

Patton also said she hoped “Baggage Claim” was another example of the ebb tide to comedic roles for women in film.

“I read this script years ago and I always wanted to do it,” she said, adding that although she doesn’t recall tripping over Talbert during that audition, it’s highly possible she did because “I trip over everything. I am a very klutzy person and now I’ve been able to use it to my advantage. I’m naturally good at physical comedy because I’m a klutz.”

Fox Searchlight opens “Baggage Claim” September 27.

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