LAS VEGAS — If you're a typical teenage girl, you're eager to hang out with the Sisterhood again. If you're the typical boyfriend of a typical teenage girl, forced to watch every installment of the chick-flick series, you probably want the Sisters to take a long jump off a steep cliff.
On August 8, you'll both get your wish.
"I don't want to give anything away, but there's a scene that the four of us girls created on our own," "Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera told us recently at the ShoWest convention for movie-theater owners, giving us some advance details on this summer's "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2." "We all went to Greece together to film a portion of the film, and we were walking by a cliff, and we saw all these people jumping off that cliff and were like, 'What are they doing?' "
"I was just mulling about, and then [the actresses] all came up to me and said, 'OK, this is what we want to do: We want to jump off cliffs, because we saw these people do it yesterday," laughed music-video director Sanaa Hamri (Prince's "Musicology"), who, besides helming the flick, often found herself turning into the group mother. "In my head I'm going, 'Oh my God, I don't want to lose any of them! They have to be safe!' "
"It was so much fun," grinned "Gilmore Girls" star Alexis Bledel, remembering the plunge she shared with Ferrera, "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively and "Joan of Arcadia" actress Amber Tamblyn on the gorgeous island of Santorini. "It's really high, actually, and it was a little bit scary. But we thought it would be a nice way to end the movie."
In August, the dive of the mini-divas will mark the final scene in the highly anticipated second adventure adapted from the popular young-adult novels. The events preceding it, however, will show Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget leaping into adulthood.
"My heart was so into this movie," Ferrera remembered of the shoot, which came on the heels of her high-profile rise to "Ugly" superstardom. "The first experience was so ideal for me, and I so love the material, and I love these girls. ... This was a story about teen girls that went further than 'Who's taking me to prom?' "
"This basically picks up where the last one left off — it's the second, third and fourth books by Ann Brashares, all crammed into one movie," explained Bledel. "We're older. We're in college in this film, so the themes are a little more mature. ... There's more dating, [and it's about] trying to start your own life when you go off to college. They're each trying to grow individually, while trying to stay connected to their past and to each other."
"The first film was such a beloved movie — I definitely didn't want the second 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' to be disconnected from it," said Hamri, conceding that the real-life girls' lives have changed dramatically since the first movie came out in 2005. "I just made sure that [the sequel] felt like it progressed, because the actresses have progressed."
Asked if the Emmy-winning Ferrera's head had swelled since the first film, or whether Lively's "Gossip Girl" success had changed her, Bledel pointed out that each girl has now had her own hit show — a fact that brought them even closer. "The only thing that's different is we can all really relate to what it's like to be the lead of a show, because we've all done it now," she grinned. "It really is nice to be able to talk to other girls our same age who have been through that, because it's a unique experience."
"The four of us formed a really tight bond, and in the three years between the first and second movie, we've all been a part of each other's lives," agreed Ferrera. "We've seen each other go through all these changes in our lives. ... Amber and I have been traveling together campaigning for Hillary Clinton, and I go to see Amber do her poetry, and Alexis and I do dinners. And Blake's in New York, so she's the only one who's kind of separate from us, but she's living her fabulous New York lifestyle while the rest of us are in L.A."
Lively, 20, is also the actress closest to their characters' actual age, which helps to keep the others in the right frame of mind.
"[The characters] are 19 now, and it's the summer before sophomore year in college, so you can imagine what each girl will be going through," explained Hamri. "We really stay true and authentic to that age. It's not sugared-up, or dolled-up for an audience. ... It's the coming-of-age of young, modern women."
And if young, modern women coming of age can be summed up in one simple image, there are worse metaphors than them leaping into the uncertain waters below.
"We ran to the producers and were like, 'You've gotta put this in the movie!' And they did," laughed America Ferrera, proud of the girls' improvised symbolism. "I was scared out of my mind. But we were the idiots who told them to put it in the movie!"
Check out everything we've got on "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2."
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