Canadian co-star of 'The Joneses' bonded with star Duchovny
Ben Hollingsworth arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film 'The Joneses' during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, September 13, 2009. (Darren Calabrese / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, August 9, 2010 1:04PM EDT
TORONTO - It seems Demi Moore met an even bigger prankster than her "Punk'd" star husband Ashton Kutcher on the set of "The Joneses," out on DVD Tuesday.
Canadian actor Ben Hollingsworth, who plays Moore's son in the tale of a fetching family who seemingly has it all, says star David Duchovny was a major joker behind the scenes.
"When you're around him in a scene, you've always got to watch out for things," Hollingsworth, 25, of Brockville, Ont., said in a recent phone interview from Los Angeles.
"Like, he'll bring a little fart machine on set in the middle of a scene and you'll hear farting sounds and be like, 'Great David, are you four years old? Are you five? Like, what are you doing here?"' he added with a laugh.
Hollingsworth eventually turned the tables on the "Californication" star, who plays the patriarch of a "family" of hired actors that flaunts its hot clothes, gadgets, home and cars as part of a stealth marketing strategy. Amber Heard plays Hollingsworth's sister.
During filming for a bedroom scene involving Duchovny, Hollingsworth secretly subbed in for the female actress who was supposed to sneak up behind him, slip under the sheets and start kissing his back.
The prank scene is not in the film but is on the DVD as a bonus feature.
"It threw him off," said Hollingsworth. "He loved it."
Clowning around aside, Duchovny was a consummate professional during filming, noted the curly-haired actor, who grew up in Peterborough, Ont., and attended the National Theatre School of Canada.
The pair also bonded on set and often discussed acting theories.
"He's smart, intelligent, he's well versed and he's very giving as an actor," said Hollingsworth. "When you're with him in a scene, he's right there.
"Even when he's not on camera he's right there for you ... I learned a lot from watching him act."
Moore was equally welcoming and nice, said Hollingsworth, who also hung out with Kutcher when he visited the set.
After filming, Kutcher and Hollingsworth worked together on the short-lived modelling drama "The Beautiful Life" (Kutcher produced and Hollingsworth starred).
"They're kind of like my L.A. parents in a way," Hollingsworth said of Moore and Kutcher.
"I'm friends with Demi's daughter, Rumer, and they're just a great group of people and definitely have helped me out along the way."
"The Joneses," directed and co-written by Derrick Borte, is a dark social commentary on consumerism.
Being directly immersed a cautionary message about materialistic greed didn't stop Hollingsworth from lusting after the slick products the characters had on set.
"It's kind of hard not to," he said with a laugh.
"It's not that wanting things are bad, it's when you put the value of them above your own moral grounding -- when you put material things on a pedestal and link them to your happiness -- that's when you falter."
Hollingsworth doesn't know if families like the Joneses really exist, but he says showbiz as a whole plays a similar role.
"I can't watch a movie anymore without seeing the product placement jump out at you," he said.
"I think that you even see it in film festivals, where these stars get given gifts before it starts so that when they're walking around the film festival, they're wearing these gifts."
"The Joneses" had its world premiere at last year's Toronto International Film Festival hit theatres in the U.S. this past April (it never came out in theatres in Canada).
Hollingsworth said he'll be at the festival again this year to support his actor-friend, Noah Reid, co-star of "Score: A Hockey Musical" that will open the movie marathon Sept. 9.
He said he may also have a film in the festival: the horror "A Flesh Offering," which he'd heard may be chosen for the Midnight Madness section.