‘Family Switch’s Ed Helms Reveal the Secret to Acting In a Body Swap Movie

The Big Picture

  • The film Family Switch puts a unique spin on the body swap comedy genre, with the entire family switching places after a failed bonding attempt.
  • The movie stars Jennifer Garner, Ed Helms, Emma Myers, and Brady Noon.
  • In an interview, Helms and Noon discuss their experiences working with Weezer on set, the challenges of filming stunt-heavy scenes, and how they perfected their body swap performances.


On the most important day of their lives to date, the Walkers are in quite a conundrum in Netflix’s Family Switch. Putting a unique spin on the body swap comedy, this holiday movie sees the entire family switching places, right down to the dog and baby, after an attempt to bond goes wrong.

All Jess Walker (Jennifer Garner) wants is to bring her chaotic family closer together for the holidays. Juggling a promotion at work and her two oldest kids growing up and out of the house, she tries to force happy memories, but a mysterious astrological reader just so happens to be the one catching those memories. After their chance encounter, the Walkers wake up to find they’ve all swapped bodies with one another, but can they learn to appreciate each other before time runs out and this miss out on opportunities of a lifetime? Family Switch also stars Ed Helms, Emma Myers, and Brady Noon.

During an interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, Helms and Noon sat down to talk about having Weezer on set and getting to perform with the “legendary” band. Noon reveals what it’s like having Helms as a co-star, they discuss their stunt-heavy scenes like the car chase, and the budget-savvy way they really perfected the body swap. You can check it all out in the video at the top of the article, or you can read the full transcript below.

The poster for Family Switch with Ed Helms, Jennifer Garner, Emma Myers, and Brady Noon

Family Switch

When a chance encounter with an astrological reader causes the Walkers to wake up to a full body switch, can they unite to land a promotion, college interview, record deal, and soccer tryout?

Release Date
November 30, 2023

Director
McG

Cast
Jennifer Garner, Ed Helms, Emma Myers, Brady Noon, Rita Moreno, Matthias Schweighöfer, Bashir Salahuddin, Fortune Feimster, Xosha Roquemore, Paul Scheer, Andrew Bachelor, Pete Holmes, Naomi Ekperigin, Dan Finnerty, Cyrus Arnold

Rating
PG

Runtime
101 minutes

Main Genre
Comedy

Writers
Victoria Strouse, Adam Sztykiel

COLLIDER: I’m gonna start with a true or false question for the two of you. True or false: you only agreed to do this movie because you would be on stage with Weezer?

ED HELMS: False. I did it for the enormous paycheck.

BRADY NOON: False. [Laughs]


What’s Weezer Like on Set?

Weezer

I am a fan of Weezer and maybe I’m gonna be the only one that realizes that’s Rivers [Cuomo] in the band.

HELMS: It’s all of Weezer in the band.

Oh no, that’s what I mean. It’s Weezer onstage. I was watching it yesterday, and I’m like, “Wait, that’s Weezer…” So, what was it actually like working with those guys?

HELMS: I was very excited to work with them because I have been such a huge Weezer fan for so long. What I didn’t expect was how playful and committed and just all in they would be, and they really were. They just were so present and ready to have a good time. I mean, there’s versions of that where a band could show up and just be like, “Okay, where do you want me to stand? What do you want me to do?” Or whatever. But Weezer, they just were psyched, and it made it super fun.

NOON: Yeah. It was super sick. That band is so legendary. My mom was telling me a lot about how she grew up on them, and I would go back through my Spotify and listen to a bunch of Weezer songs before they came to set that day, and had to do my research. But it’s definitely an experience that I’ll remember for a while.

The Most Challenging ‘Family Switch’ Scenes

Ed Helms as Bill Walker, holding a bowl of cereal in Family Switch
Image via Netflix

So you see the shooting schedule, what is the day you have circled in terms of, “Oh, this is gonna be a pain in the ass day,” or, “This is going to be an amazing day?”

NOON: Any day I was working with Ed I would circle.

How much did he pay you to say that? Come on.

HELMS: Wait, was that pain-in-the-ass day or amazing day?

NOON: Yeah, no, pain-in-the-ass day.

Oh, got it. Okay.

HELMS: I’m a huge pain in the ass.

NOON: I was like, “God, I have to work with Ed.” Gonna note that that’s gonna be a terrible day.

HELMS: “This is gonna be a tough one.”

Right, I understand.

HELMS: [Laughs] Anything that was stunt-heavy with the car chases and the telescope scenes with the harnesses and the falls. I love that stuff. I could do that all day, so I was always psyched to do that.

How They Really Filmed This Body Swap Comedy

I would imagine with one of these kinds of films, the body swap “genre,” that you’re thinking before you step on set that first day about, “How am I gonna play the other person?” Talk a little bit about how you both got ready. I know you’ve been asked this, but did you guys talk, did you try to copy some mannerisms?

NOON: Yeah. I would say the pre-production of the film was kind of the most important, I feel like, because that’s where we really got the time to learn each other and pick up on each other’s mannerisms. We did a lot of work with our movement coach, as well, so we could just really get those physicalities as realistic as possible.

HELMS: Can I give him the real answer?

NOON: Yeah, go ahead.

HELMS: So, that’s what we’re obligated to say, but what really happened is that we found a genie who could actually switch our bodies. So, Brady and I switched bodies for like a month and we didn’t tell anybody.

NOON: We couldn’t.

HELMS: And so we just went through the world as each other, and we really dialed it in. That was like a month before the movie, so we were ready to go.

Family Switch is available to stream on Netflix in the U.S.

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