Who says exes can’t be friends? Certainly not Justin Long.
Long and Drew Barrymore recently sent 2000 fans wild when the exes had an emotional reunion on her talk show, but Drew is not the only famous ex the Hollywood actor has kept close.
The Dodgeball star, who is now in a relationship with actress Kate Bosworth, spoke to news.com.au ahead of his new film Christmas with the Campbells, where he spoke about the sweet reason he likes to stay close to his former partners.
In the film, which Long describes as a Hallmark-type movie with a “naughty twist”, Jesse (Brittany Snow) is dumped by her boyfriend (Alex Moffat) right before Christmas but still spends the holiday with his family (Long plays the cousin and romantic interest).
When asked whether he would draw the line at going home to an ex-partner’s house for the holidays, Long initially told news.com.au it might be “a bridge too far” before remembering he actually had a former girlfriend come to his home for thanksgiving.
“My ex Maggie came for thanksgiving and we’re also really close,” Long said of the Designated Survivor actress.
“When you’re dating somebody like that, especially for that amount of time, I find you get to know the families and life is so short.
“I don’t make that many connections, those kinds of connections so I really like the idea of being able to maintain those connections and I find it kind of sad when that can’t happen.”
Long said he considered himself lucky to have former partners who felt the same.
This year, he spent thanksgiving with his girlfriend, Bosworth.
Barrymore was teary during the pair’s on-screen reunion in September, where they both said they would “always” love each other.
During the episode, they reminisced about the “fun chaos” of their “hedonistic” and “immature” relationship.
The famous couple dated on and off between 2007 and 2010, and starred in two movies together: He’s Just Not That Into You and Going the Distance.
Long told news.com.au it takes time to get to that point and he wouldn’t recommend reunions between exes a couple of weeks after the breakup, like what takes place in his new Christmas rom-com.
“My relationship with [Drew] is a really good example of that,” he said.
“When that all came out and I did her show, I think people maybe didn’t consider how long it’s been that we were together so I think it requires some time too. Time is a great healer.”
As for the leading man he plays on screen, Long describes his new character, David, as completely unlike him – a cowboy, or in trying to find the best equivalent in Australia, a bogan.
David constantly whips out sayings like “news travels faster in a small town than fleas in a dog pound” and “whatever winds your watch”. His idea of a compliment is, “you look like a disco ball made sweet love to a shooting star”.
Long said he actually got a lot of inspiration for the character from Vince Vaughn, who he describes as someone “solid who can hold his ground”.
Long said for Vaughn, who was a writer on the film, the sayings would roll off the tongue “very naturally”.
“I tried to channel Vince because he’s got that kind of cowboy feel,” Long said.
“The way he combines words is so odd and brilliant, and feel unique to Vince but I’m sure he borrowed it from the guys he looked up to like Dwight Yoakam.
“He would often say ‘What would Dwight do? Think the way a cowboy would think, think the way Dwight would!’ and he would tell me stories about Waylon Jennings and Dwight and those guys.”
When there wasn’t Vaughn, there was Google.
“Sometimes we’d have to Google ‘how would a cowboy say sounds good or okay cool’,” Long explained.
“I couldn’t say ‘oh cool’ as an affirmation, we’d have to Google it and it would be like ‘that’s a piece of meat I can get my mouth around’ or something like that.”
Long said to help him prepare for the role, his girlfriend made him a playlist of country music.