Jack Black & Rashida Jones in 'The Big Year'

*”The Big Year” is a big thing for bird watchers and a big event  that many dedicate a year of their lives. They go on a cross-country journey to become high scorers in tracking the most varieties of birds.

Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson set competitors in “The Big Year.” Among the birders is Barry Shabaka Henly as Dr. Neil Kramer-Rashida Jones (Ellie) also stars.

Martin, Black and Owen took questions at the Mandarin Oriental recently and The Film Strip asked them why this film was important to them, assuming none of them were into birding. “Well, the highlight for me, was seeing Igor,” Wilson recalls. “Then it turns out, we saw like thousands of eagles. So it lost its excitement! But the first time we saw an eagle, when we were filming in Canada, you know it’s a very exciting thing.”

STEVE MARTIN: We were on a boat. Is that where you saw your eagle?

OW: I saw it at the hotel. There was one, it was strange. I saw it perched there.

SM: I saw an eagle on the boat. When we were out on the water, with other birds. Yeah. Does that diminish the experience? Well no, what I mean is, the other birds…parted the ways!

JACK BLACK: Well, it’s kind of the bully of the bird community.

SM: Is that true?

OW: But then it was odd to see the eagles, they were sort of like buzzards. They’re scavengers.

JB: How dare you? The American eagle! Why you-

It was obvious the three enjoyed doing the film, being together again-and understanding the world of a birder, Black explains. “You can read about birding, and do research about birding. But you can’t really decide you want to be a birder. You have to have the compulsion, the obsession with birds. I don’t share that with the birding society at large. But it was fun to hang out with some birders, some real birders. And watch them in action because it’s kinda remarkable. They’re able to spot them from really far away, just a speck. And they’ll say, that’s a Mongolian goose fly!”

“Trespass,” you could say is ripped from news headlines. It deals with a home invasion and it always surprises me the number of people who aren’t more caution when it comes to letting someone in their homes or leaving their doors open. The Film Strip asked “Trespass” star, Cam Gigandet if the film was a cautionary tale and if he ever left his doors unlocked. “My fiancé should. Where I grew up, we didn’t lock our doors. We lived out in the boonies and so I guess until it actually happens to you, you don’t really focus on it.

“But, yeah, it was funny everyone would share their stories while rehearsing and when you talk to everyone, surprisingly a lot of people things like this has happened to, not that this story is a normal one. Nicolas cage has someone end up in his bedroom while he was sleeping and they were naked, wearing his leather jacket and eating a Popsicle.”

No doubt, Gigandet, also known for “Twilight,” will be even more cautious after test screenings were done for “Trespass.” Director Joel Schumacher got great pleasure telling on Cam, before leaving the room at the Crosby Hotel in New York. “This is going to embarrass him enormously because he’s such a fine actor but I have to tell you about the first research screening and then the second. A great deal of the response cards from women did not say anything about the movie. They just said they wanted to have sex with Cam.”

Marie Moore is a syndicated veteran entertainment reporter. Contact her via: [email protected].