Couples Retreat is a raucous comedy centered on four couples who get into misadventures while on vacation on a tropical island. The 2009 film is filled with hilarious comedic talents such as Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell, and many others.
Vaughn stars as the main character, Dave, and leading up to the film’s release, he joked about how his body is on display in many scenes. “We know what the kids like,” he told MTV. “If me and the guys are going to show some skin around, we know the ladies are going to show up.” Opposite Vaughn’s Dave is the character’s wife, Ronnie, who is portrayed by Malin Akerman.
Coming into the project, Akerman found it semi-daunting to work alongside titans of the comedy world. The actor admitted that she often broke character while filming. “I’m such a giggler and being around so funny people, it’s tough. It’s really tough,” she told SheKnows in September 2009.
Akerman started off her acting career with a series of scene-stealing small parts. Speaking to LAist around the time Couples Retreat hit theaters, she talked about the beauty of these bit roles. “A lot of times the sidekicks and the costars are always the most quirky characters and they are always the most fun to play,” she told the outlet.
So who is Akerman, and why does she look so familiar to fans of Couples Retreat?
Malin Akerman's breakout role was as a superhero
Malin Akerman was born in Sweden and moved to Canada when she was 2, as per her IMDb bio. She was a Ford Supermodel as a teenager, but ultimately decided to pursue a career in acting. In 2004, Akerman appeared in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle as Liane (Freakshow’s wife). Near the end of the 2000s, her career began to take off with appearances as Tess in 27 Dresses and a co-starring role in 2007’s The Heartbreak Kid opposite Ben Stiller.
That last movie involved Akerman’s most embarrassing moment on film. During one scene, her character urinates on Stiller’s after he was stung by a jellyfish. “It’s interesting when you read a script and go, ‘Oh my God, that’s hilarious.’ And then you’re there on the day and you’re going, ‘I… don’t know if I can do this while I stand there half-naked,'” she recollected to the Chicago Tribune in November 2020.
Akerman landed the role as the superhero Silk Spectre in 2009’s Watchmen film adaptation, although she admitted to Collider in May 2020 that she was in-over-her-head at the time. After further establishing herself in Hollywood, Akerman became a series regular on Showtime’s Billions as Lara Axelrod, a character she could sink her teeth into. “I just knew, ‘Oh, this woman, this character is going to be so much fun to play,'” she told Entertainment Weekly in October 2018. “Because she just says it like it is — goes straight for the jugular.”
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