Legendary director Garry Marshall likes working with familiar faces, whether they're the A-listers who adore him or his own friends, family and staff.
That's the kind of mix that will walk down the red carpet tonight for the world premiere of "Valentine's Day." The cast includes superstars like Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx and Jessica Alba. While Marshall downplays his role in assembling such talent, it is clear that working with Marshall is a big draw for the big names.
"It helps that I know these people," he admitted at the movie's recent press event.
It also helps that he finds roles for people he knows from his everyday life, and sprinkling them in between the luminaries helps Marshall crate a family atmosphere on the set.
"Part of my thing when you work with these stars is you must make them comfortable," says Marshall. "So you surround them with people you can rely on. I had a lot of relatives on the set."
Take the Julia Roberts/Bradley Cooper storyline on a plane. "In the seat next to them was my grandchild," says Marshall. "She won't be asking Julia for an autograph. She won't say a word."
Marshall's assistant and her husband play the couple who sit behind Roberts and Cooper. And his own daughter Kathleen played the part of Ashton Kutcher's florist co-worker.
"Ashton came to work and my daughter was the other clerk with him," says Marshall. "Part of making a movie is my family is already there. And then they all meet each other."
While it's not Oscar-making product, it does look like fun. Marshall insists there was very little ego on the film set. "It was a pleasure since there was not much fighting," says Marshall looking over his cast. "See how calm they are. No one's pushing each other."
Then he allows himself one small correction. "Okay, sometimes they pushed."