Northeast Times

Jessica Barth as TEDdy bear's tart

To pre­pare for the role, the Frank­ford nat­ive had to learn a Bo­ston ac­cent, brush up on street­wise lingo and get a Snooki-style hairdo.

Jes­sica Barth, a North­east nat­ive is a Los Angeled-based act­ress. She just wrapped up film­ing a movie called Ted with Mark Wahl­berg and Mila Kunis. Kev­in Cook / for the Times

A few weeks ago, Frank­ford nat­ive Jes­sica Barth, who plays a vul­gar tart in the new R-rated com­edy movie Ted, was count­ing down the days be­fore its re­lease.

 The movie premiered on June 21 at Grau­man’s Chinese Theatre in Hol­ly­wood. They rolled out the red car­pet, and the paparazzi were out in full force. Jon Voight, Penny Mar­shall and the Far­relly Broth­ers were among the celebrit­ies who showed up.

 ldquo;I was nervous and ex­cited,” Barth said in a phone in­ter­view earli­er this week.

 Barth’s nerves soon calmed when she saw the audi­ence’s re­ac­tion to the film.

 ldquo;People loved it. They were crack­ing up,” she said.

 On open­ing day, the film grossed $20.2 mil­lion and had taken in $133 mil­lion as of Fri­day, second only to The Amaz­ing Spider-Man, which had grossed $160 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Box Of­fice at Hol­ly­wood.com.

 Ted eas­ily topped its closest com­edy com­pet­it­or, Ma­gic Mike, which de­b­uted the same day. It also be­came the top-per­form­ing ori­gin­al, R-rated com­edy, out­pa­cing 2009’s The Hangover.

 Re­views were gen­er­ally pos­it­ive and crit­ic Ro­ger Ebert gave it 3.5 stars out of 4. He wrote that it was “the best com­edy screen­play so far (this year).”

 ldquo;That’s good for Seth,” Barth said.

 The act­ress was speak­ing of Seth Mac­Far­lane, the co-writer/dir­ect­or/pro­du­cer and voice of Ted, a teddy bear who comes to life be­cause of a child­hood wish. With the film, Mac­Far­lane, cre­at­or of Fam­ily Guy, was mak­ing his fea­ture-length dir­ect­ori­al de­but.

 ldquo;They don’t get more cre­at­ive than Seth Mac­Far­lane,” Barth said.

 Barth her­self got a shout-out in a re­view. The Hol­ly­wood Re­port­er wrote, “Jes­sica Barth goes the ex­tra mile with lim­ited lines to grab laughs as a vul­gar tart who’s game for a wild fling with Ted.”

 Barth said she’s noth­ing like her char­ac­ter, Tami-Lynn, who is Ted’s su­per­fi­cial girl­friend.

“I’m a good act­ress,” she joked.

 In pre­par­ing for the role, Barth had to learn a Bo­ston ac­cent, did some re­search on street­wise lingo, ala Jer­sey Shore, and got a Snooki-type hairdo.

 ldquo;It was really fun do­ing re­search and get­ting in­to that char­ac­ter,” she said.

 Film­ing the scenes without the teddy bear present was an­oth­er chal­lenge. Ted was ad­ded to scenes after film­ing.

 Ted, which runs 106 minutes, was filmed in Bo­ston in the spring and sum­mer of 2011. It stars Mark Wahl­berg, Mila Kunis, Patrick War­bur­ton, Joel McHale and Gio­vanni Ribisi.

Ry­an Reyn­olds makes a cameo. Tom Sker­ritt, Norah Jones and Sam J. Jones play them­selves.

Wahl­berg plays John Ben­nett, whose teddy bear comes to life, and Kunis plays Ben­nett’s girl­friend, Lori Collins.

 Ted is a large, ob­scene, ob­nox­ious teddy bear who’s been around for four years. He works at a gro­cery store with Tami-Lynn, and the two have a make-out scene.

 The re­la­tion­ship between John and Lori sours when he starts spend­ing more time with Ted than with his girl­friend. Even­tu­ally, Ted gets his own apart­ment.

 The movie ori­gin­ally was sched­uled to be re­leased on Ju­ly 13, but the premiere was moved up two weeks when the re­lease of G.I. Joe: Re­tali­ation was delayed un­til next year. The move al­lowed Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures to avoid open­ing Ted against Ice Age: Con­tin­ent­al Drift.

 Ted opened in Aus­tralia on Ju­ly 5 and will de­but in the United King­dom on Aug. 1.

 Barth had seen a rough cut of the movie last year, and she cred­its Mac­Far­lane with do­ing a great job dur­ing the post-pro­duc­tion peri­od. She’s not sur­prised audi­ences like it.

 ldquo;You really care about each one of the char­ac­ters,” she said.

 Fol­low­ing the June 21 show­ing, Barth and the cast at­ten­ded an after-party at a Hol­ly­wood hotel and then an after-after-party at Mac­Far­lane’s house.

 Later, she and some fam­ily and friends saw a private screen­ing in Pas­adena. She needed to see it again to hear all of the jokes missed dur­ing the ex­ten­ded laughter at the premiere.

 Next up will be a DVD re­lease, which will in­clude ad­di­tion­al fea­tures, such as the “mak­ing of” Ted.

 Back in Phil­adelphia, her fam­ily got to­geth­er to watch the film at AMC Frank­lin Mills. Fam­ily and friends have giv­en her the thumbs-up in Face­book mes­sages.

“Phil­adelphia couldn’t be more sup­port­ive. They’re such warm people,” she said. “It means so much. I’m so grate­ful.”

 Barth is a gradu­ate of Fox Chase Ele­ment­ary School, Woo­drow Wilson Middle School, North­east High School and West Chester Uni­versity. She’s been in Cali­for­nia since Oc­to­ber 2001, driv­ing cross-coun­try a few months after gradu­at­ing from col­lege with a theat­er arts and cre­at­ive writ­ing de­gree.

 Since then, she had a small part in the movie Get Smart and has had vari­ous roles in tele­vi­sion series. To help pay the bills, she also spent eight years wait­ress­ing at a bar and grill in Burb­ank.

 Since com­plet­ing the film­ing of Ted, she ap­peared on an epis­ode of the ABC Fam­ily com­edy Melissa & Joey and in the short drama Politico. She plans a re­turn trip to Phil­adelphia next month.

 The movie has made her sum­mer.

 ldquo;It’s been the high­light of my ca­reer,” she said.

 Barth is hop­ing to have an even big­ger high­light, should there be a Ted 2.

“It did so well at the box of­fice and is get­ting really good re­views. I think they’re in talks about a se­quel,” she said. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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