‘Ted 2’ star Jessica Barth on the hardest part of romancing a bear

“Ted 2” offers a lot of the profane, rambunctious, sporadically gross humor that audiences loved in the CGI teddy bear's first cinematic outing, but it gives a lot more screentime to Jessica Barth, who plays Ted's human bride Tami-Lynn McCafferty. Barth's moxie is often the movie's most endearing quality, and thus it's a pleasure to see the actress explore Tami-Lynn's more emotional side in what's sure to be a blockbuster sequel.

We caught up with Barth, a Philadelphia native, to discuss how she got the part of Tami-Lynn, how she learned that Boston accent, and why screaming at a teddy bear can be rewarding.

In the first scene of the movie, you're fighting with Ted and screaming at him. What's it like getting that worked up over an imaginary character?

Yeah, that can provide a challenge. Obviously there's nothing there. You know, I'm so in the moment, but it is really hard. During the fight, I had to hit a certain place on the wall with a frying pan over and over and over again. We had to do that quite a bit. At one point I was so in the moment that I hit the camera with a frying pan. Sometimes I get too involved in the scene. My throw was not as accurate as it could've been. 

Later in the movie you're going through a counseling session with Ted and crying. Are emotional scenes with Ted difficult?

It's definitely the more emotional scenes that were tougher. I was excited to explore that part of Tami-Lynn. Now she's married and dealing with this and that; it's just more fun for me to do as an actor. You're usually reacting at somebody else looking at you or acting with you, so when I needed to get to a point where I cried without someone there, it was really challenging. The scenes aren't that long either, so you don't have much time to build up to that. 

What kinds of tricks did you use to make yourself upset in such a short amount of time?

I did so much preparation for her, and you really have to just trust yourself. I built in a lot of triggers for her character that got her there emotionally. There were a couple times we did takes and I said, “No. I can get further with her.” Seth was open to that. He said, “Take as much time as you need.” There were definitely takes where I thought, “I can do more!”