Scarlett Johansson and Matt Damon Respect the Animals at the "We Bought A Zoo" Premiere Dec 13, 2011 - 20:11

"Snakes!" Damon cried with a shiver at an earlier press conference for the latest film from "Jerry Maguire" writer-director Cameron Crowe. "The snakes, I was actually much more nervous about the snakes than I was the grizzly bear, until Scarlett started making fun of me. Then I tried to get over it as best I could. I think it was something about there being so many and watching the little kids handle them. Eventually I kind of got over it and was okay with it."

Johansson insisted that working with bears, lions, tigers, zebras and, yes, snakes, was simply a thrill.

"I love animals. Of course, it's hard to work with animals, because they're not on the same routine exactly and you never know what to expect," she said. "They're unpredictable, but I think that we all had such a respect for the animals that were working on the film. It was a very relaxed sort of environment and I don't really know how to describe it, but I think it's captured in the film. It's like everyone on the set was so respectful and enthusiastic and kind of loving towards the animal community that was a part of the film."

None of the slithery nor four-legged stars of "We Bought A Zoo" made it to the premiere, but the film's other human characters were out in force, including Elle Fanning, Colin Ford and Maggie Elizabeth Jones, who play the kids in the movie, along with their adult co-stars Thomas Haden Church, John Michael Higgins and Patrick Fugit. They happily celebrated with other Cameron Crowe fans including Chazz Palminteri, Parker Posey, Dylan Walsh and Celia Weston, who were all excited that the popular filmmaker has returned to the big screen after a six-year absence.

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