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Page 126 of 205

In Manhattan for the weekend, JoAnna and Nick left daughters, Emme, 3, and Sailor, 7-months-old, home in Tampa with their parents and as luck would have it, Sailor, who has never been away from mommy, got sick. Most of their family live close by, so the girls literally have a village of loved ones to shower them with TLC –and dually give JoAnna peace of mind. Having grown up in Tampa (her father came over from Cuba and set up his OB/GYN practice here), she knows firsthand that it's an idyllic place to raise a family. And though her acting career occasionally takes her away from the Sunshine State (she doesn't mind commuting), there are no plans to ever leave. When the actress needs to be in L.A. for work, she can retreat to their new home there (their previous L.A. residence was in the hills), outfitted with an orchard, garden, and alfresco pizza oven, which JoAnna is eager to entertain family and friends at. But the festivities will have to wait as she is in the midst of making press rounds for her new movie Fist Fight, in theaters February 17th. Shot in Atlanta, Georgia, JoAnna was serendipitously sent the script while Nick was playing baseball for the Atlanta Braves. She flew to Los Angeles, met with first-time director Richie Keen and Charlie Day, and landed the role of Maggie. As the 9-months pregnant wife of Andy Campbell (played by Charlie), Maggie is trying to hold it all together as her husband deals with a few troubling issues of his own, the major one being a fellow teacher (played by Ice Cube) wanting to fight him after school. "I'm due any second. My daughter is in a talent show and my husband is part of her act. So I'm like: A. You gotta be at this talent show. B. You gotta be at the birth. And C. You can't lose your job. Most importantly, please don't lose your job," she playfully pleads. As always, JoAnna brings lovable charm to her role as the sweet, supportive wife, while Charlie Day, Jillian Bell, Tracy Morgan —whose hilarious, jaw-dropping brand of humor is as much characterized by the comedic timing of their expressions as the lines they deliver— do what they do best: make us laugh hysterically. Of course, a fight goes down. And it's good. "The fight scene is epic… Both of them did not come out unscathed," she laughs. Now that JoAnna has a family, she's more particular about the roles she takes. Attracted to lighthearted, fun projects, this ballsy comedy was right up her alley. And with Richie and Charlie attached to it, she was sold. "I thought, Oh my gosh, this would be a dream come true working with this director that is literally all smiles and love and Charlie, who is just a genius. He's also all smiles, but he's also so funny," her thoughts after auditioning with the guys. With not many women on set, they were spoiled rotten, she tells me.

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