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'A**hole' kid from Meet The Fockers couldn't speak a word when he was cast in the film

'A**hole' kid from Meet The Fockers couldn't speak a word when he was cast in the film

Fast learner

It's almost 20 years since Meet The Fockers came into our lives. Feel old yet?

The flick was the hilarious sequel to the 2000 comedy Meet The Parents, which saw Ben Stiller's Greg Focker try and fail to impress his in-laws, and kicked the saga off. Let's have a trip down memory lane:

For those - few - of you out there who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, the franchise stars Stiller as the hapless nurse and Teri Polo as his partner Pam Byrnes.

Over the course of three movies, he tries desperately to get her parents, Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner), to accept him.

The second movie in the series sees the introduction of Greg's parents, Bernie and Rozalin, played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand.

And while the adult cast is incredible, one character steals the show. I am, of course, talking about Pam's nephew, Little Jack, the potty-mouth tot.

Little Jack had a starring role in Meet The Fockers.
Universal Pictures

However, while his big moment sees Jack scream 'Asshooooooole' at every opportunity, it turns out the baby - or babies - who played him, Spencer and Bradley Pickren, couldn't actually speak before filming started.

Fortunately, though, they learned pretty quickly.

Revealing the interesting piece of info in a Q&A, the film's director, Jay Roach, said: "Well, the kid was preverbal when we cast him. He was very sign proficient.

"That was one of the things we found, they had never been in commercials or anything.

"And I have tried this with my kids, too. There is a theory that if you teach your kid sign language, a few basic rudimentary things, like food and diaper, that they develop communication skills before they develop the coordination, physical skills so they can actually be very articulate in a certain way, and listen... "

Discussing the casting process, Roach said he actually had to ask their parents about whether or not they would be keen to teach them a swear.

What did he just say?
Universal Pictures

He recalled: "We talked to the mom and said, 'You know, how do you feel about teaching your kids this word?' It was a very, (laughs) delicate conversation, because I have probably already corrupted children worldwide with some of the other films I've done.

"So they taught him a different word, which was 'azzol'. They made it mean French fry, which is his favourite food, and he just kept saying, 'Azzol, azzol', so we kind of slowly moulded it.

"Frankly, by the end, he was just saying the flat out, 'asshole', and it was too late.

"Mom was very good-natured about it. But I do fear for their future.

"I'm gonna always look out for them, (laughs) if I can."

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Topics: US News, TV and Film