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Kristen Bell on “Dream Come True” of Working With Ben Platt in ‘The People We Hate at the Wedding’



The first scene Kristen Bell shot in Claire Scanlon’s new comedy, The People We Hate at the Weddingis one that more than a few might describe as a bit of a nightmare.

“It was 7 am and they threw me in the Thames River,” Bell explained with a smile on Wednesday night while standing on the red carpet in Westwood, host of the Prime Video premiere. “That river is neither warm nor clean but the minute we were done with that scene, we realized, oh, the rest of the movie is going to be a breeze.”

Call it a reward for a dirty job done early, the rest of Bell’s experience on the film played like a “dream come true.” That was thanks, in large part, to her co-stars. Based on the book by Grant Ginder and penned by writer-producer sisters Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux (The Great North), The People We Hate at the Wedding follows dysfunctional American siblings Alice (Bell) and Paul (Platt) and their optimistic mom Donna (Janney) as they jet overseas to attend the British wedding of their estranged half-sister Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). Dustin Milligan, Isaach De Bankolé, Karan Soni, Tony Goldwyn, Jorma Taccone, Julian Ovenden and John Macmillan round out the cast.

“This cast was raucously fun. They’re so much fun to be around and we had a familial vibe immediately,” offered Bell, singling out one name in particular. “I had been waiting to work with Ben Platt because I’m, like, the number one Ben Platt fan on the planet. As an artist, everything that he touches or is part of, I consume. I’ve seen him in concert and I love him so much. I love his existence. Getting to play his sister and snark at everyone at a wedding was truly my dream come true. It won’t be our last project together.”

Janney also had high praise for her co-stars. “I thought the script was really great and knowing that Ben and Kristen were going to be in it. I met with Claire and had the most wonderful time talking to her and hearing her vision for how she saw the movie playing out, what was important to her and what she wanted to do was the reason I signed on,” explained the Oscar and Emmy Award winner. “My opening scene was one of my favorite things to get to do because it required so much physical comedy, and you get who she is in that one scene.”

Platt shares many a scene with Soni as the actors play a gay couple, and Platt said he greatly appreciates that their moments play as openly as with any heterosexual couple. “It was really refreshing reading the script and seeing a queer relationship and queer character whose queerness was not necessarily the subject of the story and whose comedy and rawness was very equal to the other characters in the film, especially in terms of sexuality and their threesome. ,” said the Tony Award winning actor and performer. “It was very much laughed with and not at. I really appreciated the way that the writers handled that and I also doubly appreciated our director, Claire, and how much care she took with our comfortability. She really deferred to Karin and I, who are both queer, in terms of what feels authentic in a queer relationship and a queer sexual encounter. She allowed us to have a voice and I hope there can be more experiences like that for me and all queer actors.”

For her part, Scanlon called it “kismet” that such a talented group of actors came together to tell a story that, while centered on a wedding, is really about mending fences in a dysfunctional family. “I think we can all relate to a dysfunctional family. I especially can relate to a dysfunctional family — no offense to my family,” said the veteran director with a laugh. “I love the message of communication and that if you keep secrets, they keep you sick so let it all out. Let your freak flag fly and the people who love you will be there to catch you. That message could not be better timed with Thanksgiving coming when we will all be together for the holidays.”

The People We Hate at the Wedding starts streaming on Prime Video on Nov. 18.

The People We Hate At The Wedding

Claire Scanlon, Kristen Bell, Karan Soni, Isaach de Bankolé, Dustin Milligan, Ben Platt, Jorma Taccone and Allison Janney. When asked to share a wedding story, Taccone had the wildest answer about his own nuptials with filmmaker Marielle Heller: “My friend Chris Romano, who’s also a writer performer in the business, came to my wedding and basically went shirtless with this vest for most. of the ceremony. I feel like he took a dump on a golf course and then a bunch of my friends had sex with each other too.”

Matt Winkelmeyer/GA/The News84Media via Getty Images

The People We Hate At The Wedding

Writer-producers Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux.

Matt Winkelmeyer/GA/The News84Media via Getty Images

The People We Hate At The Wedding

Producers Margot Hand and Ashley Fox flank filmmaker Claire Scanlon.

Matt Winkelmeyer/GA/The News84Media via Getty Images

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