Despite the meticulous planning that people put into their seemingly well thought-out plan, they often come up with their best decisions spontaneously when they unexpectedly find themselves in chaotic situations. That’s certainly the case for the cast, crew and characters of Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel’s upcoming action romantic comedy, Shotgun Wedding, as nothing could have prepared them for the continuous surprises they all faced.
The film was written by Mark Hammer and directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect). Besides Lopez, who also served as a producer, and Duhamel, the movie also features an ensemble cast that includes Jennifer Coolidge, Cheech Marin, Sonia Braga, Selena Tan, Alberto Isaac, D’Arcy Carden, Callie Hernandez, Desmin Borges, Steve Coulter and Lenny Kravitz.
Shotgun Wedding follows Darcy Rivera (Lopez) and her fiancé, Tom Fowler (Duhamel), as they make their last-minute preparations for their destination wedding in the Philippines. However, Darcy secretly would have preferred to have a simple, intimate ceremony, but Tom talked her into the elaborate beach nuptials, as he wants everything to be perfect and follow his family’s tradition.
As their eclectic families and friends gather and interact on the tropical island, it quickly becomes obvious why Darcy wanted to elope. But just as the friction between the couple and their relatives threatens to end the marriage before it even begins, the wedding is crashed by larcenous pirates, who take everyone hostage – except the missing bride and groom. Now it’s up to Darcy and Tom to stop arguing long enough to save their loved ones…assuming they don’t manage to kill each other first.
Lopez, Duhamel, Kravitz and Coolidge generously took the time earlier this month to talk about starring in Shotgun Wedding during press conferences over Zoom. The comedy, which was produced in part by Lionsgate, will begin streaming globally on Prime Video tomorrow, Friday, January 27.
Q: Jennifer (Lopez) and Josh, there hasn’t been a movie like this, which is a cat and mouse adventure, since Indiana Jones hit the airwaves. Why do you think audiences crave this cat and mouse chase of lovers in the adventure genre that you took on?
JD: I love the Indiana Jones comparison. I didn’t see that one.
JL: I saw more Romancing the Stone.
JD: It definitely does have that cat and mouse chase of the lovers. What I love about the movie, and what I think Jay Moore did such a great job on, is he wasn’t afraid to make this a big romp of a movie. We went there, and we knew it on the day. This felt totally different than anything I’ve done, and that’s what I loved about it. I thought that this this movie felt tonally and comically different than anything I’ve ever done.
JL: It’s a big, romantic comedy, but it’s more of a romantic kind of action movie. It’s an adventure. There’s so much that happens, but at the core of it, it’s about these families coming together.
My character, Darcy, and Josh’s character, Tom, are really figuring out who they are and how they’re going to make this marriage work, and if they can make this marriage work. That’s because they start off very different ends of the spectrum on what they want, not just from this wedding, but also from their relationship.
But along the way, with all of the things that they have to go through, which is outrageous and crazy, they really do discover each other and what they want.
Q: Jennifer (Lopez), if your father invited your ex to your wedding in real life, how would you handle that?
JL: I would like to think my dad wouldn’t do that. (Lopez laughs.) But we needed that in the movie, as we needed something to happen. But I don’t think my dad would ever do that, ever.
JD: But what if it was Lenny Kravitz, though?
JL: No, no, no, no…
JD: He’s a pretty cool ex-boyfriend.
JL: No, my dad’s not doing it; he’s really the quiet, calm dad. He doesn’t ruffle feathers.
Now, if you said my mom, then I would be like, “Oh, maybe.”
Q: It feels you improvised half of the script. What was it like working together?
JD: It really felt like we were a family, working together on a little filming project. I went over to where everyone else was staying and had dinner with them. They also had a giant basketball court and a giant pool.
Meanwhile, I was sitting up at my little place, thinking, did they put me up there by myself, so that I wouldn’t be hanging out too much? It was beautiful, but they were having dinners every night. But it was a it was a fun place; it was almost like a dorm.
JL: It was a beautiful setting. Then when you’d go to work and you’d work on these scenes together, it just felt like an extension of the fun; everybody felt super relaxed. I felt like every time Josh and I got to work with the rest of the cast, everybody was united, and it was great.
LK: I mean, Coolidge, come on. The adlibs of things that you won’t see, was even good stuff.
JC: I don’t remember doing that
LK: Well, you did.
JC: Well, I just remember there was a lot of jokes. I heard a lot of jokes when we were in the pool because we were in the pool for a long time. It didn’t seem like they were changing the water as much as we would have liked. So there were a lot of great jokes about that from everybody about that.
I have to say that of all my experiences on any film, I thought that was the best combination of people. Everyone got along, and there was not one weird thing. I mean, I owe it all to Jason.
We all stay in touch. Lenny called me (after Coolidge won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress – Limited or Anthology Series or Television Film earlier this monh for her role on the second season of the acclaimed HBO black comedy-drama anthology series, The White Lotus.)
Q: Jennifer (Lopez), what was it like creating the different dresses; was there serious thought there?
JL: Yes, there was. I really felt like the dress was not only a character in the movie, but also really represented what Darcy was going through. So I wanted it to start up where she was super uncomfortable. It was the biggest, most cumbersome, kind of beautiful dress, but also not her at all.
Then, she was more honest with Tom about who she was and what she wanted. She started becoming more herself and stepping into her own power and authenticity. So things also happened with the dress, and pieces started coming off.
Then by the end, she’s like this badass woman. She’s taken off the hair extensions and has a gun, and she’s like, “All right now! Everybody. Listen to me…
JD: “This is the wedding that I wanted!”
JL: “This is how it’s going to be! From now on, everybody’s going to behave themselves. Enough of this.”
With the dress, we had it basically in stages throughout the production. It would initially look like this. Then this piece will come off, and then this one. Then, when she does this and I say this, this will happen. So it was very calculated.
Q: If you had to break character because somebody said something so funny that you couldn’t hold it in any longer, who made you laugh?
JD: I remember the time when I said to you, Jennifer, that your hair looked like a Simpson. You broke character.
JL: Yes, we had this very emotional scene where I was like, “All our family can die!” He was like, “Your head looks like a square! You look like a Simpson!”
JD: I was like, “What do you want me to say?” She was accusing me of buying jeans from the ladies’ department. She said I looked like Stevie Nicks! You have to come back with something!
Q: Lenny, rock stars want to be actors, and actors want to be rock stars. You have perfected both things. What does acting give you that being on stage doesn’t?
LK: What I love about acting is that I get to collaborate and work with people. I serve a character, the script and the director.
When I make my music, I’m primarily in the studio by myself, playing the instruments, writing, producing. It’s my thing, it’s my expression. It’s a great relief to then go and work with people and have it not be about me and what I want.
It’s great to be there to serve the character, the script and the director. To be with beautiful people on this movie was great.
I think the most wonderful thing about this experience was that we all really enjoyed each other. We enjoyed being with each other. We lived together and enjoyed the process together.
It was a lot of fun at a very surreal time in this world in the beginning of COVID. We got to go to the Dominican Republic and have fun together and be creative. It was it was a very, very special time, and I think that we all had a lot of gratitude.
Q: Jennifer (Coolidge), you and Steve (Coulter) have great chemistry. Have you guys ever been married before? Where did that chemistry come from?
JC: I don’t know, but Steve just got married last year! We got along pretty good.
Steve is very unusual, but he does appreciate comedy girls. Some guys don’t like comedy girls, for whatever reason. They want you to be more serious. But Steve’s into it, which is nice. When you work with an actor who wants to banter with you, it’s great. He outdoes me, for sure.
But I’ve never been married. I’ve not lucky like Steve, and I didn’t find the love of my life. But he did.
Q: Jennifer (Coolidge), you’ve been in classic romantic comedies throughout your career, including Legally Blonde. Does Shotgun Wedding have what it takes to become that kind of classic?
JC: I think it does. I’ve always liked the high drama in these types of movies, as well as the combination of comedy and actually scary stuff happening at the same time. That really is my favorite kind of movie. But I haven’t been in a lot of those, with that combo.
But I do think this one has chemistry between Jennifer and Josh. They’re so good and entertaining together on screen. They’re extremely sexy people with, you know, high stakes. I’m not leaving you out, Lenny!
Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.
Here’s the trailer of the film.