Shotgun Wedding Cast & Director Discuss the Action Romantic Comedy

Jan 25, 2023

In Shotgun Wedding, Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) gather their lovable-but-very-opinionated families (Cheech Marin, D’Arcy Carden, Jennifer Coolidge, Steve Coulter, Callie Hernandez) for the ultimate destination wedding, just as the couple begin to get cold feet. And if that wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone’s lives are in danger when the entire party is taken hostage.

“It’s a big romantic comedy, but it’s more of a romantic action movie,” said Lopez. “It’s an adventure. There’s so much that happens, but at the core, it’s about these families coming together. It’s about my character, Darcy, and Josh’s character, Tom, really figuring out who they are and how they’re going to make this marriage work. That’s because they start off at very different ends of the spectrum in regard to what they want; not just from this wedding, but from their relationship. 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.”
“What I love about it is that Jay Moore wasn’t afraid to make this a big romp of a movie,” added Duhamel. “He went there, and we knew it on the day. It felt totally different than anything I’ve done.”

“It was such a dream come true, in every aspect,” added Carden. “The script, the cast, the location, the director, every bit of it. I remember reading the script, and I just couldn’t read it fast enough. I love all the twists and turns. It’s fun to read a script for the first time because you’re almost like the audience. I was rooting for Tom and Darcy. It was so fun to read. I’m excited for people to see it.”

While the character of Tom is a bit of a Grooomzilla, Duhamel stated that that’s not a characteristic he shared with him when it came to his own wedding. “The wedding was in much better hands with [my wife] Audra conducting everything,” said Duhamel. “And the wedding was beautiful. It was almost like a surprise wedding in a way because I had no idea what half the stuff was going to be when I got there. She loved it, and she did a great job.”

Lopez, also recently married, stated that her husband, Academy Award-winner Ben Affleck, was a bit more hands-on with their wedding, both their elopement and reception. “He has an amazing eye and has incredible taste, said Lopez. “I think that’s why we ran off to Vegas. It took all the pressure off of the big family wedding that we were having. But everything we do we try and do it together.”

Take Me Down to Paradise City

Amazon Studios

Production brought filming to a resort in the Dominican Republic, creating a unique bonding experience for the cast. “I’ve never seen anything like it, said Moore. “It was like some sort of camp or dorm. I could feel every day [the cast] had all been together at night. I could feel like I missed a party last night. I was like, ‘Oh, they’re bonding more and love each other. The bonding that they had when they came in was really exceptional. It. It was. It was very unique and special. I’ve never had an experience like that.”

“That was the fun part,” laughed Marin, who plays Darcy’s father. “The only thing I regretted was that I should have read this script a lot closer. It said, ‘And they go in the pool and they’re there for 21 days.’ I was just hoping that all my body parts would go back to their original shape. We’re still hoping.”

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“Weirdly, that was one of the most fun parts,” said Carden. “I mean, I agree with you that if somebody said you have to live with your classmates, you might go, ‘Huh?’ But it was so wonderful and bonding and special. Especially during the pandemic where you weren’t really working as much and making new friends and eating meals together. It just made it even more special.”

“It was a special film, added Marin. “I’ve never had an experience like this. And I don’t want to have an experience like this because I want this to be unique.”

Selena Tan, who portrays Marge, the resort wedding planner, shared the sentiment about the filming experience.”It was great being able to work with everybody, said Tan. “And Jason made it easy. It’s just about being comfortable in the setting. I had so much time to bond with everybody. It really felt like we were a family sort of working together on a little filming project.”

Lopez felt that the pleasurable experience of filming can be seen on screen. “When you’d go to work, and you’d work on the scenes together, it just felt like an extension of the fun. And everybody felt super relaxed. I felt like every time we got to work more, just me and Josh. But when we got with the rest of the cast, and we had to get in the pool to Yeah, like everybody was just so kind of United. And it was yeah, it was great. I loved it.”

Steady Under Pressure

Moore admitted that he felt pressure working with a star of the caliber of Lopez, though it was self-imposed. “I put a lot of that pressure on myself,” he admitted. “I never got it from her. But we had such a fun collaboration that I also felt safe, It was just a wonderful collaboration. But yeah, the bar was really high, so I did a lot of meditating.”

Carden, who portrays Darcy’s father’s younger girlfriend, never saw any signs that Moore was under any pressure whatsoever. “[Jason] never sweat it, “she said. “That’s the thing with Jason. It was such a huge production with action and adventure and romance, but he was so calm and such a good communicator. I was was really impressed. He’s such a good director.”

Marin was impressed with Moore’s style of filming, who shot some scenes more like a play. “It was interesting because the camera was always moving, so you had to be ready for it to come into your little pod there at the right time when you’re saying your big line. You had to find out where your camera was because it’s going to be moving all the time. It’s a different way to do it. You don’t stand on the X and shoot over your shoulder.”

Like any film about a wedding, the dress plays a role in the movie, though according to Lopez, it carries a slighter deeper meaning here. “I really felt like the dress itself was a character in the movie,” she said. “It really represented what Darcy was going through. I wanted it to start out where she was super uncomfortable. It was the big and cumbersome, and kind of beautiful, but also like not her at all. And then as she went on and was more honest about who she was and what she wanted, and started peeling back the layers and becoming more herself and kind of stepping into her own kind of power and authenticity, that happened with the dress as well. Pieces started coming off and by the end, she’s this badass. She’s taken off the hair extensions, and she has a gun, and she’s like, ‘All right now, everybody listen to me!’ We had [the dress] in stages throughout the whole entire film. It was very calculated for sure.”

Cast of Characters

Moore found casting for the film to be a bit of a challenge, as there were numerous factors involved. “It was kind of a puzzle because you needed people who could be grounded and real, but also be funny and physical,” said Moore. “They also needed to be cool to be hanging out with for eight weeks, so I made a lot of phone calls like, ‘What’s this person like on set?’ I think we had cast Jennifer Coolidge, and then we needed her husband. So, finding ways that everyone kind of related to each other was really fun. Another thing I really wanted for this movie is that like at a wedding, sometimes you look around, and you realize these people would never all be in a room together for any other reasons I kind of wanted our cast to look like that too. Obviously, we got an amazing cast, even better than I had dreamed.”

“It’s one of the most enjoyable parts,” Moore continued. “I love actors and I love watching them discover and do things, so I try to set up a situation where they can shine, and they all do. Jennifer Coolidge is a runaway train. I had to like move away from the camera because I would be laughing I had the sound guy tell me once, ‘I can hear you’re laughing.’”

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Cast as Coolidge’s onscreen husband was Steve Coulter, who had nothing but praise for his co-star, “I just liked her,” he said. “I’d never met her before, but I already loved her work, and she just radiates. It’s that magical little thing of talent mixed with uniqueness.”

Coolidge, who portrays Tom’s mother, was equally as complimentary of Coulter. “Steve does appreciate comedy girls,“ said Coolidge. “He married a comedian. Some guys don’t like comedy girls, but Steve’s into it. So that’s nice when you work with an actor that wants to banter with you. And any outdoes me for sure.”

Darcy’s sister is portrayed by Hernandez, whose approach to humor is a bit drier than the rest of the cast. “Jason and I talked a lot about what exactly she how she kind of fit in. And that’s kind of what came out. It was important for her to be grounded. Am I like that? I don’t think so.” Moore was quick to point out that Hernandez was actually far from her character. “You have so much more heart. You had to cover it up, I think I said, ‘Shut that down. Shut that heart stuff down.”

Lenny Kravitz is cast as Darcy’s successful ex-boyfriend. The rock star, who is no stranger to the screen, having appeared in films like Precious, The Butler, and The Hunger Games saga, is happy to step away from music for a film like Shotgun Wedding. “What I love about it, is I get to collaborate,” said Kravitz. “Work with people, serve a character, the script, the director. When I make my music, I’m primarily in the studio by myself playing the instruments writing, and 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 how I want it. But to be there to serve. I love that and being with beautiful people. 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 we enjoyed the process together. I think that we all had a lot of gratitude.”

Shotgun Wedding will release globally on Prime Video on January 27, 2023.

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