Kristen Bell, Ben Platt recall most embarrassing memories from social gatherings: 'There were a lot of awkward silences'

Published on Nov 08, 2022 07:00 AM IST

Kristen Bell and Ben Platt talk about their new Prime Video film The People We Hate at the Wedding and the most awkward social settings they have been in.

Kristen Bell and Ben Platt in a still from The People We Hate at the Wedding.
Kristen Bell and Ben Platt in a still from The People We Hate at the Wedding.

Kristen Bell and Ben Platt have carved a niche for themselves by doing some of the funniest shows and films out there over the years. So, when the twain meets in the upcoming rom-com The People We Hate at the Wedding, it is expected to be a rollercoaster filled with laughter. The film sees them play siblings reluctantly going for the wedding of their third estranged sister, leading to several funny and awkward situations. The two stars spoke to Hindustan Times about the film, their chemistry, and the real-life awkward situations they have been in. Also read: Black Adam rumoured to be banned in China over cast member Pierce Brosnan's Dalai Lama meeting

Excerpts:

The film heavily depends upon the chemistry your two characters have. How did you develop it prior to filming?

Kristen: I was pretending to have chemistry with Ben for years and years before he knew of my existence. I am about the number one Ben Platt fan. So, I had to pull back on my intensity when I worked with him. We watch everything he is in. My daughters are obsessed with him. I felt I was coming in with a very well-formed relationship.

Ben: I felt the same. I have loved Kristen from afar forever and we are both musical theatre nerds and I felt like there was a shared wavelength that was just there. I felt I had known her longer than I had. It was one of the easiest, brightest parts of the whole experience.

So, you did not get the stalker vibes that Kristen is talking about?

Ben: No, I just got a lot of warmth and love.

Kristen: But I played it really cool. It’s one of my best acting jobs ever--being cool around Ben Platt. (laughs)

The show is about awkward situations at a wedding and feeling like unwanted guests at a social gathering. I want you two to jog your memories and recount the most awkward you have felt at a social gathering?

I recently went to a bachelor party for a friend of mine, who I love very much. But I am his only friend who is not a fraternity brother. So, I didn’t have a ton to connect on. It was seeing a football game, going to a sports bar and watching more football games, and then drinking beer. I felt a little out of place. I navigated ok but there were a lot of awkward silences.

I observe awkward situations from afar and the closer I get, I get second-hand embarrassment. Then, I go to bed really early so I leave before anything gets awkward. So, even at family dinners, I am a big fan of what you call the Irish goodbye. As soon as I sense things getting awkward, I slink into the background and I don’t say goodbye to anyone.

The film has a very 90s, 2000s’ wedding-themed romantic comedies vibe that the audiences loved two decades ago. Did you draw inspiration from that?

Kristen: I felt that too. The script read really well. And also, Claire Scanlon, our director has the ability to ground films in what you saw in the 80s and 90s, like a John Huges kind of vibe, pairing that with a modern-day situation.

Ben, how did you manage to hold your laughter on the sets while filming? All the performers are hilarious so how did you manage to film those comedy scenes without taking 20 takes?

Ben: The answer is that I failed. I laughed, particularly in scenes with Kristen and with Karan Soni, who plays my boyfriend in the film. He is such a brilliant improviser and he did so many hilarious improvisations that it tickled my funny bone a lot.

Claire Scanlon, and written by Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux, The People We Hate at the Wedding also stars Allison Janney, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Dustin Milligan, Isaach De Bankolé, Karan Soni, Tony Goldwyn, Jorma Taccone, Julian Ovenden, and John Macmillan in pivotal roles. The film releases on Prime Video on November 18.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Abhimanyu Mathur is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. He writes about cinema, TV, and OTT, churning out interviews, reviews, and good old news stories.

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