Amidst the salad dressing and rows of frozen oysters lining the perimeter of Breaux Mart, a grocery store located in a suburb of New Orleans, are Kathryn Hahn, Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell, tearing down an aisle of the supermarket at top speed. Hahn, wearing a bustier and an impressive fringed leather jacket is flanked by a ketchup-covered Kunis on one side, and a stereotypically suburban Bell on the other. It’s a strange and wonderful day on the set of Bad Moms, in which the three stars are tasked with dismantling a real-life grocery store. Throughout the course of the afternoon, the women gleefully rip cereal boxes off the wall and pour the contents into their mouths before mixing up a white russians in a milk jug for Hahn to chug. (Hahn does three enthusiastic takes of this, and I’m beyond surprised the comedienne doesn’t need a spit bucket.)
I’m witnessing one of the final days of the shoot, as the Bad Moms crew celebrates the impending wrap by embarking on some of the messiest (and most fun) days of shooting to gather footage for an epic and rebelliously destructive supermarket montage. The film centers on the trio of mothers: Amy (Kunis), Carla (Hahn) and Kiki (Bell); as they team up against a group of “perfect” moms played by Christina Applegate, Annie Mumolo and Jada Pinkett-Smith during a contentious PTA election.
Over the course of the food-filled day on set, I had a chance to talk to Hahn, Kunis and Bell along with writer/directors Scott Moore and Jon Lucas and producer Suzanne Todd about the shoot, the impetus behind writing the film and all the fun had on set. Check out some of the highlights of the visit below to learn all you can about Bad Moms before it hits theaters this July.
- Though the project will go to theaters under the title of Bad Moms, the film shot as The Untitled Scott Moore/Jon Lucas Project due to potential legal issues with the name.
- The film was shot in and around New Orleans, but will be set in Chicago.
- Mila Kunis will carry the emotional weight of the movie as Amy Mitchell, a beset upon mother who spends much of her time trying to be perfect until an encounter with the smug PTA moms causes her to snap. On the supporting side, Kristen Bell will play Kiki, a high-strung mess of a mother whose obsession with perfection has pushed her close to a breaking point, and Kathryn Hahn will play a free-wheeling single mom named Carla, who will help to bring some fun to Amy and Kiki’s overstressed and underappreciated lives.
- Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Annie Mumolo and Kristen Bell are all real-life moms, which meant a lot of children on set during shooting.
- Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann were originally slated to be part of the project, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
Scott Moore and Jon Lucas wrote the film as a tribute to their hard-working wives, and admitted to often vetting their script with them to keep it grounded in reality.
- Moore and Lucas explained that they moved on from the themes of male debauchery explored in The Hangover and 21 and Over largely because they “weren’t going to Vegas anymore,” and felt it was important to reflect their lives as they are now, as fathers.
- Bad Moms is the first time Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell have had a chance to team up since Forgetting Sarah Marshall nearly 10 years ago.
- Even with the careful consideration paid to their wives, the film’s producer Suzanne Todd was partly brought on by Lucas and Moore to help keep a female perspective on the set. She described the film as “a movie about how hard it is to be a mom.”
- Jon Lucas said casting moms wasn’t necessarily a priority, but was sure that the decision made quite a difference when it came to executing the comedy. The directors found that real-life moms don’t feel the need to play moms as “Hallmark sweet,” and instead allow themselves to be a little bit “more badass.”
- The casting process was extensive, but both Scott and Moore knew that Kristen Bell was perfect the minute she arrived at their first meeting, she was just as organized and together as the character she was meant to play.
- Kristen Bell wears a small block-bead necklace in the movie that was made for her by her real-life daughter. (Or, more accurately, she’s wearing recreations of the necklace the costume department rustled up for her. Movie magic, am I right?)
- Suzanne Todd said there were far more real-life story inspirations stories than could fit in the movie, leading the crew to joke about Bad Moms 2 and Bad Moms 3. There’s no word on the possibility of a sequel, but it’s clear there’s no shortage of material to work with.
- Though respect was paid to the script, Kathryn Hahn confirmed that there was plenty of improvisation on set. “Little of what she does is in the script,” said Jon Lucas. “But it’s all better than what’s in the script, so it’s okay. Half of comedy is just committing.”
- Just because the film is about moms doesn’t mean it’ll be wholesome. You can expect the same R-Rated sensibilities you’ve come to expect from Moore and Lucas in this one.
- Stay until after the end of the movie – Moore and Lucas promised some more Bad Moms fun will run during the end credits.
After getting to see Hahn, Kunis and Bell in action, I think it’s safe to say this is one to get excited about. Certainly watching half of the cast shoot a disjointed montage doesn’t give a fantastic idea of the kind of comedic sensibility the finished film will have, but as long as Scott Moore and Jon Lucas stick to a tone that’s more The Hangover and less 21 & Over, it looks like the two comedy minds have got a fantastic (female-driven!) comedy in store for us. Bad Moms is set to hit U.S. theaters July 28.