The Wedding Ringer (due out in theaters on January 16, 2015) is a comedy about lovable but socially awkward groom-to-be Doug Harris (Josh Gad), who needs to impress his in-laws and pull off the perfect wedding. With less than two weeks until he marries the girl of his dreams (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), owner and CEO of Best Man, Inc., a company that provides best men for socially challenged guys in need. As the two of them try to fool everybody, a real friendship forms between Doug and his fake best man.
Back on October 17, 2013, Collider was invited, along with a handful of other press, to visit the set of The Wedding Ringer while they were shooting the big wedding scene at the Hollywood Methodist Church, and we were able to chat with some of the cast and filmmakers. During a group interview, actor Josh Gad talked about having known about this script for a long time, why the odd couple pairing of him and Kevin Hart just works, why he thinks Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting will have a career like Jennifer Aniston that transitions from sitcom star to film star, how Doug and Jimmy bring out the best in each other, and what it’s like to work with such a group of clowns. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Question: How did you get involved with this?
JOSH GAD: I got a phone call from Jeremy Garelick, who’s directing it. I had known about the script for a long time. It was called The Golden Tux, and it was a really famous, hilarious script that was just around town. Early on, I had heard that Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were gonna do it. And then, another pairing was gonna do it. So one day, I got a call that they wanted to do this reading to hear it out loud. Kevin [Hart] was attached, and they wanted me to play the other guy. I went in and we read it together, and it was immediately clear that it was just hysterical. There was something about the odd pairing of me and Kevin that just worked. It’s a very strange pair, but it really works.
What does it feel like to be in that circle of comedy pairings, as a Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, in this type of movie?
GAD: I really, really think that one of the things that makes comedy work so well, especially when you have a duo, is that chemistry and that odd couple thing, and Kevin and I really couldn’t be any more of an odd couple. There is just something about it, with the look of the two of us next to each other. I look at the pictures and I’m like, “One of these things is not like the other!” You get a real sense that it’s just inherently funny. We have different rhythms and different sensibilities when it comes to comedy, and I think that that’s the key for something like this. These characters are very different, and they’re differences that work together so well to make the entirety hilarious. So, the short answer is that I feel very honored to be in one of these things.
Did you ever think that you’d be paired up with Kaley Cuoco?
GAD: Yes, there were many nights that I sat at home . . . It’s an interesting question. No, I never gave it thought, prior to the casting. I’ve always loved Kaley. I often compare her to Jen Aniston because I think she’s going to have that kind of career, where she’s not only destined to be a sitcom star, but to have longevity on film, as well. And I’m so happy that we’re one of the first movies to exploit that ‘cause she’s so good. She’s playing a character that’s so fundamentally different from the one that she plays on The Big Bang Theory, and I think people are going to be really struck by that. It’s kind of a bitchy character, but in such a unique way that I think it’s hysterical.
How would you describe your character?
GAD: My character’s name is Doug Harris, and Doug is one of these guys who doesn’t have many close friends to call upon. He’s getting married to this very type-A personality, in Kaley Cuoco, and she insists on the perfect wedding. It’s all she dreams about. She wants nine bridesmaids and she wants him to have nine groomsmen to match that. The problem he has is that he doesn’t have one person to call in, to be a groomsman. So, in this last-ditch effort, out of despair, he finds this company called Best Man Inc., run by Kevin. He goes to him and says, “I need you to help me out here.” Kevin says, “Okay, I can be your best man, but it’s going to cost X, Y and Z.” And he says, “I don’t need a best man. I need nine groomsmen.” So, he gets a package called The Golden Tux, which is basically that he’ll hire nine people to pretend to be his best friends and create a history and build a past with him, essentially fooling your family and friends into believing that they are your groomsmen and that they are your friends from childhood. My character is desperate, but through Kevin and his relationship with Kevin, they come into each other’s lives, as is often the case with these films, at the perfect time and they help each other grow.
What do Doug and Jimmy bring out in each other?
GAD: Well, they bring out the best in each other, in that both of them are at a crossroads. Doug is questioning whether or not he’s settling for something that’s right for all the wrong reasons, and Jimmy is so immersed in the world of lying and trickery and being what everybody wants him to be that he doesn’t realize that he’s enough. He doesn’t realize that his friendship or relationship with someone could mean anything because he’s used to being a gun for hire. So, they help each other to get beyond those blocks that they both have, and that obstacles that they’re both facing.
Does Doug have any family?
GAD: Doug’s parents both passed away. It’s really much funnier than I’m making it. It’s sounding like the second act of Gravity, but it’s really quite a funny film. You have to see it when it comes out. Other than the premature death of both parents, it’s really funny. The problem is that he’s a loner. We establish in the film that he’s a loner. His dad is somebody who was an entrepreneur that traveled around all the time. He went from place to place to place. And Doug’s whole life has been about work and taking over the family business, once his dad passed away, so he’s all alone.
How does Kaley Cuoco even come into the picture?
GAD: Her father gets represented by Doug’s firm, and Doug, in particular. Doug is well-to-do. He’s got tons of money and he has great prospects. It’s one of those bad relationships that gets started for all the wrong reasons. It’s like, “This is the perfect guy for you because, as a dad, I won’t need to worry about you anymore.” That’s how they get forced into each other’s lives. And Doug being Doug, he never thought somebody like Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory could fall in love with him. Doug also watches a lot of CBS comedies. So, the two of them just settle, and that’s the worst thing that you can do. That what leads to all this trouble, to begin with.
When you’ve got people like Kevin Hart, Affion Crockett and you, there has got to be a lot of laughs and a lot of ad-libbing. Is there ever any competition there?
GAD: Oh, yeah! We all live to be the bigger idiot. You know how every class has its class clown? This class would be a Cirque du Soleil class. We’re all a group of clowns, but it’s great. You’re always in and out on these things. You come in and do your thing, get to know the actors briefly, and then you move on. You see them at some awards show, 10 years later, and you’re like, “Hey, we did something, right?” This is one of those things where I truly believe that the relationships that have been forged on this set are going to continue long after this is done because we’re all so happy around each other. We all bring out the best in everybody, except for Kevin because he’s an egotistical maniac.
The Wedding Ringer opens in theaters on January 16, 2015.