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, actress Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting talked about playing a bit of a Bridezilla, working on a set with so much ad-libbing, how lucky she feels to work with so many funny people, both in this film and on her hit TV series The Big Bang Theory, getting the role after co-writer/director Jeremy Garelick’s wife (who she takes spin class with at the gym) suggested her, the process for finding her character’s wedding dress, and that she’d like to see her TV show run as long as possible. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Question: This role sounds like it’s quite different for you, in that your character is not the most likable person in the world, unlike your character on The Big Bang Theory. Would you say that’s accurate?
KALEY CUOCO-SWEETING: She doesn’t turn unlikable until the end of the movie. She’s more annoying, instead of unlikable. It opens with their relationship very, very cute, and it turns dark. As the movie goes on and the stress of the wedding increases, she gets a little bit scarier.
Is she a Bridezilla?
CUOCO-SWEETING: I guess she kind of is. There are moments where it naturally comes out, and it worked for the character. So, she has a little bit of Bridezilla in her, for sure.
How much fun is it on set, when you have a bunch of guys who are going off script, goofing around and being funny, and you get to ad-lib?
CUOCO-SWEETING: It’s been great. It’s an open, free set. There is a lot of ad-libbing, which is my favorite thing to do. Josh [Gad] and Kevin [Hart] are so hilarious. You never know what they’re going to say, or what kind of take they’re going to give you, so you have to be ready, every time. It’s been a lesson in comedy. It’s actually been a total blast.
You work with a great ensemble on The Big Bang Theory, and you have a very different ensemble here. Is it creatively inspiring to work with a new group of funny people to keep those skills sharpened?
CUOCO-SWEETING: Yeah. I think any time that you’re lucky enough to be on a series for as long as we have, you get comfortable and things are very easy. Things come very easily, the way I work off the guys. It’s a natural thing. To do that 90% of the time, and then to jump in with a different group of people, who are just as funny, in their own way, definitely ups my game. It makes me think, “Oh, I can do something else and I can work with other people.” It’s just a new experience. It makes me love comedy as much as I originally did because, being able to work with so many funny people, I’m just very lucky.
CUOCO-SWEETING: I think we all have a little geek inside of us, especially with the stuff we do on Big Bang. It’s seeping into my brain, and I didn’t even know it.
When you read the script, what was it about the story that stuck with you?
CUOCO-SWEETING: The script is hilarious, and it’s been circling around for years. It’s been renamed. To be honest with you, I owe this whole thing to Jeremy Garelick’s wife. His wife and I go to the same gym and take spin together, and she said, “Jer’s doing the greatest movie. You’ve gotta be the lead girl.” She called him, right then, and said, “I ran into Kaley and thought she’d be so great for this,” and he called the next day. I didn’t know if we could work it out with the show, but she was the first person to plant the seed. When I read the script, I was laughing out loud. Imagining Josh and Kevin made it even funnier. This is my dream. Unfortunately, the show is not going to last forever, even though we would like it to, and this is the path that I would like to go on. I love this big, silly comedy stuff. It’s my favorite.
How long would you like to see the show run?
CUOCO-SWEETING: We’d like to see the show run as long as it possibly can. I would like to break a record. We have a lot of stories to tell. I feel like it’s getting funnier and funnier, and bigger and bigger. When a show starts dipping off, maybe that’s the last year, but we seem to only be climbing and gaining more audience. It’s the most amazing job a person could ever have. I can’t even call it a job. It’s a dream. I want to stay there as long as I can. I will stay as long as they’ll keep us.
What is Josh Gad like, as an acting partner?
CUOCO-SWEETING: To be honest with you, and this is not taking away from Big Bang because we just have a blast there, but Josh might be one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, in my life. He is so hilarious, and we’re very similar and kindred spirits. He’s so goofy, and I’m so goofy. He’s just so great to work with. He ad-libs. He’s constantly poking me and making fun of me.
What’s it like to work in front of a live audience versus filming a movie like this?
CUOCO-SWEETING: Josh keeps giving me shit. He’s like, “Kaley, I know you don’t have a studio audience to laugh at all your jokes, but you’re going to have to take it down a bit.” I love the studio audience. That’s where I feel the most at home. You know right away, if you’re being funny or not. This has been a whole new experience for me. I must say that I like the movie thing, but it’s quite different.
How were you able to work this out with the show?
CUOCO-SWEETING: I’m very lucky. It was a little challenging, at first, but all of the producers, the network and everyone involved made it work for me, including Chuck Lorre. They knew that was important, and they worked the dates out.
How do you think your Big Bang fans will react to this meaner character?
CUOCO-SWEETING: I think they will like it. It’s funny. It’s big comedy. I think a lot of people are going to like this movie, not just Big Bang fans. You’ve got the nerd element, the blond girl element, the wedding element, and Kevin Hart. There are a lot of elements that make this hysterical.
Having played William Shatner’s daughter, do you have any great stories from working with him?
CUOCO-SWEETING: Bill is awesome. He’s been doing this forever. He’s very professional. He wants to get in and get out, and do his job. He’s a ton of laughs. We’ve been planning to go riding together. He has horses and so do I, so we’ve been trying to make plans to do that. We’re another kind of kindred spirits. He’s down to earth. He’s experienced and had big success, and managed to keep as private as he can. I like that.
Was there a process for finding this particular wedding dress?
CUOCO-SWEETING: I only tried five on, actually, and they really liked this one. It worked with my character and the theme of the Catholic wedding and the church. It just worked for the environment.
Speaking of weddings, would you like to see your Big Bang character in a wedding?
CUOCO-SWEETING: Yes! I would, absolutely! I’m old-fashioned. It would be amazing if Leonard and Penny ended up together and married. That would be the cutest thing, ever. I don’t know if that’s the way we’ll go because we’ve done a wedding on the show. But we’ve got many more years to go, and you never know what they’re going to throw at us.
The Wedding Ringer opens in theaters on January 16, 2015.