Miranda Tapsell on Using Popular Romcoms to Shift the Gaze for ‘Top End Wedding’

     February 10, 2019

We’ve covered a good deal of challenging, heavy dramas at Sundance this year, but if you’re looking for some lighter and more fun-loving, keep an eye out for Top End Wedding. Miranda Tapsell co-wrote the script and also stars in the movie as Lauren. When her boyfriend Ned (Gwilym Lee) proposes, they’re given just 10 days to arrange the wedding of their dreams. They’ve got tons of support from Lauren’s friends back home and even her boss, but there’s one major thing missing from the equation – Lauren’s mother. When Lauren and Ned get to the Top End of Australia to celebrate their big day, they find out that her mother is missing, having run off to the far north.

With Top End Wedding having its World Premiere screening at the Sundance Film Festival, Tapsell, Lee and director Wayne Blair all flew in for the event, and took a little time to sit down with us at the Collider Studio in Park City. We talked about what inspired Tapsell to tell this story, which scenes they almost couldn’t finish because they couldn’t stop laughing, why Tapsell needed to study up on other wedding movies, and so much more. You can hear about all of that and watch the gang play a round of “Would You Rather” in the video interview at the top of this article. There’s also a full interview breakdown for you below.

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Image via Kia Motors

I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.

Libations were also flowing at the Collider Studio with parties hosted by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort lead by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners active during the day included mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first “virtual reserve.”

Wayne Blair, Miranda Tapsell & Gwilym Lee:

  • Welcome to Sundance! The group had just arrived in Park City.
  • Did they get any Sundance tips before the festival?
  • What is Top End Wedding about?
  • Did Tapsell write the lead role with herself in mind?
  • How did Blair get involved in the project?
  • How familiar was Lee with this region of Australia?
  • The importance of introducing viewers to a new culture through Top End Wedding.
  • Tapsell is now a wedding movie pro.
  • Top End Wedding has a huge supporting ensemble; which roles stand out for Blair, Tapsell and Lee?
  • The adorable dogs in the movie.
  • Who do they turn to when they need a little support in real life?
  • When it comes to the humor in the movie, what scene was the toughest to get done without laughing?
  • Would You Rather begins!
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Image via Sundance

Here’s the official Sundance description for Top End Wedding:

Lauren and Ned are engaged. They are in love. And they have just 10 days to find Lauren’s mother (who has gone AWOL somewhere in Australia’s remote far north), reunite her parents, and pull off their dream wedding. In this heartfelt romance, director Wayne Blair takes viewers on a sweeping journey from the big city to the Top End of Australia, culminating in a beautiful story about returning home.

Immediately after her engagement, Lauren rushes home to learn her mother has left her father and disappeared. Following a hilarious trail of evidence, she soon finds herself on a path that will not only reveal where her mother has gone but also help solve a long-standing mystery about her mother’s past. Homecomings can be stressful, and the fear of being rejected can keep someone away. But in Top End Wedding—which was co-written by lead actress Miranda Tapsell—returning home is a bittersweet, heartfelt journey with song and dance, making you wonder why you’ve stayed away for so long.

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