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 flattering best men for socially challenged guys in need. As the two of them try to pull off the perfect wedding, 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. And while the film is clearly a comedy, everyone involved stressed the fact that it is also about friendship and the bromance between Doug and Jimmy. Hit the jump to find out more about what we learned on set.
While on set, we participated in interviews with Kevin Hart, Josh Gad and Kaley Cuoco, along with co-writer/director Jeremy Garelick and producer Will Packer, and learned a bit about what to expect from the movie and these characters. I’ve listed the highlights as 18 things to know.
18 Things to Know About The Wedding Ringer
- The film came from a true story that co-writer/director Jeremy Garelick experienced when someone he went to high school with called him out of nowhere, years later, and asked him to be in his wedding party. He then pitched the idea to friend/co-writer Jay Lavender, who loved it, and they wrote it together over a decade ago.
- In the years before it finally went into production, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were gonna do it, and then, another pairing was gonna do it, before eventually landing on Kevin Hart and Josh Gad.
- Hart and Gad were brought onto the film before Garelick was hired to direct his script.
- Hart wanted to get involved because he felt it was something very different from the characters that he’s had the opportunity to play, and he was excited about the chance to broaden out and show some range.
- Working with Todd Phillips taught Garelick that, if you’re doing a funny movie, the most important thing to do is put funny people in it, and then your work is 90% done.
- When it came to improvisation, they wanted to take what’s on the page and allow the actors to encompass and enhance the characters that are there, and just keep making the script better and better.
- Hart’s character, Jimmy, runs a company called Best Man Inc., that provides best man services for guys that don’t have any friends and who are about to get married. They offer the ultimate package, The Golden Tux (which was the film’s original title), that gets you the groomsmen, the best man, a bachelor party, and everything that you need to make it appear as though you have friends.
- Gad’s character, Doug, is moments away from getting married to the girl of his dreams, and there are all of these expectations from her and the bride’s family that he can’t meet because he doesn’t have any friends who could be his best man and groomsmen.
- On the page, Doug is your typical lovable loser who you want to root for to win because he’s way over his head, and Gad brings this character to life with a level of earnestness that really gives the character layers and depth, so that you truly get invested.
- Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting’s character is very type-A and so fundamentally different from the one that she plays on The Big Bang Theory.
- Cuoco-Sweeting was cast after Garelick’s wife, who takes spin class with her at the same gym, suggested her for the role.
- Gad compares co-star Cuoco-Sweeting to Jennifer Aniston because he thinks 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.
- Cuoco-Sweeting got engaged during the shoot, the unit publicist got married during the shoot, and producer Will Packer had proposed a couple of weeks before they started shooting, so wedding bells were definitely in the air of the production.
- They only tried five wedding dresses before deciding on the one in the film, which is strapless with lace and tulle, because it just worked with the character and the theme of the Catholic wedding.
- This is not your typical wedding movie. It’s more of a raucous, in-your-face, absurd comedy that has some great set pieces and some broad moments. Going into production, they talked more about The Hangover than any actual wedding movie.
- This movie is less about weddings and more about a friendship/bromance between two guys, and what it means to have true friends that aren’t just social media friends.
- Producer Will Packer says that the chemistry between Kevin Hart and Josh Gad is not unlike what you see with Will Smith and Kevin James in Hitch.
- Even with all of the work that he’s doing, Hart isn’t worried about getting stretched too thin because he controls all aspects of his career. He sees himself as comedic relief for his fans, and believes that it’s hard to get sick of what’s funny.
The Wedding Ringer opens in theaters on January 16, 2015.