Photos by Manfred Baumann
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, MarVista Enetertainment’s newest romantic comedy, Daughter of the Bride, zeroes in on mom and daughter duo Diane (Marcia Gay Harden) and Kate (Halston Sage), who are also best friends. Their close dynamic gets thrown for a loop when Diane announces her engagement to Bruce (Aidan Quinn), who she’s been secretly dating for a number of weeks. Though Kate has hardly ever seen her mom commit to a long-term relationship (a habit she has also picked up), she carries on with wedding planning and learning to let her mom be happy. All the while, Kate must navigate her own love life and career aspirations.
Daughter of the Bride hits theaters and on-demand services on Feb. 3. But before its premiere, star Halston Sage caught up with Los Angeles Confidential to dive into the movie. Filmed over the course of a month, Sage describes the “fun” shoot as idyllic and that the New Jersey town—just about 30 minutes outside of Manhattan— felt almost like being on a backlot.
“When you see this type of movie taking place in a really quaint, cute town, you realize that everyone is going through some version of their love journey anywhere in the world.”
Read more from our conversation with Sage about Daughter of the Bride below.
One rom-com heroine essential is a cute apartment, and your character Kate continues that tradition. How does the space reflect who she is?
When we were designing Kate’s apartment, which was actually staged in a real apartment on location, we wanted to make sure that it felt representative of her love of plants and flowers and is youthful and a reflection of this transitional time in her life. She's at that age in between her late 20s and early 30s where everything around her is changing, and so we wanted it to feel a little bit hectic and chaotic like her actual life at the time.
What was it like to have Marcia Gay Harden as your mom?
Marcia is amazing. She has always been one of my favorite actresses. We both went to NYU, so I've admired her work for a long time. And she made it really easy before we started filming. She had cut fresh peonies from her garden upstate and brought them to where we were all staying and it just immediately established this amazing mother-daughter dynamic that we have in the movie. I would sign up for any project she's a part of.
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We’ve seen relationships of close moms and daughters on screen before. (I think of Gilmore Girls and John Tucker Must Die, among others.) What do you think makes Kate and Diane’s relationship special?
What really attracted me to this script was the mother-daughter dynamic because my mom and I are so, so close. And I think that relationship is so interesting because sometimes I think the people who are closest to you are the ones who can also hurt you the most and so I think to see that explored on film is really interesting and very real and relatable to anyone's experience with their own mother.
You have a scene where you're in a bridal gown and you have to sneak out of your apartment window. What was it like filming that scene?
I did one take. We have an amazing cameraman who got this amazing shot. And we had this great stunt coordinator who was helping not only teach me to jump out a window, but how to jump out the window in a dress that weighs about 50 pounds. It took two people to sew me into that dress every day. And it was a real wedding gown. I could not pee alone. I could not do anything alone when I was in this massive [dress.] The dress was a character itself.
[The apartment] was a walk up, first-floor unit and they had a fall mat that was a couple of feet high. So the actual jump from the window to the mat wasn't big, but it was harder to get the dress to fit through the window than it was to actually jump out of the window, which was hilarious in itself. When you're writing this, let's tell everyone it was 50 stories high. I pulled a Tom Cruise.
Do you have a favorite moment in the movie?
I love any scene with Marcia but, a scene that really stood out to me was on the paddleboards with Aiden Quinn towards the end of the film where he's encouraging me to take the leap into love and to allow it into your life and just because that means things will change, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's better to experience life with someone than without.
Is there anything else that you hope people learn from Kate?
I think I'm at the same age as Kate, and so I'm seeing so many of my friends get engaged or get married or have kids and sometimes it feels like the world is really changing around you. And during those times it's most important to lean on the people that you love the most and whether it's your mom or your dad or your brother or your sister or a friend, it's really important to keep those people close to you and to grow with them.
Kate is the protagonist, but it's her mom who is getting married and has this whirlwind romance. Why is it important to see love stories on screen about people who aren’t twenty, thirty-somethings?
I think that love can exist at any age and it's very hopeful and inspiring, I think, when you see something that we're not used to seeing in these types of films. It's fun and it's unique and it's fresh and everyone deserves a happy ending.
I'm excited for everyone to see it. These are the types of movies I grew up watching that made me want to be an actress, so I've been really excited to finally start working on more rom-coms and comedies. And take your mom, take your grandma, take your sister to see it!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Photography by: Manfred Baumann