Glenn Close, Peter Facinelli, Grace Van Patten, & Damian Harris dish about 'The Wilde Wedding' on-set fun

Philip Louie


Oscar-nominated actress Glenn Close and SAG-nominated actor Peter Facinelli stopped by BUILD Series recently to promote the new romantic-comedy film, "The Wilde Wedding." They were joined on-stage by fellow co-star Grace Van Patten, alongside the director of the film, Damian Harris.

Close plays Eve Wilde, a retired movie actress on the cusp of her fourth wedding to Harold Alcott played by Sir Patrick Stewart. Their respective families come together at Eve's estate for a weekend of celebration. The only catch is, Wilde's first husband, Laurence (John Malkovich) is there as well. The awkwardness and hilarity that ensues makes for a crazy summer weekend for everyone as they question their current status and relationships.

During the lively conversation, the stars previewed what we can expect from their characters. Close shared what sold her into playing the lead role in the film.

"I think what attracted me was the overall wonderful story. I thought it was very, very funny, and very kind of human and real, and I thought it was very cool to be in a romantic comedy at my age, and to be with Patrick [Stewart] and John [Malkovich] who I've done different things with in a very different context was exciting."

Facinelli plays Ethan Darling, the uncommitted, free spirited son of Close's character.

"He's the wild child of the Wilde family. So that's a lot of fun to play when you have material like that to play. It's hard for me because I'm not cool as that character. So I had to dig deep. What I was drawn to besides working with the immense talent and working with Damian [was the fact that] you had this multi-generational family and not only you explore the dysfunctionality but also the love you have all through life," said Facinelli.

Facinelli's co-star Van Patten plays the young yet wise Mackenzie Darling, the 17-year old granddaughter of Close's character. She thoroughly enjoyed playing this part, citing some similarities to Mackenzie. She explained to the audience what the motives of her character were in respect to the plot of the film:

"It was super fun! Actually when I read the script, it got me really excited because I recently found all these videos that I use to make when I was a lot younger than she is in the movie. She's filming the events leading up to the wedding and trying to capture her family's craziness. I found all my old little videos of you know, putting the camera to my parents' faces and probably annoying them. All of them were embarrassing. They were insane! I think Mackenzie knew what she was doing a little more and she was taking it very seriously and wanted to know the information she was asking her family. I think she has a lot of interest in it and she thinks in that aspect, her family is very dysfunctional when it comes to love.

The trio is just a fraction of the stars you'll see in the film. Having a big ensemble cast made for fun times during production and also when the cameras weren't running. Facinelli revealed that the cast would regularly play rounds of backgammon with each other.

"We played backgammon and she's [Close] very competitive! I would be losing and she would just give me these evil laughs while I was losing. And before she even won, I knew I was going to lose. Just staring across Glenn and rolling the dice and I was like 'I've already lost this game already.'

"I think I'm just pretty much competitive naturally. Backgammon has been in my family for generations. Growing up, if you could beat my dad, you were really happy," says Close.

Sounds like Close inherited her father's winning ways!

Besides all the fun and games, the overall on-set vibe was very lighthearted as Harris continued:

"It was a happy set because it was in one environment. Everybody had relationships. They got on together. We have a few scenes where everyone was there, all 24 people, and the crew would be ready but they would all be talking amongst themselves and I call 'Action,' and they would keep talking amongst themselves. So I actually had to slap my hands and say 'We're actually filming. Can we start the scene?,' and they'd go 'Oh, okay, begrudgingly.'"

The cast got to hang out in one big house rather than their own individual trailer, which Facinelli went on and elaborated:

"There was a little room downstairs in the basement that we all kind of hung out with each other. We became a family. When people weren't filming, they were down in the basement hanging out with each other."

"That's where the food was," Close interjected.

"It felt very much like a family. It was nice," Facinelli concluded.

You can catch Glenn Close, Peter Facinelli, and Grace Van Patten in "The Wilde Wedding" in select theaters and VOD starting Friday, September 15th!