Hulu has a new dark comedy film that will keep viewers laughing– and it’s so funny and ridiculous that even the star-studded cast could barely contain themselves during filming.
The film follows Lex (Anna Konkle) and Mani (Jermaine Fowler), a happily married young couple, running their dream artisanal bakery in LA and excited about starting a family together. While on a trip to a tropical island resort for a friend’s destination wedding that coincides with Lex’s ovulation cycle, it’s the perfect opportunity to try and conceive. But good vibes and high hopes are abruptly interrupted when Lex accidentally drops her friend’s baby in front of all their friends. Lex and Mani must decide if parenthood is for them.
Shadow and Act spoke with cast members Anna Konkle, Jermaine Fowler, Jillian Bell, Joshua Leonard, Jennifer Lafleur and Aparna Nancherla ahead of the film dropping (no pun intended) on the streamer.
S&A: What about the script made you want to be a part of the film?
Nancherla: I think it immediately just caught my attention because it’s so unlike anything I had ever read before: the incident of a baby being dropped. I think automatically raises a lot of emotions in a person and just sounds horrific. But then the fact that I learned its a comedy and like a dark comedy exploring kind of tropes that are associated with motherhood and what’s expected of women, and kind of a send-up of force majeure where it’s the worst thing a dad can do– that just all of that immediately got my attention. Then to hear just about the like comedic heavyweights involved, I had to say yes.
Fowler: I think if we’re being honest, I was very nervous to play it. I actually wanted to play a different role. I was more comfortable playing the more comedic characters. I’ve always played comedic characters, but it was the director, Sarah [Adina Smith], who wanted me to challenge myself. It was something I was curious about because I was raised by a lot of dudes who didn’t outwardly express themselves emotionally and I felt like that was something I connected to with the character. It was definitely a challenge because a lot of my character was reacting to the insanity around him and just not being able to process it.
Bell: Honestly, the title made me go, “Well, what was the drop? What’s that?”And I read the one-liner, and then I was like, “Well, I think I’m already in. I think I’d like to be a part of this weird idea [and] this weird film. And whoever was weird enough to think about it [was genius].” Then I read the whole sort of outline [of the] script, and I just found the idea of improvising a ton with a group of really talented human beings to be fun. I had done this actually once before and it was one of my favorite things to do. So I think the idea of going to Mexico with a bunch of really talented comedians and good humans, and being led by Sarah Adina Smith, who I would work with again and again–who was about nine months pregnant shooting a film, I just was so in awe of what we were about to do and embark on. And I’m so glad I got to do it.
Lafleur: Sarah Adina Smith is one of my favorite directors to work with. I will pretty much do anything with her anytime, forever and ever. And Josh Leonard is also a great old friend. So when Sarah and Josh, who wrote the script, approached me, they told me that they had actually written the role for me, and I was about seven or eight months pregnant at that time. They said they wanted my unborn child to play a baby that gets dropped. So after some reticence of just putting that out into the world of like…I was so afraid that I was going to drop her, which I kind of kind of did in our last day of filming after being dehydrated from food poisoning and exhausted. And it was hot. I passed out while holding her. And as I was going down, I had to contort my body as I was essentially going unconscious, and she was fine. But that was really my worst fear of signing on to a movie with my own actual baby about somebody dropping the baby. Something was bound to happen, and you know, it did–but it all worked out OK. Just like in the movie.
S&A: Was it difficult for you to stay in character with everybody being funny in their own right?
Leonard: Yeah. It’s one of the challenges, especially of improvised comedy and especially with a cast as hilarious and talented as this one, because you never know what joke is coming. With this group, everybody just one-upped themselves one tick after another. So just when you thought you could kind of like get through with a straight face and continue on with the motivation of the scene, someone would come up with a new, brilliant, hilarious, just completely wackadoo line every time the camera turned on. I think for me, what’s nice about the balance on a film like this is that it’s a comedic cast [and] it’s a comedic premise. But the kind of underlying tissue of the movie is really a love story and is really about exploring ourselves and our relationships with our partners in our relationships with ourselves. And so I think there was enough in there, hopefully, for everybody to lock them into the idea of it not just being a joke bag. This is like there is a real motivation underneath this, and that helps drive the story too I think.
Bell: I think that helps with the comedy, too. Some of the funniest moments are the parts that feel so real in a relationship. There’s like a scene where Anna’s brushing her teeth, I think…or is it Jermaine? I haven’t seen it since Tribeca [Film Festival], but I can’t wait to watch it again [laughs]. And it’s one of those things where you’re just sitting in the discomfort of the moment, and there are multiple times you’re uncomfortable, and then you break out with a huge uproarious laugh because you’re so that you’ve been there. Hopefully not dropping a baby, but you’ve been there in a relationship where the moments are so raw.
Fowler: I would say Jillian would make it the most difficult. She’s so funny. There were a thousand scenes where I think she was trying to make me laugh. It was so hard not to laugh. It’s such a dope cast. I would find certain scenes where I would watch them do their thing and that’s a tough time to keep it all in.
Lafleur: I mean, it felt like the good thing was Sarah kind of wrote the characters around people’s natural energies or just things you can lead into. And I feel like I can tap into some of that as an actor. So I do feel like the nice thing is a lot of people had improv backgrounds where it was easy to kind of get together and be able to bounce off of each other and play in the moment, which felt really fun.
Nancherla: I feel like I’m kind of amazed that we are all able to kind of stay really deeply in it and not laugh at how funny people would be when they would be trying out different things and playing with it. And then we would call cut, and we would all laugh and like rehash what we thought was so funny. But at the moment, I feel like we were all just kind of so deeply entrenched in these characters that we were able to kind of stay in it.
The Drop is now streaming on Hulu.