As a finished film, Michael Showalter’s The Lovebirds is a blast. Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae make for a delightful pair of leads for the romantic comedy, and the adventure they’re on is both engaging and hilarious. It’s work that all involved can be proud of – but like any work, the experience making it had both real challenges in addition to wonderful, unique rewards.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the stars of The Lovebirds earlier this month, and my final question to the duo was a broad one, having them look back at the total experience of making the film, and single out some of their biggest takeaways. As you’ll see clicking play on the video above, the process of making the movie wreaked a bit of havoc with the stars’ circadian rhythms, but it also gave them the opportunity to explore one of the most special places in America:
Part of what makes The Lovebirds impressive on a story level is the fact that it almost entirely takes place over the course of a single night – but the word “night” is significant in that sentence because it required the production to operate odd hours. While anything set indoors could be shot at any time, the majority of sequences taking place outside had to be filmed after the sun had gone down.
Working like that would mess with anybody, and Kumail Nanjiani acknowledged that it was a challenge for him in the making of the new move. Addressing the first half of my question, the actor explained,
Considering that a great deal of the filmmaking process for an actor is patiently waiting around while also being consistently on call, it’s easy to see how night shoots may drive a person a little batty. Fortunately, the exhaustion that was apparently felt behind the scenes isn’t present in the movie at all (in fact, it’s actually surprising how totally alert the characters are throughout their all-night adventure – though that could be attributed to the adrenaline rush that comes with trying to solve a murder while simultaneously dodging the police).
Issa Rae agreed that doing all of the night shoots required for The Lovebirds wasn’t overly pleasant, but felt that the scales were balanced by the fact that during the production they were living in a remarkable place: New Orleans. Unlike some films, which shoot in the Louisiana city but ultimately have it stand in for another location, the new comedy is actually set in the Big Easy, and Rae loved that making the movie gave her the chance to spend some real time there:
It was a sentiment that was immediately echoed by Kumail Nanjiani, who was given his first chance to really explore New Orleans and embed himself in the special culture in possess:
The Lovebirds, which co-stars Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Moses Storm, and Kyle Bornheimer, is now streaming on Netflix. You can check out my full review of the film here, and head over to YouTube to watch my full interview with the stars.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.