There’s something sacred about the best friend handshake. Over the years, there have been some unforgettable scenes on screen that show off its power – whether it be Troy and Abed’s from Community or with a young Lindsey Lohan in 1998’s The Parent Trap. In HBO Max’s new original comedy Unpregnant, Haley Lu Richardson and Euphoria's Barbie Ferreira have a seriously great one to add to the books. Sure, it features hand slaps, but also a little bit of the robot and a line in Klingon.
When speaking to the cast about Unpregnant, I asked Five Feet Apart star Haley Lu Richardson and director Rachel Lee Goldenberg about the secret behind the handshake. It turns out there was a ton of thought that went into it. Check out our discussion below:
No wonder Haley Lu Richardson was naturally going into the movements of the handshake the director had her and Barbie Ferreira make it up as a “friendship exercise” leading up to production of the film. Before the cameras rolled, they were given time to come up with it themselves and then told to recreate the handshake every time they saw each other. And it's actually pretty lengthy, clocking in at around 15 seconds.
Because Unpregnant picks up with Veronica (Richardson) and Bailey (Ferreira) in high school where they’ve since grown apart, when they bust out the handshake out of nowhere on their road trip, it's a great device to show off their history together. After Bailey catches Veronica taking a pregnancy test at school and it turns out positive, Veronica, in desperation, asks her to drive her from Missouri to New Mexico to get an abortion. They’ve become estranged over the years, but the trip gives them ample time to reevaluate why the ex-besties are no longer close.
Haley Lu Richardson shared with CinemaBlend how proud she and Barbie Ferreira are of the handshake. Here’s a bit of the competition they were working with while researching for their rehearsal:
There are so many great ones! The Unpregnant handshake gets a leg up here because Bailey is behind the wheel during the sequence and they work in “Best Friends” in the Star Trek language Klingon at the end, and they even learned some extra lines in that tongue. Richardson told us it was tough to nail those lines in particular and learned some specificity about the Star Trek fandom.
Richardson and Ferreira got to know each other on set of the fun flick that has debuted on Rotten Tomatoes at 91%. You can read out our review of it and listen to CinemaBlend’s podcast ReelBlend interview director Rachel Lee Goldenberg in their latest episode. Unpregnant is available to stream now on HBO Max. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more exclusive interviews.