Jennifer Lopez has a great deal of experience in wedding planning angst, both on and off the screen, especially in her latest movie, Shotgun Wedding, a mixture of comedy, romance, and dramatic action.
The 53-year-old Lopez, actress, singing sensation, dancer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, has teamed up with longtime producing partners Benny Medina and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, (Maid in Manhattan and Marry Me).
The movie, a zany comedy, and heartfelt romp, premieres on Prime Video on January 27.
With Josh Duhamel as her groom, and a bridal party filled with a stellar ensemble cast, including Cheech Marin, Lenny Kravitz, Steve Coulter, and Jennifer Coolidge, Shotgun Wedding puts a spin on the typical romantic comedy with an action-adventure twist.
The film follows Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) as they gather their lovable-but-very-opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding, just as the couple begins to get cold feet.
As if all of this wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, the wedding party is taken hostage suddenly, endangering everyone’s lives. The high drama onscreen inspired a party-centric atmosphere during filming that led the star-studded cast to bond more closely with each other.
The film’s director, Jason Moore, said, “Oh, look, every day they’re bonding more, and it shows in the movie. You’re around people who love each other in the movie. It’s really great!”
He said the camaraderie he felt made the film production feel like the ensemble atmosphere of a play. “This is why I was calm because the scene was actually happening. Everyone was on all the time because they were on camera most of the time because we were all so close together. There was an energy to it that I really fed off of, and I think works great for the movie.”
Knowing it was a Jennifer Lopez movie, Moore said he put a lot of that pressure on himself, but he never felt it from his accomplished leading lady. “I felt safe that I could say to her things I don’t understand. It was just a wonderful collaboration. But, yes, the bar was really high, so I did a lot of meditating.”
The words “Until Death Do Us Part” take on a whole new meaning in this hilarious, adrenaline-fueled adventure as Darcy and Tom must save their loved ones – that is, if they don’t kill each other first.
Read on for what Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel enjoyed about playing a betrothed couple and how each of them could relate the movie to their personal recent wedding experiences.
Monsters and Critics: We haven’t seen a movie with this cat-and-mouse antics since Indiana Jones hit the airwaves. Why do you think audiences crave this adventure genre that you went on?
Josh Duhamel: I love the Indiana Jones comparison.
Jennifer Lopez: I saw it as more like Romancing the Stone.
Josh Duhamel: What I love about the movie and that [the movie’s director] Jay Moore did such a great job on is that he wasn’t afraid to make this a big romp of a movie. We went there. We knew it on the day, and totally this felt different than anything I’ve done. That’s what I loved about it. He always talked about squeezing a little lemon on that sugar. So, I thought that this movie felt totally comedically different than anything I’d done.
Jennifer Lopez: It’s a big, romantic comedy, but it’s more of a romantic action movie. It’s an adventure. There’s so much that happens. But at the core of it, it’s about these families coming together and my character, Darcy, and Tom, really figuring out who they are and how they’re going to make this marriage work and if they can make this marriage work.
They start off at very different ends of the spectrum on what they want, not just from this wedding but from their relationship. Along the way, with all of the things that they have to go through, which is outrageous and crazy, they discover each other and what they want.
M&C: It’s so funny because both of you got married after filming this movie. I’ve got to know, Josh, were you a groomzilla?
Josh Duhamel: My [October 2022] wedding was beautiful. It was almost like a surprise wedding in a way because my wife Audra Mari planned everything. I had no idea what half the stuff was going to be. When I got there, I was like, “Oh, look at this.” Just what everyone out there wants to hear. I was working, but she loved it, and she did a great job. Yes, it was fantastic.
M&C: Jennifer, how did you plan a wedding with Jason Moore, an Oscar-winning director?
Jennifer Lopez: It’s a collaboration. Jason has an amazing eye; he has incredible taste. I think that’s why my husband [Ben Affleck] and I ran off to Las Vegas [in July 2022] and got married there first. It took all the pressure off of the big family wedding [in August 2022] that we were having. But everything we do, we try and do it together. Ben actually helped out with it; he helped to plan the whole thing.
Josh Duhamel: But not the big party one, did he?
Jennifer Lopez: The big party one Ben and I did together. Yes, we did the meetings together. Planning a wedding is a lot. It is very stressful.
Josh Duhamel: Yeah, no joke.
Jennifer Lopez: As you can see from this movie.
M&C: If your father invited your ex-husband to your actual wedding, how would you handle it? Are you calling the FBI first?
Jennifer Lopez: My dad wouldn’t do that. But we needed that element in the movie. We needed something to happen. My dad, in real life, is the really quiet, calm dad who doesn’t ruffle feathers. Now, if you said my mom, then I would be like, “Oh, maybe.” [She joked].
M&C: Talk about the backdrop for the movie in the picturesque Dominican Republic.
Jennifer Lopez: It was a beautiful setting. So, when you’d go to work, and you’d work on these scenes together, it just felt like an extension of the fun. Everybody felt super relaxed. We got to work more just me and Josh, but when we got with the rest of the cast, and we had to get in the pool, too, it was like everybody was just so kind of united, and it was great. I loved it!
M&C: I have to know, did you have to break character because somebody said something that you could not hold it in any longer?
Josh Duhamel: I remember the time when I called Jennifer’s hair a square that looked like a Simpson.
Jennifer Lopez: Oh, yes, we had this very emotional scene where I’m like all our family could die blah, blah, blah, and he’s like, “Your head looks like a square head, you look like Simpson.”
Josh Duhamel: She was accusing me of buying jeans from the lady’s department. She said I looked like Stevie Nicks.
Jennifer Lopez: Oh, Stevie Nicks, I thought I said Sheryl Crow.
M&C: What I love about any Jennifer Lopez project is that nothing is an accident. Whether it’s the music, the video, a movie, or a TV show, everything is so thought out. So, walk us through the different wedding dresses and their meanings. I know there was some serious thought behind that.
Jennifer Lopez: There really was. I really felt like the dress itself was a character in the movie, but also really represented what she was going through. I wanted it to start off where she was super uncomfortable. It was the biggest, most cumbersome, kind of beautiful but also not her at all.
Then as she went on and was more honest about who she was and what she wanted and started kind of peeling back the layers and becoming more herself, she kind of stepped into her own power and more of her authenticity. I think that happened with the dress, as well, with pieces that started coming off.
M&C: And how would you say that your character evolved in Shotgun Wedding?
Jennifer Lopez: By the end, she’s like this bada** and she’s taking off the hair extensions, and she has a gun, and she’s like, “All right now, everybody listen to me. This is how it’s going to be. From now on, everybody’s going to behave themselves. Enough of this.”
You’re right. We had it basically in stages throughout the whole entire thing. It would look like this, and then this piece would come off, and then this one. So, for sure, it was very calculated.
Shotgun Wedding premieres on Friday, January 27, on Prime Video.