Amy Poehler’s “Wine Country” was never meant to be a “ladies ‘Hangover,'” says star Ana Gasteyer. It was supposed to be a film about female friendships and the deeply rooted connections women have with each other.
“Initially, you think of this movie as a ladies ‘Hangover’ — it’s interesting because it’s very much about connection,” Gasteyer told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven. “It’s less about going crazy and being wacky. Amy didn’t want to make that movie either. We have a relationship rooted in huge history and the connection as women and a huge amount of solidarity as weirdo female comedians who came in at a time where we were just breaking some ground for female comedians. It was important to us that it was about those sweet notes of female friendship in addition to the better known ‘catfight’ and ruckus partying of men.”
“Wine Country” stars Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Paula Pell, Tina Fey and Emily Spivey. The ladies go on a trip to Napa for a birthday, where they are forced to confront their issues and look past them for the sake of friendship. The film is based on actual trips the ladies take every year.
In the past, there have been rumors of catfights on sets of certain films that starred a large number of female leads. For example, there was speculation that the women of “Ocean’s 8” weren’t getting along, but those rumors were quickly shut down by cast members like Anne Hathaway. Gasteyer said, “that’s somebody else’s myth about women.”
“Women, especially women of my generation and all of the women in my peer group are juggling huge careers, family responsibility, partnerships,” she said. “A getaway with your girlfriends for three days is really not about fighting. It’s about connecting deep and laughing hard and finding that part of yourself that identifies itself outside of your commitments to your family and your job. That’s a huge — not to be cheesy — huge gift. We get it once a year, so for us, that’s really sacred.”
While Gasteyer didn’t learn how to properly do the floss dance during the production of the film, she did learn a few things about wine country itself.
“Wine country takes itself very seriously — the industry there is wine, and the production of the wine and the tannins and the notes and the conversation about wine is all very serious, so when you are there with seven comedian friends, it’s very hard to stay focused long enough to understand the grassy notes and the acidic aftertaste,” she said. “So we tended to make ourselves laugh before we got all the information we were supposed to get. Occasionally, I will ice a glass of wine, which is blasphemy in wine country. You are all but asked to leave… I also like to make a lot of noise about how expensive everything is – that’s my favorite game.”
“Wine Country” will start streaming on Netflix on Friday.
Watch the video above.