Actress-turned-filmmaker Amy Poehler is thankful to local officials in Calistoga, California for allowing her to shoot new comedy Wine Country in the city so soon after 2017’s devastating wildfires. The Inside Out star made her directorial debut with …
Actress-turned-filmmaker Amy Poehler is thankful to local officials in Calistoga, California for allowing her to shoot new comedy Wine Country in the city so soon after 2017’s devastating wildfires.
The Inside Out star made her directorial debut with the upcoming Netflix movie, about a group of girlfriends who head to Northern California for a boozy 50th birthday celebration, but she reveals a number of potential filming locations had to be scrapped after suffering severe damage in the October, 2017 blazes, so she was lucky to be given the go ahead to let cameras roll in Calistoga just a few months later.
“We were really grateful that Calistoga opened up its streets to us, because we were coming a short time after the fires, which were incredibly devastating for that area, and very traumatic,” she told WineSpectator.com. “And a lot of places that we scouted had burned, or had suffered a lot of loss.”
Wine Country reunites Amy with her Saturday Night Live (SNL) co-stars Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Rachel Dratch, among others, and was inspired by a real-life trip the ladies took for Dratch’s age milestone in 2016.
“It wasn’t too complicated,” she explained of how the project came about. “I’d been directing television and looking to direct a feature, and to turn this (trip) into a film was almost an instant idea, because we were all together, and we’re always just looking for projects where we can work together.
“So after the trip, I said to (former SNL staff writer) Emily Spivey, who was on the trip and is in the film, and is a terrific writer, ‘Should we try to write this as a script and turn this into a movie?’
“We enlisted Liz Cackowski, our old friend, who is also an SNL alum, and just kind of took it from there. So it was very organic — much like the winery that we visit in the movie.”
The movie follows the ladies as they enjoy a racaous time in the top wine region, but in real life, Amy admits she was pretty much sober the entire shoot – because she was too busy worrying about getting the feature just right.
“I was the teetotaler because I was the one going to bed every night with homework,” she told WineSpectator.com of juggling her roles as actor, producer, and director. “I know a bunch of the ladies, while we were filming, also had great dinners and got to relax and unwind, but I was always the nerd who was going to bed early.”
“I didn’t drink, for example, I think the entire time I shot this movie,” she shared. “I think I had my first glass of wine three days before we wrapped, because I was too anxious about making sure we got everything right.
“So, funnily enough, I had the opposite of any kind of debaucherous time in wine country. I’m gonna have to go back there and do it up right next time.”
Wine Country is set to premiere on Netflix on 10 May (19).
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