With the holidays approaching, what could be more fitting than a good old-fashioned rom-com starring two lovable, charismatic actors to round out the festivities? hate game It operates on the premise of a thin line between love and hate, especially when the people involved are stuck together eight hours a day, and offices face each other, in a competitive office environment.
Lucy Hale (pretty little LiarsAnd ragdolland Austin Stowell dolphin tail Films, spies bridge) You play colleagues at a newly incorporated publishing house in New York whose tastes for reading material couldn’t be more opposite. Their boss (Corbin Berensen) challenged them to each make a proposal that would raise one and reject the other, escalating hostility between the two. There is, however, an undeniably fiery passion beneath the critically acclaimed and individualistic ingenuity with which the Twenty engages. In today’s real-world landmine-filled work environment, Lucy and Josh will be sent to HR for their frequent outbursts and may be rejected. Their boss, Richard (Pearson), will face accusations of sex discrimination and likely sign off on the company for his new partner. But the hate game operates in an alternate universe where angry co-workers shake their heads and try to ignore the apparent sexual tension between their feuding colleagues.
As it turns out, Josh is over a bad breakup and Lucy is a champion of unbearable perfection. In the end, though, they give in to their desires but then immediately regret it. Lucy pretends to love Danny (Damon Dunno), another co-worker who just quit to start his own business, however, confessing again in Josh’s presence, “Nobody accepts me like you.” Lucy agrees to accompany Josh to his brother’s most successful wedding, as the source of Josh’s psychological pain is revealed. Lucy refers to Josh’s traits to his disapproving father. After returning to the office, the competition for the “big promotion” continues and a misheard conversation leads Lucy to believe that Josh was simply driving her to distract her from getting the coveted promotion, but he then sincerely surprises her who charms her again.
hate game Directed by Peter Hutchings, from a screenplay by Christina Mingert, based on the bestselling novel by Sally Thorne. The film stars Yasha Jackson, Sean Cullen, and Sakina Jaffrey.
vertical entertainment hate game Arrives in select and on-demand theaters on Friday, December 10.
The rom-com marks the second on-screen pairing between Hale and Stowell, who previously starred in the big-screen adaptation of the 2020 black comedy Fantasy Island. From the opposite sides of the continent. The duo appears via Zoom to discuss their friendship and recent project together.
Angela Dawson: Lucy, did you and Austin meet fantasy island?
Lucy Hale: Actually we were friends before that. We thought it was so wild that we did FThe island of Antsi Together, working together in Fiji for a few months, and then they ended up hate game. It’s amazing because, for a movie like this, you want to work with people you know who are going to deliver. I knew Austin was made for this part; It’s Josh Templeman. We had a great time and it was nice to know we can play with that chemistry. Peter (Hutchings), director, let’s do what we wanted, which was a blast.
Dawson: Was his time in love with you, “Shortcake,” something you improvised or was it in the script?
Stoel: “Shortcake” is in the book. It goes back to her upbringing on a strawberry farm. It’s his way of telling her he’s in love with her but he doesn’t know how to express his feelings so he does something typical of Josh and spins it another way.
cardamom: There’s a scene where we’re arguing over a snack tray (in the office kitchen) where he says, “You want that, don’t you, shrimp!” which I improvised. We improvised some of it but the joke was pretty much there in the script – the clever lines. For us, it was just about discovering the dynamism and speed of how our personalities interact with each other. But I think all of those were in the script. Austin right?
Stowell: Yeah, I’m not funny so I need a script.
Dawson: You have a funny scene with David Ebert playing the doorman at the hotel.
cardamom: improvise everything. We had these great actors who came in and did their own thing. Austin and I were laughing the whole time. David is really fast. I don’t think he read the same lines twice. As an actor, I like that everything is planned and planned. I’m only type A; This is what I am now. So, it’s been fun working with the people who keep me on my toes like that because you’re reacting in real time. I was almost nervous because I didn’t know what was going to come out of his mouth.
Stoel: He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I’m sure when the DVD comes out there will be snippets, and you’ll only need them from that scene because I’ve been losing it all the time. It was all made up instantly. We were just supposed to go up to the office and ring the bell.
Dawson: In today’s work environment, do you think Lucy and Josh would be able to pull off some of the things they say to each other without getting into trouble with HR?
cardamom: They do a lot of this bickering aside. They go down. They are in love with each other but won’t admit it. Other than the donut scene where they are shouting out loud, I feel like it’s their special exchange. Why don’t they report each other because it’s a competition. But there are a few moments when Janet (Shana Tucker), the head of human resources, tells them in the elevator, “Four complaints this week. Four. You two are the worst part of my job.” So, we kind of admit it. But, in the real world, no, I don’t think (their behavior in the office) will fly.
Stoel: Josh Templeman will go as far as Michael Scott (from the desk).
Dawson: Since this was filmed during the pandemic, has the wedding been scaled back from what was originally planned?
cardamom: If times were different and we didn’t have everyone’s safety in mind, it could be wider and bigger and bigger, but the fact that we managed to make this movie safely during Covid is really incredible. Safety has always been at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Therefore, the wedding became a little smaller.
Dawson: Is this your first time playing a character named “Lucy”?
cardamom: No, can you believe it? It’s a very common name in scripts nowadays. I did another movie called a pretty girl like youWhere she played Lucy.
Dawson: Does that make getting into character more difficult?
cardamom: There is a lot of myself in “Lucy Hutton” (in this movie). It was great because the crew will never forget my name. They usually have to know your name and your character’s name so that it becomes very easy. For the audience, it might be a little trickier because there’s a lot of me playing Lucy. Maybe that’s a good thing. I’m not sure. But it definitely made my job easier.
Dawson: Austin, usually in rom-coms, a good-looking guy ends up being the villain but your character turns into a nice guy.
Stoel: It’s a nice guy underneath. He’s definitely taking a stand at the front, though. He’s trying to create this image of perfection and I think he does it simply, eliminating the extra fat in his life. He broke his heart so he became a complete workaholic. He totally sticks to his job and the only problem with doing that is that the woman sitting across from him is the one he really wants to be with.
He made the whole thing complicated in his head. All he wants to do is go to work and forget about his (previous) relationship and there’s this opposite vision of him that keeps spoiling everything. Part of him is, subconsciously, angry at her. He wants her to go away so he can heal from his heartache when she is actually helping him heal but is dragging him along the rocks in the process.
The reason we act this way is because we don’t know what we’re doing as men. Returns to the stadium. We see a girl we like and then we go push her on the floor. We are confused.
Dawson: Each of your characters collects things. Lucy Smurf and Josh collect matchbox cars. Are you personally obsessed with collecting any particular thing?
cardamom: I have a lot of crystals.
Stoel: Baseball Caps and Koozies. Whenever I go to a new city or find myself at a new watering hole and see Koozie, I pick it up. I have a drawer full of them at home. Lucy and I are going to open a shop – Crystals & Koozies.
Dawson: What’s on the horizon for each of you?
cardamom: accidental, ragdoll, available to stream on AMC+. The other end of the spectrum is likely to be from hate game. It is a psychological thriller / serial killer from the creators kill eve. It is a disturbing show about a doll with six different body parts sewn together into one body known as Ragdoll. Three detectives, including myself, are racing against time to find out who the killer is. What makes it unique and unsettling is that it contains banter of black humor between these characters which makes it blend genres. I thought it was very good.
Stoel: I’ve been in Canada most of this year doing two Netflix
cardamom: Busy. We’d love to see that, Austin.
Dawson: On a sad note, Winter Dolphin from dolphin tail Movies, he died of an intestinal abnormality that day. Austin, you’ve worked with Winter on these popular films. What do you remember about her and her legacy?
Stoel: This is such a bummer. I heard about her death while I was waking up yesterday morning. I got a bunch of text messages and I thought, “Man, this stinks.” She was a wonderful animal and people were really drawn to her – young children with disabilities in particular. I feel missing that is a real problem for all those kids as well as disabled veterans who went to Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida to see it.
I’ve seen children come to her who have lost limbs and may be terminally ill, smiles as they watch this ‘broken’ animal, live its life and so hilarious. You’d hear her squeak and squeak and do all the things we love about animals and dolphins, in particular. There is something very magnetic about dolphins. Her death is a real tragedy but her story continues and I am so proud to be a part of it. These guys in the aquarium are doing a great job with animals (sick and injured) and there will be more.