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CONFETTI

The Happy Couples Prepare
The first, and most popular, couple competing in CONFETTI is Matt and Sam, who have chosen a Hollywood Musical theme for their wedding, despite the fact that they can't even carry a tune. To take on these affable but hapless characters, the filmmakers cast two of Britain's most popular stars: Martin Freeman, beloved for his work in the groundbreaking comedy series "The Office” and who most recently starred as galactic traveler Arthur Dent in THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY; and Jessica Stevenson, who is widely known in England for her witty work in popular sitcoms and was seen in the U.S. in the sleeper hit comedy SHAUN OF THE DEAD and BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON.

"I always thought Martin and Jessica would be a brilliant double act,” says Isitt. "I was a big fan of Jessica in the British show ‘Spaced' and of course I knew Martin from ‘The Office.' Putting the two of them together as a couple was something I really enjoyed making happen.”

Despite having never attempted anything like CONFETTI before, both Freeman and Stevenson were lured by Debbie Isitt's enthusiasm. "It seemed like a challenge and a risk worth taking,” Freeman comments. "I quite fancied doing something improvised because I'd never done it before.” Adds Stevenson, who first talked to Isitt in the earliest stages of the film's development: "I was struck right away by her ideas and how confident she was. I was really won over by her.”

Once the film began to take off, Freeman and Stevenson dove into the improv approach with gusto, learning by trial and error as they went. "As a screen actor, you're normally used to everything being all laid out for you: what you know, what you feel, what you're supposed to do,” observes Freeman. "So this was quite different. We actually had to make genuine phone calls and real arrangements and nothing was going to magically appear on our wedding day unless we, as our characters, actually worked for it!”

None of it was as easy as it might seem. "Sometimes as an actor you think you want a bit more control and power but then when you get it on a film like this you think: ‘I don't want this much control, this much power – I'd like to have a text to fall back on!” Freeman laughs.

To begin, Freeman and Stevenson simply chatted at length about their characters and the ins and outs of a relationship that has already been in progress for seven years before this sudden decision to tie the knot and try to win a million dollar home. Notes Stevenson "What was really amazing is that the ideas we had during filming were incorporated into the film as it was being made – so from one day to the next the story was a little different. It was very exciting but it meant that Debbie had to have a lot of confidence in us as performers to make choices that would work.”

The idea of a Hollywood musical wedding appealed to both actors, although they had to work to channel Matt and Sam's unique combination of naïve enthusiasm and lack of talent. "I quite like musicals and Jess like musicals so luckily, we weren't going to have a physics-themed wedding!” laughs Freeman.

However, Matt and Sam's wedding takes an unexpected turn when Matt's Best Man "Snoopy” is recruited as a performer and song writer for the wedding. The character of Snoopy was taken on by edgy stand-up comic Mark Wootton, who had Freeman and Stevenson in stitches. "I loved working with Mark,” remarks Stevenson. "I always looked forward to finding out what he was going to come up with next– even though Sam was quite worried and concerned and not anywhere near as impressed as I was!”

Meanwhile, taking on the role of Sam's opinionated mother is leading British actress Alison Steadman, who has worked extensively with director Mike Leigh, another filmmaker who famously uses improv techniques to create his award-winning dramas. Steadma

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