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The premiere party for Bachelorette, the raunchy new dark comedy starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan and Rebel Wilson, was a celebration for the strong female cast, who were very aware of the growing presence of female comedy in what used to be a male-dominated genre.
The film was written and directed by Leslye Headland, a playwright who was once an assistant to The Weinstein Co. The comedy, following a group of friends (Dunst, Fisher, Caplan) from high school who reunite for their friend’s wedding (Wilson), is an adaptation of Headland’s off-Broadway play.
At the event held in Hollywood on Thursday, Aug. 23, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the stars to talk about the bawdy film, and the future of women in comedy.
Dunst plays Regen, the uptight, control freak maid of honor, who tries to keep her drug-friendly friends in order when things go awry.
“I wanted to do a comedy after Melancholia,” Dunst tells THR about her decision to join the film. “I just was so thirsty for that, and I love the fact that it was all women, and I knew we would have the best time.”
Dunst, who starred in Lars von Trier’s 2011 end-of-the-world drama, says she formed new friendships with Caplan and Fisher while working on Bachelorette.
Dunst also commented on the gains that have been made in female comedy in recent years, naming talents like Kristen Wiig and Tina Fey for their work writing for comedy.
“I think mostly female writers are writing the funny parts for women,” she adds.
Fisher, who plays Katie, a ditzy bridesmaid who likes to spend time using drugs and getting drunk, told THR that the role appealed to her because it was a far leap from her own life as a mother.
“I don’t really relate to Katie, and I think that’s what was such a challenge and so rewarding about inhabiting the emotional landscape of somebody whose lifestyle and personality traits are very different than my own,” she said.
Fisher’s husband, The Dictator star Sacha Baron Cohen, also attended the premiere party in Hollywood.
Both Fisher and Dunst praised Headland’s work on her directorial debut. Headland called the entire experience “unbelievable from start to finish.”
“I just feel like everyone sort of fell in love with this script and this movie,” she said. “I would come into a room and meet new people who were working on the movie, and all of them had this sort of crazed smile that I’d had for four years.”
Headland’s film first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by new Weinstein Co. shingle, RADiUS. It debuted on iTunes before its theatrical release on September 7, and became the first pre-theatrical release to top the iTunes Top Movies chart.
As for women writers and directors, Headland says that now – the post-Sex and the City era – is the best it’s been for female-driven comedy. She names Rashida Jones (who co-wrote Celeste and Jesse Forever), Ruby Sparks writer Zoe Kazan and HBO’s Girls’ creator Lena Dunham among the many women who have made their mark just this year alone.
“These are all women who are finding what’s specifically funny about being a woman, and really nailing that,” says Headland. “I think it says a lot about the comedy world that that’s been embraced and that women are encouraged and applauded for doing that.”
Bachelorette opens in theaters on September 7.
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford
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