You may not be able to find love on an app, but you’ll fall in love with the new Netflix romantic comedy Love, Guaranteed which premieres today. The film stars Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Endings) as a man determined to sue the makers of an app that promised to find him true love. However, he might just have stumbled on it when he meets the lawyers taking his case, played by Rachael Leigh Cook (Perception).
Lisa Durupt stars in the film as a colleague and friend of Cook’s character, and she is well-versed in adding an extra spark to a film. Chances are you’ll recognize her from several Hallmark Channel movies, such as the Murder, She Baked series. She dropped by to talk about what interested her in Love, Guaranteed and the charms of a good, old-fashioned romantic comedy.
Brittany Frederick: What hooked you about Love, Guaranteed in the first place?
Lisa Durupt: Comedy. I’m based in Vancouver, Canada, and we don’t get as much comedy as we would love to get up here. So when you do get a chance to do stuff like this, you just jump at it. And the fact that it was well-written and it had a really great cast. We didn’t know all of the pieces yet, but [we] knew Rachael was attached. So that was enough to sell me on it, for sure.
BF: You’re playing her colleague in the movie, and so many of those roles get overlooked as just the sort of comedy sidekick. You have a knack for making the supporting role feel as well-developed as the lead. How do you make that happen and avoid that stereotype?
LD: I don’t really look at it like they’re just sidekicks. To me, each little piece, regardless of size, they do need to be, like you said, a complete character. So I just come at it from a point of view of yeah, you might not get as much screen time, but it is the same thought process that you would put in if you were doing a bigger part. The big thing is just to make them relatable to other people. You put as much of yourself as you can into it. And then you just feed off of whatever whoever you’re playing with is doing as well.
I take a lot of pride in the fact that I’ve done a bunch of these [characters], and I just make them as fun and as realistic as possible within the world that they’re playing. And I like that people understand and respect and get that that’s something that I’m pretty decent at doing.
BF: Comedy also depends on chemistry, so what was it like working with the Love, Guaranteed cast?
LD: It was great. Sean, who plays Roberto, and I got along really well. We’d never met until the table read and we’re both from Vancouver. We went, “How have we not worked together?” And it was just a case of instant love connection there.
Rachael, I had heard from other people through the Hallmark world that she was fantastic to work with. That she was really down to earth, a lot of fun, really hard-working, very smart. And so I went into it knowing she was going to be cool. You don’t always get what you hope for from people that you’ve seen on TV, but she was exactly everything you could hope for. There was really an instant connection, in terms of camaraderie.
It was a lot of fun. Half the stuff didn’t make it to the movie because it just got so fun and silly on set, and they could only use snippets of it within the guidelines of what they needed to tell the story. I keep saying, I wish we could see the outtakes, because the director was great about letting us keep going and do multiple takes.
BF: The plot of this movie feels like a Hallmark movie, but it’s not; it’s a Netflix film. As someone who’s worked extensively for Hallmark, do you think it actually is like a Hallmark comedy or is there anything different because it’s on Netflix?
LD: I definitely think the same people that watch Hallmark-style shows will appreciate it, because really the model for Hallmark films is a PG version of what we all grew up with in the ’80s and ’90s with rom-coms. Rom-coms just changed for a while, where they went more to [where] everybody in the household can watch it. That’s really what Hallmark’s brand is.
The differences, for me, were that Hallmark, they’re very clear on their brand. So you have to be careful of the language that you’re using or the jokes that you make reference to that maybe are not going to land with everybody. For this type of show, you can have a little bit more freedom. You have a little bit of wiggle room in the sense that you can maybe cross that line a few times with your jokes, and parents will understand that it’s more PG-13.
BF: Do you have a favorite Love, Guaranteed scene or aspect from the movie that you enjoyed while making it? What should we be watching for?
LD: Probably the stuff that we had the most fun doing was anything that they just let us kind of ad-lib. At one point, I just whipped a marker at Roberto. I don’t think he was expecting me to hit him, nor did anybody watching it on the monitor in the back room. But when I fired it at him, I’ve got pretty good aim.Nailed him right in the face. So that was probably my most validating moment as a comedic physical performer. I was like, “Nailed it.”
BF: What’s the next Lisa Durupt film people should watch after this when they want to see more of your work?
LD: Take the time to go dig up a little independent film that I did probably about five years ago now called Preggoland. The lady who wrote it is also an actor; her name is Sonja Bennett. It’s about a girl who pretends to be pregnant to get people to treat her better. I got to play her sister, who is unlike any character people are used to seeing me play. She’s not very nice, and she’s struggling with her own infertility. It was such a great little independent film.
It’s that kind of stuff that you live for. You love doing the network stuff; it’s great, and we appreciate it. But when you get a little juicy, independent film, and to play James Caan’s daughter – are you kidding me? (laughs) And then another little series I did with Mark McKinney, who was on Superstore [and] he’s one of the founding members of Kids in the Hall, it was a show called Less Than Kind. It’s very much in the style of Arrested Development. It was probably my first big thing, and it went for four years.
Love, Guaranteed is now streaming on Netflix.