Ticket to Paradise is a new romantic comedy filmed here in Queensland, Australia. I recently spoke to one of the film’s stars, Kaitlyn Dever, about the film…
Matt: What stood out for you when you first came across this project? What made you want to play Lily?
Kaitlyn: So many things. The script was incredible and so much fun. I had met Ol before and was excited to work with him again. To be part of a rom-com was something I hadn’t done before and I’m always looking to do something different. This was all of those things packed into one. Maybe also, working with George Clooney and Julia Roberts was an element I was kind of interested in (laughs).
Matt: George and Julia are two of the best in the business. Had you met them before this movie?
Kaitlyn: No but I love both of their work. I’m such a big fan of the two of them. They’re so talented and I was nervous to meet them for the first time. They were just the best. They were both so sweet and nice and kind to me and my sister, who was with me on the shoot. We had the best couple of months making this movie.
Matt: It’s not quite my backyard but you shot the film in my home state of Queensland here in Australia. What did you enjoy most about the time you spent here?
Kaitlyn: We loved it. We stayed in Broadbeach for the second half of the movie and for the first half, we were on Hamilton Island. I had never experienced anything like it. Shooting in such a beautiful location was mind-blowing to me. The island itself was a standalone, singular experience. It’s so small that we could all just drive golf carts around and have adventures.
We shot the film over Christmas and my family was able to come down and it was one of the best Christmases we’ve ever had. My parents still talk about Queensland to this day and we can’t wait to go back.
Matt: You mentioned it being a romantic comedy. How do you approach that in terms of developing chemistry and comedic timing and the like? Is it an easier film that others or more challenging in some regard?
Kaitlyn: You find challenge in everything. I never try to have too many expectations going into something. I follow a gut instinct when I first read something and this was immediately something I felt that people were going to love and they really needed right now. I had never played a character like this before.
In terms of the chemistry, it really starts with the script. Ol’s writing is so brilliant and natural. It was really easy to be George and Julia’s daughter because they were so sweet. We were constantly telling stories and making each other laugh. It was a special thing to bond with them and it became easier to create dialogue with them. With Max, he’s the sweetest person in the world. We had a lot of fun doing our scenes together. It was the easiest thing.
Matt: Talking specifically about your character, Lily goes to Bali, falls in love, and gets engaged almost immediately. Was it easy tapping into the character in that regard and playing someone who could do something so impulsively?
Kaitlyn: It is impulsive but I feel like I could do that if really falling in love with someone and a place. It shows you how powerful the love is she has for Gede and that he has for Lily. When I first read the script, I admired her determination for her career and how, throughout the course of the story, you discover she’s a more curious person who is open to new ideas and change. Especially when she meets Gede. I think he opens her mind to things she never thought about which is really exciting. I had a great time bringing this character to life.
Matt: In the film, we see you prepping for a Balinese wedding. What did you find most interesting about that process and their traditions?
Kaitlyn: It’s really beautiful but it’s also a lot about celebrating family which I appreciated. I loved my dress as well. It was quite a process which required many fittings. It was made from actual, traditional Balinese fabric. Our costume designer had an incredible mind and I love her a lot. The wedding sequence in general has a real representation of peace and you could feel that when we were shooting it at that location over two days.
Matt: I’ll finish up by asking about the Emmys coming up this week. You’re a first-time nominee. Are you going to the ceremony?
Kaitlyn: I am going. I’ve never been to the Emmys before and I’m really, really excited. I’m taking my parents and it’s going to be an exciting night. I’m looking forward to celebrating with the cast and it’s going to be really cool.