On 21st February The Decoy Bride writer Sally Phillips and director Sheree Folkstone attended a screening of the movie followed by a Question and Answer session at the Glasgow Film Festival.
One of David Tennant's fans, sunshine, attended the event and kindly transcribed it.
This first section are the parts which were relevent to David Tennant:
Sally: "For me really the best parts of the film are Kelly and David, together."
Question: "Did David Tennant have a hard time maintaining his English accent when people around him were speaking with Scottish accents?"
Sheree: "No, honestly. He is the most extraordinary actor, he can do anything, at any time, because not only would he be doing his accent, but it doesn't bother him in the slightest! I mean, you would think that's one of the hardest things you can do, doesn't bother David at all. And at the same time he's always doing his own continuity, telling everyone else their continuity, reminding me about something I might have missed or whatever... he's just ... amazing."
Sally: "Yes he is, I was definitely a continuity disaster area and he was, every time he walked past he would correct something, my bag would be in the wrong hand, or I'd have my shoes on my ears or something. No, he's great."
The bagpipe scene was the one scene that didn't go through any rewrites, from the first draft.
Sheree: "I thought it was good for his character, because his character was quite tricky, his character was quite unpleasant to her [Katie] at times, he's quite harsh, so I thought the fact that he did this lovely thing by pretending to play the bagpipes really showed you there was someone better there."
Sally: "Neil and I cried with laughter for hours writing that scene."
Sheree (Talking about the fact the actors weren't allowed to improvise around the script): "You have to stick to the script really, there's a precision in the dialogue and the wit was in the writing. That would have been lost if the actors had started improvising."
Sally: "In cinema so much of the writing is in the action, though. I was laughing at the little physical actions that David did. There's space for that [kind of improvisation]."
Covering other aspects of the Q&A, sunshine transcribed:
Decoy Bride has been in the works for 7 years. The film came about from Sally pitching another film to Ecosse, which they didn't like, so they asked her if she had any ideas. She didn't, but she'd been fascinated by reading that Jennifer Lopez had hired 'decoy brides' for her wedding to Ben Affleck and wanted to make a movie based on that concept/title, so Ecosse arranged for her to have a co-writer (Neil Jaworski) and they wrote the script together. Her good friend (who Katie is partly based on) is in a relationship with someone who used to be in a relationship with a huge movie star, and couldn't handle the pressure, so it was kind of based on that, and kind of based on huge amounts of research into real celeb weddings.
Sally likes classic screwball comedies because the female characters are treated as equals of the male characters and are allowed to be as funny as the men, and she hates when people are condescending about rom-coms because she thinks they portray women in a "very powerful way."
Sheree became attached very early on and was integral to the script, and has always been a big fan of rom-coms (especially older ones from the 30s/40s), but thinks there are a lot of really bad generic rom-coms being made by Hollywood that are "money making machines", and she thought Decoy Bride had its own sweetness and personality, and was Katie's journey.
Katie was written for Kelly (or at least she was the actress they wanted right from the first pitch meeting) and was tentatively attached right from the beginning; she really wanted to do a comedy since she'd never done one before. The script reminded her of 'It Happened One Night' which she is a big fan of, and she actually bought some of the costumes from that film.
It was extremely difficult to get American actors since the film was British and so very low budget. Michael Urie got cast because Sheree had worked with him on Ugly Betty, and he was going to be in Scotland at that time anyway preparing for his Edinburgh show, and he's also of Scottish descent and wanted to spend more time in Scotland.
Sally played the assistant because "she was very cheap" and her character was known as 'the bin' because as other characters got cut, she got their lines. The deaf couple were played by two very posh English luvvie theatre types, and they were the complete opposites to their characters.
Originally the script was more a stereotypical "Mills and Boon" "they hate each other then love each other then hate each other" thing, but Sheree told them to change it so they hate each other consistently until near the end of the film. It ended up being coincidentally very topical, with the phone hacking scandal.
Sally is a huge "spod" and research geek and grew up loving books about the Hebrides, and tried to teach herself Gaelic. She loves Scotland and thinks Scottish women are much tougher and less self-indulgent than English girls. Originally the film had many more Island characters and scenes in Gaelic, but it got cut.
The budget was a huge factor. The head of Ecosse was there and talked about film financing for a bit, and how hard it is. The script was gauged as costing £7 million to shoot, but their total budget was only £2.5 million. They were told flat out "you should not make this film, you don't have enough money" but they managed anyway - mainly due to Sheree who is "the most optimistic woman in the world" and amazing at getting things under budget.
The cinematographer and the art director are her two best friends, and helped a lot. They had to cut huge parts, both before, and during filming. Many characters and scenes were cut, including the wedding of two elderly islanders. The opening scenes of Lara and James trying to get married were supposed to much lengthier and more OTT. The final scene was originally supposed to involve two large boats, but they were told the night before they were due to shoot they could only use one small boat.
They both wished they'd had a couple more weeks to film, and been able to afford more extras. Some of the extras got credited roles in the film. The exteriors were mainly shot on the Isle of Man, and the interiors and the castle were in Scotland.
Many thanks to sunshine for taking the time to transcribe the event and allow us to repost it.
After reading the above it is not surprising that David was quoted as saying during the filming that it was the most stressed he had ever felt!