The Decoy Bride: a Scottish screwball comedy to savour
This week a new comedy featuring two of Scotland’s biggest stars premières in Glasgow. Lee Randall visited the set during filming, and talked to its writer and director about their experiences.
Streamers fly from the towers of Caerlaverock Castle, and the walkway traversing its moat is draped in heraldic silks, the better to welcome a blushing bride and her groom. There’s a car parked outside surrounded by cameras and lights. David Tennant (Doctor Who), Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) and Sally Phillips (Miranda, Smack the Pony) scramble out of the car. Then get back in, and scramble out again – over and over and over. It is mind-numbingly boring for those not involved in the filming, and desperately stressful for those who are, not least because a line of clouds is slowly moving towards the bright blue overhead. When Macdonald loses a false eyelash, a triage team springs into action as swiftly as paramedics.
Welcome to the set of Decoy Bride. It’s 2010, and a small group of media people have been invited to Dumfries and Galloway to watch the filming and grab a few minutes with some of the actors between takes. All profess to be delighted to talk, but they keep getting whisked away to perform, and Alice Eve (Sex and the City 2, Starter for Ten) is in a three-hour make-up session to transform her into an old hag. Every now and then locals assemble at a respectful distance, muttering, “Isn’t that Doctor Who?” Despite having handing in his TARDIS keys, Tennant – toweringly tall, reed thin, mind-blowingly cute – patiently stops for autographs and smiles for photos with awestruck kids.
Movie-making is slow. So much time has now passed since that day that Tennant has married and fathered a daughter, Phillips has recently given birth to her third son, and Macdonald has all but relocated to the United States, enjoying the huge success of Boardwalk Empire, the series created by Martin Scorsese. The film’s script, co-authored by Phillips and Neil Jaworski, was begun seven years ago, when Phillips was pregnant with her first child. This time-frame, she assures me, is par for the course.
The Decoy Bride – which is finally released next month, with its première at the Glasgow Film Festival this Tuesday – is a joyous romp, a loving homage to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 40s. It’s the story of “It Girl” actress Lara Tyler (Alice Eve), who falls in love with a best-selling novel, The Ornithologist’s Wife, and by extension, its author, James Arber (Tennant). After plans to marry in Paris are scuppered by the paparazzi, she decides they should trade vows on the “romantic” Hebridean island of Hegg, where his novel is set – blissfully unaware that her fiancé has never actually been there, and expecting to find every detail as recorded in the book.
Read more at Scotsman
News or Rumour?
Kelly MacDonald has been cast in “Queer” according to Coming Soon