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Confetti - Jason Watkins and Vincent Franklin interviewed

Vincent Franklin and Jason Watkins in Confetti

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JASON Watkins and Vincent Franklin talk about their roles as gay wedding planners in Confetti, the new British comedy that follows three couples as they compete for the title of most original wedding of the year…

Q. How did you go about preparing your role as wedding planners?
Vincent: In a sense, Debbie [Isitt, the director] gave us the challenge of really having to make these weddings happen, so you weren’t having to invent these problems. You weren’t having to invent how you would feel if you had to get up at 6am and come up with a way of persuading these people to wear a frock. We had to go and do that. So in a sense, you didn’t have to look for problems because they presented themselves and we did have to work together to do it. We were brought together by adversity. We had to work together as a team or we’d have both gone mad.
Jason: I think we did do our homework. We spent a couple of days before we started filming just working out how our characters met. That’s not necessarily important for audiences to know but it helps with creating our characters.

Q. Were you always aware that you would have to appear naked at some point? Or was it sprung on you?
Vincent: Well, there’s nothing natural about me being naked! Taking your clothes off wasn’t the worst bit. The worst bit is when some poor 18-year-old on her first film is told: “You take the anorak to that naked fat one.” And then you put it on to cover your bottom and they go: “That was great, let’s do it again!” It was only sprung on us in the sense that at any point, we could have said “no” and faced the rock that was Debbie Isitt. But because the characters we play really like the naturist couple in the film and they’re ultimately being forced to do something they don’t want to do, we felt that their wedding was kind of the purist in a sense in that it strips, quite literally, all the paraphernalia and our characters would want to support them in that. So it wasn’t very difficult to go: “Actually, w’ve got to get our kit off.”
Jason: Debbie did make a gesture that didn’t quite make the final edit. There’s a scene where we get our kit off in the naturist colony and, in sympathy, Debbie got her kit off behind the camera and encouraged the crew to do so as well. But there was Debbie on her own just naked.

Q. Did you bring any first-hand experiences of wedding day disasters to your role?
Vincent: This is really, really sad but I’m very happily married. I had a lovely ceremony with a cellist and we got married in a National Trust property and it was very Laura Ashley. It was nice, we’re still together and we have kids. But I’m from the north of England and the weirdest thing for me was to go to a wedding where they had hot food. We’re used to sandwiches and, if it’s very posh, open ones. But that’s it. As regards a theme for a wedding, our theme is usually fights by 7pm so that’s my experience.
Jason: I went to a wedding in Hartlepool last year where the groom was virtually a cripple because he had somehow got himself involved with a horse in a barn on his stag night! This horse had jumped on him so he was staggering down the aisle. That’s the most bizarre thing that I’ve ever come across.

Q. What did you think about the naturst element of the story when you first heard about it?
Vincent: Well, it was funny because we do all find wobbly bits funny for the obvious reasons. But when it comes to the actual ceremony, I think it’s one of the most touching aspects of the film. It is two naked people, which is kind of the opposite of what the rest of the film is about in a way. So we are all rooting for them. It’s a very simple ceremony but it’s really touching.

Q. Do you think this film will revive the happily ever after concept and the idea of marriage?
Vincent: Well I think what it said to me while I was watching it was that these are couples who eventually get married the way they want. I think there’s a huge amount of times when couple say: “We’re doing this because mum said this and we always did that…” They end up being days that aren’t actually representative of them. What’s great about these three couples is that however painful the journey is, their wedding is a celebration of who they are, what they dream about and what they want. Certainly in the character of Martin Freeman’s case, they are up against a lot of obstacles. But they want to do something different, so whether it’s their wedding or the way they live their lives, that’s quite a positive thing that they stick with it and only get there because they remain together. Individually, they wouldn’t be able to.

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