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'Groom' star Tom Everett Scott: People relate to wedding chaos

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'Groom' star Tom Everett Scott: People relate to wedding chaos
Tom Everett Scott (L) and Alicia Silverstone star in "Sister of the Groom." Photo courtesy of Saban Films

NEW YORK, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Actor Tom Everett Scott said his new dramedy, Sister of the Groom, will resonate with audiences because it skillfully balances the humor and emotion that big life events inspire.

Set in contemporary Long Island, N.Y., the film is about Audrey (Alicia Silverstone), a homemaker, mother of twins and frustrated architect, whose ill-timed, midlife crisis threatens to ruin her free-spirited brother Liam's wedding to much younger mean girl Clemence.

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Scott plays Audrey's adoring, realistic husband, Ethan.

"We've all been in similar situations, maybe not exactly like this, but we certainly can relate to wedding-weekend family stuff; things going a little off the rails," Scott told UPI in a recent interview.

"I've been married for 23 years, and my wife and I have gone through a lot of stuff together," he said. "There's always the moment when one is going crazy and the other has to be there to support them."

Sister of the Groom has Scott "riding shotgun" -- Scott's words -- with Silverstone after they played spouses in the 2017 family flick, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.

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"She and I had such a great time on that experience, and then she called me to see if I would play her husband again, and I said, 'Absolutely!'" he recalled. "When I read the script, I was like: 'Oh, man! Yes! This is not Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The adults are on a road trip here.'"

Ethan spends most of the weekend trying to talk Audrey off a metaphorical ledge, while also bonding with his quirky in-laws.

Possibly the least eccentric person in the story, the character quietly sips cocktails and stays out of the way as he observes the insanity -- that is, until he can't take it all anymore and has a mini-meltdown.

"I do appreciate Amy Miller Gross' script for what it is, what it represents. It represents a real person," Scott said. "It's very real, but also very funny. Some of my favorite parts in the movie are when the chaos just goes to that level where it's just ridiculous."

The role occasionally required the actor to express what he's thinking without a lot of dialogue.

"You've got to do something, right?" he laughed. "That's how I pay the bills, making funny faces. I'm cool with it."

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Silverstone's performance is a bold one since Audrey isn't always likable as she fights with her only sibling, complains to her husband, flirts with an ex and laces the bride's cake with ecstasy.

Scott believes his prior working relationship with Silverstone helped the actress feel safe as she swung for the fences.

"She's just a wonderful dance partner," Scott said. "We really do understand each other and she trusts me. She will say to me: 'Tom, is this OK? I feel like I'm a little over-the-top. What am I doing here?'... She and I just have really good communication together."

The only other relatively calm person in the film is Audrey and Liam's dad, Nat, played by Mark Blum, who died of the coronavirus in March. Sister of the Groom is dedicated to him.

"He was so sweet, very real and a great actor. We had real moments together. There was a lot going on that's not on the screen," Scott said. "We were all together in this experience. It was a short schedule. We were battling the elements. It was like summer camp, but we were making a film. It was a good time."

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The movie was shot at writer-director Gross' house in the Hamptons.

Scott's daughter, who was a freshman in college in Manhattan at the time, was happy to visit him on location during the weekends.

"She was like, 'Oh, no, I'm coming out there,'" he said, referring to how popular the tony beach spot is with young city dwellers.

The actor, some of his co-stars and singer-guitarist Lee Reitelman -- who is seen on screen and provides the musical soundtrack for the film -- stayed at Gross' neighbor's house, which Scott described as "Architectural Digest-style, gorgeous and huge."

"We were always playing music, so it was part of the experience," he said. "I do love the choice that Amy and Lee made [for him to play throughout the whole film] because music is so important to weddings."

Like many artists, Scott found his career sidelined during the coronavirus pandemic and he said he is on the lookout for his next project, hopefully, a long-running, high-paying TV series that will keep him close to home in California.

After working steadily in film and TV since the 1990s, with credits that include That Thing You Do!, Dead Man on Campus, American Werewolf in Paris, 13 Reasons Why, I'm Sorry and Council of Dads, the actor was forced to take a break for nearly a year.

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"I'm not bettering myself whatsoever," Scott joked about how he has spent his time during the lockdown.

"I've gotten maybe a little bit better at Fantasy Football. I've certainly discovered I am not a good online poker player," he said.

After two years of non-stop filming, however, Scott is making up for lost time with his family.

"We have dinner every night around the table. That's priceless. The amount of quality time I've gotten to spend with family during this has been amazing," he said.

Set for release Friday in theaters, Sister of the Groom co-stars Jake Hoffman and Mathilde Ollivier.

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