Photo Credit: IFC Films
In the indie comedy Your Sister's Sister (in select theaters June 15) Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt play Iris and Hannah, two half-sisters who accidentally turn up at their family’s secluded island cabin on the same weekend. There, they find themselves in a supremely awkward situation with Iris' best friend Jack (star-on-the-rise Mark Duplass), who is still reeling from the death of his brother a year earlier.
While the film (which, mark our words, could be one of the surprise hits of the summer) has its share of poignant moments, it's also loaded with quirky laughs. Exhibit A: the exclusive clip below, which illustrates that nothing good ever comes of making vegan pancakes without the proper ingredients.
Watch the clip now, and then keep reading for five fun facts about Your Sister's Sister that writer-director Lynn Shelton revealed in a exclusive interview with iVillage!
1. Star Mark Duplass hatched the idea for the film.
Duplass had originally toyed with the idea of making the movie with his brother Jay, with whom he's written and directed a handful of films, including 2010's Cyrus and 2012's Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Ultimately, however, he decided it needed a feminine touch. "[Mark and I] had both been itching to collaborate again because we had such a good time with Humpday," says Shelton of the 2009 movie they made together. "So he called and said he had this vault of little seedlings of movies that might become Duplass brothers movies, but realized that this particular one would probably not be made anytime soon by two brothers because it features a guy who had recently lost his brother, and it just felt a little too close to home. He still thought it was a great idea, though, so he wanted to pitch it to me as something that I would direct and he would act in." As you might have guessed, Shelton said yes.
2. The movie almost had a Graduate-esque plot.
"There was one little twist," Shelton reveals of the premise Duplass originally pitched. "The initial starting point of the movie was the same: There's a guy and a girl who are best friends, the guy's in a bad spot because he lost his brother recently, and the girl sends him up to her family's getaway. He thinks he's going to be alone to get his head together. Lo and behold the young, hot mother of the friend is there. So it would have been this mother-daughter triangle thing," Shelton laughs." That could have been very interesting in its own right, but the first thing I did was change the mom to an older sister. I think I really liked the idea of two parallel sibling relationships, because I really feel like the fourth character in the film is the dead brother. Even though we never meet him, he just weighs so heavily in all the relationships."
3. Emily Blunt and Rachel Weisz were almost sisters.
Right up until a few weeks before production began, Rachel Weisz was slated to play older sister Hannah, but a scheduling conflict forced her to bail at the last minute. "When Rachel dropped out, I really thought, 'That's it, the movie is over. I really built this character with her and for her, and there's no one else who could play her,'" Shelton admits. But producers encouraged her to press on, until Shelton had a casting epiphany. "Rosemarie DeWitt popped into my head and I thought, 'Oh my god, if I could get Rosemarie, I could make this movie no problem.'" So Shelton ran the idea past Duplass. "Mark said to me, 'If she's available, I know she'll do it. She accosted me in an airport a year ago and told me, "I never do this, but I have to tell you that Humpday was f***ing amazing and you're incredible."' She just sort of blew up about it." True to Duplass' word, DeWitt signed on, but her obligations to the TV show The United States of Tara meant that the already tight production schedule had to be cut down. That leads us to...
4. The entire film was shot in 12 days.
"We lost two days of production. It was originally supposed to be 14, but in the end it was 12," says Shelton of bringing DeWitt in so late in the game. "But it was totally worth it. I can't picture anyone but Rosemarie in that role now."
5. The cast and crew had their own "fraternity" and "sorority" houses during filming.
"It was amazing. It was like this utopian little ecosystem," Shelton says of the shoot, most of which was done on a picturesque island near Seattle. "It was like film camp in the most beautiful freaking place on Earth." The entire cast and crew, which consisted of just 16 people, shot for 12 hours a day and by night split up into male and female factions to sleep in what Shelton dubbed "fraternity" and "sorority" houses. But first, they'd break bread together. "All of us would have these incredible home-cooked meals every night, and for lunch too. We'd trot over for a meal and share wine every night. And on the two nights that weren't rainy, we had campfires. It was completely ridiculous. It was spectacular."