Paget Brewster on Welcome to Happiness
Paget Brewster spoke to Solzy at the movies about the director’s new take Welcome to happiness and touched Behind the attraction.
Brewster also provides narration for the Disney + series, Behind the attraction. The remaining five episodes of the season were released today. The additional episodes focus on the following attractions:
- The castles
- Disneyland Hotel
- the world is small
- Trains, trams and monorails
- Presidents’ room
The director’s cut of Welcome to happiness arrives on VOD this Friday. Do you remember what attracted you to the script for so many years?
Paget Brewster: Ha! I do! It was great to see the movie again because we shot it six years ago. I really liked the ideas it contains. And look, it was an independent movie. My friend, Molly Quinn, who’s in the movie, sent it to me and said, “Hey, no money, independent movie, you’d be fine for that role. Check it out. “I read it and I thought, Oh, this is so good so I’m going to do it. No money, no locker rooms. I’m going to do it. I love it. And then I sent the script to Keegan-Michael Key and I was like, Hey, here’s an indie – Molly and I are doing it. Want to do it? Read this part. He really liked it. It’s just an original movie. , unusual, fantastic and weird about if you can go back and change something in your past, would you, should you, can you, and what would that mean?
I just thought it was such a great idea. And then as we went along more and more amazing actors would sign on and it was really a fun and fun job. We all really liked what we were doing and everyone had a great time. No one was a fool. The sets were all people’s houses and apartments. It was great. I love the changes director Oliver made to the film. I don’t think a lot of people got to see it when it first came out, so hopefully they can see it now.
I am a fan of this casting. I don’t even think I heard of it when it was released!
Paget Brewster: Yes, no, I don’t know what happened. But I don’t know anything about the commercial side. I don’t know what happens to the movies
I was looking for him after watching the movie and for some reason I completely skipped the director’s cut when I read the email. I saw the cast.
Paget Brewster: Yes, no, he releases it now after cutting 15 minutes and making it more consistent. There were no chapter titles. It was harder to follow because there are so many people and so many stories. What’s ironic, fun, and a bit of a meta is that he’s now gone back and changed the decisions he made six years ago on how to cut the movie. It is intersected and comes out again, but we can pretend it never came out in the first place. It’s quite a movie. Everyone is going to be excited.
Was there room for improvisation on set especially with a cast of this nature?
Paget Brewster: I don’t think we improvised but it was such a solid script. I don’t think anyone was like, Oh, I could say that better. I can do better. We all really reacted to the script as it was. There was no improvisation on my side. But the budget would not prevent it. Not having a budget meant we had no air conditioning and no food. We were all dressed in our own clothes and were shooting at each other’s apartments.
As indie as indie is!
Paget Brewster: Yeah but it was a good one. Sometimes they are terrible! First director, independent film, sometimes it’s bad and this one I think is really good.
What do you typically look for in a character when reading a script?
Paget Brewster: When I read a script, am I really more focused on making the whole idea work? Does this make sense and is there a story to follow? Is there something to think about? For a character, I don’t know.
I did an independent movie that I really love called The Witch Files and this part was written for Ray Wise – who is, I mean, some 70 years old – Laura Palmer’s dad from Twin peaks. He’s a grizzled, I love the guy. I worked with them. I played the part that was written for him, so it was playing a policeman in rural Maine. I grew up in Maine half the time and I was like, Oh, yeah, I wanna do that. I want to be a cop in Maine but the role was totally different. I just do it like I would and if I get hired, I get hired.
I don’t like to cry very much. I wouldn’t want to make a movie where my kids died. I think it’s just not for me. I’m not good at crying. Unfortunately I’m not good at screaming and all I want to do is be in a horror movie and die in a horror movie. I’m never thrown in because I can’t scream. There are regrets, there are professional regrets.
When you are working on a series, how did you decide which projects to tackle during the break?
Paget Brewster: When i was on Criminal minds, which was my longest show, those days were so long I just didn’t work. The break was two months. Criminal minds would be 10 months 14 to 15 hours a day. I just needed a few months off so I didn’t have to work on a break. Others are very ambitious and go-getters. I just wanted to stay home, drink wine and cook. Usually, if I’m on a show, I don’t do much during the break, but what’s the script still? Where is he shooting? Who’s in it? Have I ever worked with anyone here? Do I like the character? Do I like the idea? You have to ask yourself a bunch of questions before you jump into something.
I watched Behind the attraction last month and I found your narration to be very hysterical.
Paget Brewster: Oh thank you! I’m glad you like it. It was a crazy, crazy thing. That’s all I did for two months a few months later during the pandemic – just record a narration for it. It was great. It was so much fun. It was the only way to see someone else on Zoom and review and do the storytelling for every episode of all the rides. I’m glad you saw it. Oh, I’m glad you didn’t think I stank. Thank you.
Compared to previous roles where you’re probably in a booth or something for the dubbing, what was it like recording lines on Zoom?
Paget Brewster: There were a lot of technological issues. Obviously, we got them today. Sometimes Zoom just knocks, there’s an echo, or people’s mail goes out. It was so exciting talking to other human beings and having a job when it was a scary time and like what was going to happen and people are dying and it was sad and confusing. I was really grateful. In recording, there would be a delay. I would say a line two or three times, then wait and see if the director heard it. And then he’d come back and say, okay, do that, then go up to the end of that word and start over. It took a while but it ended up being really fun. I do not know how to explain it. It was a kind of lifeline in dark times.
For someone who’s been pretty much crouched in Chicago since returning from Sundance last year, it’s nice to take a vacation without actually traveling.
Paget Brewster: Yeah, I feel for you and Chicago too. It’s not like you can run outside like it’s Los Angeles, put on shorts and go jogging around the neighborhood, not in the winter! Are you doing well ?
During the summer, for a while, they took the lake away from us.
Paget Brewster: Ah, I didn’t know that.
Because at the start of the pandemic there was a beautiful day in March and so many people were thronging around the lake. Mayor Lightfoot says: No, I can’t do that!
Paget Brewster: Yes. Wow. But at least you can work and see people thanks to Zoom even if it cracks sometimes!
I had quite a few interview opportunities, whether by Zoom or by phone. It was like my only social life there for a few months.
Paget Brewster: Yeah the same here.
What do you like about voice acting over live action?
Paget Brewster: You don’t have to worry, Oh, do I like my hair, I have to hit the target, I can’t put a shadow on this guy’s face. It’s just a totally different thing. With dubbing, you really have to give your all in sound and intention. It’s kind of like pure acting because you don’t have to worry about external things. You have to really feel every line or get super angry or hysterical or scared. It’s really voice specific so I love it. But I also like being in front of the camera. I was just lucky to be able to keep getting out of it and doing it all. I am happy to work in any form and they are all different.
If the opportunity arises, is there a voice role you would like to play in live-action?
Paget Brewster: Oh my god, I never even thought about it. I never even thought about it. I guess it’s taken though. Cruella de Vil would have been fun. Part of that voice from the original Disney film was based on Tallulah Bankhead and I just played Tallulah Bankhead last year in Hollywood, the Ryan Murphy series. It would have been fun. But I mean, they keep doing – Glenn Close and Emma Stone are already Cruella de Vils, so I can’t think of anything. I want to play a witch. What’s a good crazy witch game? they would not remake The Wizard of Oz. This is useless. But that would be … I liked him. Marguerite Hamilton.
Have you ever thought about what life would be like if you pursued design instead of acting?
Paget Brewster: I never think about it. No. I failed Parsons School of Design. I never think about what my life would have been like if I had taken another direction. I think maybe because I feel so lucky to be able to do this. Like, ah, you know what, though? You know what though? I liked hosting a talk show. I did a talk show in San Francisco. That’s how I got my agent in Los Angeles. I really enjoyed hosting a talk show. It was fun. But I don’t know what it would look like now – like being sure The speech or something. I don’t know, it looks like it would be so difficult. It was fun when I was 25.