After the Wedding is the story of two women who start worlds apart and come together when they discover they have something unexpected in common.
Michelle Williams plays Isabel, who has devoted her life to caring for the impoverished children at an orphanage in Calcutta, India, but at the start of the film, it quickly becomes apparent that the orphanage is out of funds, requiring Isabel to visit New York City to make a fundraising presentation to a possible donor. But Isabel is reluctant to go. And it turns out there is more to her reluctance than just leaving the children behind, especially 7-year-old Jai, with whom she has formed a strong attachment.
Julianne Moore takes on the role of Theresa — and with hubby Bart Freundlich directing, she had her choice of either part — a multi-millionaire media mogul based in New York City, who is the potential benefactor. Theresa is a force of nature and when Isabel shows up at her office for their meeting, she insists that Isabel attend her stepdaughter’s (Abby Quinn) wedding.
It’s at the wedding that a long-hidden secret is exposed, and the reveal alters the course of all of their lives.
Why did you choose to play Theresa instead of Isabel when you could’ve done either role?
Bart had been approached to do an American adaptation of Susanne Bier’s beautiful Danish film, so we were in our family room watching the movie because I had never seen it before. I was really enjoying it, and right away, I was so struck by what Rolf Lassgård was doing. I was like, “I love that guy.” He had such a big presence, and he was also so opaque. I didn’t know what was happening with him, and then with the final reveal, I was like, “Whoa.” It really, really struck me.
I turned to Bart at the end and said, “Now that’s a part I’d like to play.” Then later on when they were talking about it and they mentioned the gender flip, I got very excited, and I was like, “Well, I’m in.” I was also really compelled by the idea of somebody — especially with the gender flip — who had built this huge life for herself, this big, big career, this company that she cared about. She cared about her employees. She cared about who she was going to sell it to.
At the same time, she had this really wonderful family that she was very invested in. Sometimes when you see boss ladies in movies, they’re paper thin, they’re usually evil, and they exist to be a foil to somebody else.
But I know a lot of women who’ve built big lives, who have big careers and big families, and care about it all equally, and I wanted to see that represented, and I wanted to play that. So, I was very excited, and also, sadly, I think we knew a couple of people who had done exactly what Theresa had done, which is…I don’t want to give it away.
Michelle has the lead. I wrote her an email, and I said, “My husband and I are working on this movie, and we want you to play this lead character,” but I just was drawn to the other one. I really was.
Read the full article/interview in our press library.