Happiest Season’s Mary Holland Talks Playing Games On-Set, Reveals Improvised Moments

Happiest Season is finally here! The holiday rom-com featuring a star-studded cast and gay lead characters dropped on Hulu today and it's already getting great buzz. As of now, the movie has a 90% critics score and 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. ComicBook.com gave the movie a 4 out of 5 and called it "the star-studded gay rom-com we’ve been waiting for." In honor of the movie's release, ComicBook had the chance to chat with Mary Holland, who not only co-write the movie with director Clea DuVall but also played Jane, the family's eager-to-please middle sister. We talked about the fun the cast had behind-the-scenes, improvised moments, and DuVall's directing style.

"Clea really created this," Holland shared. "It was such a safe space and she really... Everybody felt really taken care of and looked after by her as a director.... And she also populated the cast with very funny people. A lot of comedic actors, yes, but then also just great dramatic actors who are also funny people. And so she definitely made us feel like we could bring our own ideas to these characters and play and try things out."

Holland added, "You want the scenes with the family members to feel very lived ... and alive, like it's happening and it's not like choreographed. You know what I mean? You want it to feel organic. And so those were like moments when I remember improv definitely coming into play of like me trying to decorate the cookies and Alison [Brie] getting annoyed and Mary [Steenburgen] telling me not to grab the cookie sheet. And like, all that kind of stuff was found in the moment just from kind of living as these characters."

"Oh yeah. We played so many games," Holland revealed when asked if there was fun on set. "This is a real game enthusiast cast. We did every escape room in the Pittsburgh area that we could. Clea and I are massive escape room fans. We've done almost all of them that are available to do in LA and Mackenzie [Davis] loves them as well. And for some people, it was their first introduction. Like I think it might've been Kristen [Stewart]'s first experience in an escape room, but we forced everybody to participate and it was really fun. But yeah, onset we would play so many games. We would play all these different word games and we just had such a blast with each other."

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Stay tuned for more from our interview with Mary Holland, where we talk about Harley Quinn, Jedi Temple Challenge, and more. If you don't want to wait to read all about it, you can also watch the full interview in the video at the top of the page.

Happiest Season is now available to watch on Hulu.