Hulu's 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' Cast Shakes Up The Classic
If you know anything about Mindy Kaling's artistic vision, it's that she loves rom-coms. Like, really, really loves them. And this summer, she got the opportunity to adapt one of the genre's classics for a Hulu series with some very 2019 overhauls. For starters, Hulu's Four Weddings and a Funeral cast is super racially diverse; in fact, Kaling opted to nix the idea of a "floppy-haired British guy" from the story altogether.
"Hugh Grant at that age, with floppy hair, looking like that, is so iconic to romantic comedies, for his own career. There’s other ways of being really sexy that you see in the show, and new ways to be iconic, and we didn’t want to have that guy," she explained at the Television Critics Association summer 2019 press tour, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "We don’t want unfavorable comparisons and the original did it so well. And, it makes room for a lot of other really fascinating, funny characters."
The series still takes place in London, and it's still heavy on American ex-pats. But the ensemble cast looks much different than the lily white 1994 original. (Though Andi MacDowell does score a cameo appearance in the Hulu series as Ainsley's mother.) Here's more on who's involved in the remake, and where you might have seen them before.
Nathalie Emmanuel takes over for Hugh Grant as the series protagonist, and she's, of course, instantly recognizable to Game of Thrones fans. Emmanuel played Missandei on the HBO fantasy epic. On Four Weddings and a Funeral, she plays Maya, "a political staffer having an affair with her U.S. senator boss," according to the Washington Post. When that relationship disintegrates, she escapes to London to catch up with some American ex-pat friends and start over.
Nikesh Patel is a British actor with a handful of British TV appearances under his belt, including an episode of Doctor Who. But Four Weddings and a Funeral is poised to be his breakout role in the U.S. On it, he plays Kash, a brief blip of a romantic interest for Maya — until she realizes he's engaged to her best friend Ainsley. Oops!
Ainsley is played by Rebecca Rittenhouse, whom Kaling fans will recognize as Dr. Anna Ziev from The Mindy Project. She also starred in Fox's short-lived teen medical dramedy Red Band Society and ABC's equally short-lived primetime soap Blood & Oil. More recently, she's appeared in episodes of Suits and The Handmaid's Tale. As Ainsley, Rittenhouse plays a boutique-owner, Maya's best friend, and Kash's fiancé. Their wedding is one of the titular four, although Kash and Maya's chemistry throws a wrench into things.
John Paul Reynolds
On Four Weddings and a Funeral, John Paul Reynolds plays Duffy, an aspiring novelist and part of Maya's American friend group abroad. But Search Party fans will recognize him as Drew Gardner, boyfriend of Alia Shawkat's character Dory. He also played Officer Phil Callahan on the first two seasons of Stranger Things.
Brandon Mychal Smith
Disney Channel alum-turned-breakout You're the Worst actor, Brandon Mychal Smith joins the cast of Four Weddings and a Funeral as Craig, Kash's co-worker and an American friend of Maya's. He's also had recurring roles on MTV's Sweet/Vicious and NBC's short-lived comedy One Big Happy.
As you can tell, the Four Weddings and a Funeral reboot has already taken quite a few modern twists. But the film's screenwriter Richard Curtis still serves as an executive producer on the project, so the miniseries obviously has his blessing. Four Weddings and a Funeral is now streaming on Hulu.