“He just told me to embrace being a romantic lead,” the Top Gun: Maverick star told The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s New York premiere on Monday. “He said, ‘You know, it’s so easy with movies like this to not feel important and to not feel special,’ and he said to really embrace the fact that you’re making a movie that brings a lot of people joy. … He’s like, ‘You represent love to people and embrace that, it’s really special.’”
Sony’s upcoming film follows Powell’s Ben and Sydney Sweeney‘s Bea, who, after a perfect first date, quickly find themselves hating each other. But when they both get invited to a destination wedding in Australia, they pretend to be a couple to keep up appearances and minimize drama.
Throughout the press tour for Anyone But You, Powell and Sweeney have received praise for their onscreen chemistry, which the Euphoria star said was effortless.
“It was very easy,” she told THR. “There was nothing that had to go into it at all. It was there. It was just like one of those beautiful things where when you just happen to meet someone, and it clicks, and you have a great time together.”
Mulroney, who plays Bea’s father in the Will Gluck film, also shared that he and Powell talked about the romantic leading man role “in the most amazing way.”
“He brought our conversation to life in the lead in this movie and put his heart and soul into making it,” the My Best Friend’s Wedding star said, “and to watch that on a movie that might be considered just a comedy shows you how important rom-coms are.”
Darren Barnet, who plays Bea’s ex-fiancé Jonathan, shared that, a few weeks before shooting, Sweeney messaged him to say ‘hello’ and share that she was excited to work with him.
“No one had an ego, and it’s so hard to come by that. So, it felt like family very quickly, and it made the time amazing,” the Never Have I Ever star said of the cast’s dynamic on set. “It was like being on a playground with your best friends. It was fun, but we were all working professionals, and everyone knows when to get serious and when to joke around.”
Powell and Mulroney weren’t the only actors to bond. Barnet said that he and Mulroney became “like best friends,” who now go out to dinner regularly. While Mulroney didn’t outright give the actor advice, Barnet admitted that simply being around The Wedding Date star made him feel “a little cooler.”
Mulroney stressed the importance of rom-coms while discussing Anyone But You, sharing that he believes the film, like his past projects in this genre, will live on beyond its theatrical release and go down as a truly beloved rom-com.
“What I learned from being in rom-coms — some of mine are more than 20 years old — is how important they are and how much it means to people,” he said. “So, even if you feel like you’re making a light comedy or something, what you’re doing is making something permanent that people will always remember. And that’ll grow over time.”
Anyone But You hits theaters Dec. 22.
This story originally appeared on HollywoodReporter