18 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About "Ticket To Paradise" That Will Make You Fall In Love With The Movie Even More

18 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About "Ticket To Paradise" That Will Make You Fall In Love With The Movie Even More
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18 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About "Ticket To Paradise" That Will Make You Fall In Love With The Movie Even More

Who knew that George Clooney was a fan of "Jump Around"?

8YzS9NC34_large.jpg?crop=498%3A500%3B0%2C53&downsize=60:*&output-format=jpg&output-quality=autoby Devin Herenda

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The recently-released rom-com Ticket to Paradise follows a pair of feuding ex-spouses (George Clooney, Julia Roberts) who travel to Bali, Indonesia, after learning of their daughter's (Kaitlyn Dever) upcoming wedding which comes after a whirlwind courtship. The two end up stumbling upon some forgotten emotions that remind them of why their romance first took off as they join forces and plot to stop the nuptials from taking place.


Vince Valitutti / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Here are 18 interesting facts about the film that'll prepare you to fall head over heels forTicket to Paradise.

1. It's the first rom-com for Julia in two decades.


Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

It's no secret that Julia has a history of starring in some of the most iconic rom-coms of all time, such as Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, Notting Hill, and My Best Friend's Wedding. The last time the Oscar-winning actor led a rom-com was in 2001, when she portrayed Kiki Harrison in America's Sweethearts. Ticket to Paradise is an overdue return to the genre for Julia, who told the New York Times in April 2022 that she said yes to the project due to the quality of its script.

"People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that’s gone by that I haven’t done a romantic comedy as my not wanting to do one," Julia said. "If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing or My Best Friend’s Wedding level of madcap fun, I would do it. They didn’t exist until [Ticket to Paradise]."

2. The lead roles were written specifically for George and Julia.


Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

Director and screenwriter Ol Parker told the A.V. Club in October 2022 that he wrote Ticket to Paradise with the intention of casting George and Julia in the main parts. The filmmaker stated that he had no backup plan if the two had declined the film, and he "wouldn’t make it" without them. Julia's character's name, Georgia, is a nod to George, and the original script also had a reference to Julia's first name.

"Literally, [Julia's] character’s called Georgia in the movie, and [George's character] used to be called Julius. [Laughs]," Ol said. "So, we’d just swapped their names. But then, it seemed a bit obvious when we sent it to them. So, he’s now called David, but the first three drafts, they were literally called Julius and Georgia rather than George and Julia. That’s how nakedly it was written for them."

3. It's the sixth time the two stars have worked together.


Anthony Harvey / FilmMagic / Getty Images

George and Julia, who have been good friends for over two decades in real life, have collaborated on a total of six films, with Ticket to Paradise being their most recent joint project. Prior to this, the pair starred in Ocean's Eleven, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Ocean's Twelve, and Money Monster, per the New York Times. In addition, Julia acted in August: Osage County, for which George served as a producer.

4. Ol Parker got the idea for the movie from his daughter.


Michael Tran / AFP via Getty Images

Ol and his wife, actor Thandiwe Newton, have three children together, including a daughter named Ripley who is in her early 20s. Ripley's journey of growing up and becoming independent inspired Ol to make a rom-com involving two parents trying to cope with their daughter's hasty choice to get married.

" ... My oldest daughter is 21 now, so she's making her own decisions in life. And so [the movie] came from that idea, like, what do we do about our children making decisions?" Ol said to Moviefone in October 2022.

5. Lucas Bravo couldn't sleep before filming a scene in which his and Julia's characters kiss.


David M. Benett / Dave Benett / WireImage / Getty Images

Lucas portrays Paul, Julia's onscreen boyfriend, in Ticket to Paradise. Prior to carrying out a scene that required Lucas and Julia to kiss, Lucas was so stressed about this moment that he wasn't able to get a good night's rest.

"I couldn't really sleep," Lucas explained to E! News in October 2022. "I surely used a lot of mints and Listerine for the scene. You don't want to mess this one up."

Shooting the scene went smoothly, he added, as Julia "really made it very comfortable for [him]" and "broke the ice."

6. An epic beer pong scene in the film was not choreographed.


Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

Although the crew of Ticket to Paradise initially had plans to map out a scene in which Julia's and George's characters play beer pong against their daughter, Lily, and her fiancé, Gede (Maxime Bouttier), the two actors decided to take matters into their own hands.

"It was funny because when we got to the set, everyone was like, 'Okay, we're going to talk about the scene,'" George said to Entertainment Weekly. "Julia and I were like, 'Let's just shoot it, man. Don't worry. We know what to do. We've been down this road a few times.'"

Ol used the first take that was filmed, and George stated that "there was a real shock" among his costars when he landed a ping-pong ball in a cup on the first try.

"I think people thought we might warm up," Julia added. "They thought we'd start off a little slow, and we just came in going 100 percent from the beginning — and we left some people speechless."

7. This scene also features a hip-hop song that's a "go-to" of George's.


Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

House of Pain's '90s rap hit "Jump Around" is included in the beer pong scene, and George and Julia dance along to the music. In real life, George revealed to Ol that the track is one of his favorites to conclude get-togethers.

"'Jump Around' is George's closer at parties," Ol said to Entertainment Weekly. "When I'd chosen the tracks and I sent them to them, George wrote back going, 'Nice — 'Jump Around' is my go-to dance song for the end of parties.' I was like, 'Cool, so that's going to be fine.'"

8. The people who play Maxime Bouttier's parents in Ticket to Paradise had never acted before performing in the rom-com.

View this photo on Instagram

agungpindha/Instagram / Via instagram.com

In a Screen Rant chat, Ol shared that he and casting directors were having trouble finding the right actor to play Wayan, Maxime's onscreen father. Eventually, he ended up approaching a cultural consultant named Agung Pindha for the role after recognizing that he was "so handsome and charming and lovely" during a Zoom meeting.

"At the end of the meeting, we said, 'Would you mind coming out to my office?' He came up, and I was like, 'Could you just read that speech?'" Ol said. "He started reading, and I was like, 'You're hired!' He was like, 'What? What's going on here? What's happening?' I was like, 'Do you want to be in the movies? Okay!'"

Another newcomer in the movie is Ifa Barry, who plays Maxime's onscreen mother, Suli. Ol stated that she is a Brisbane passport officer before emphasizing the value in pairing George and Julia with costars who aren't trained actors.

"None of them are actors, so it's really good for George and Julia to work with people that aren't [actors]. It was just great," Ol said. 

9. Maxime has said that Agung Pindha's guidance on the project led to "everything [being] portrayed correctly" in regards to Balinese culture.


Gilbert Flores / Variety via Getty Images

When asked by Screen Rant in October 2022 about the film's depiction of Balinese culture, Maxime, who grew up in Bali, opened up about Agung contributing as a consultant on the subject matter. This led to "everything [being] portrayed correctly," the performer explained.

"In pre-production, they were already having a consultation about that. My [onscreen] dad, actually, was consulting a lot about Bali culture," Maxime said. "We were talking a lot about that. I think everything was portrayed correctly, and it's subtle as well."

He added, "... [Agung] helped a lot. I think it was really well portrayed, and the Balinese people loved it. We were just very proud of it. It's just a really feel-good movie, to really show Bali to the world."

10. Kaitlyn's character was also written just for her.


Vince Valitutti / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

When Ol spoke to Screen Rant, he revealed that he'd become friendly with Kaitlyn prior to collaborating with the actor on Ticket to Paradise. He had the Last Man Standing alum in mind to play Lily while writing the screenplay and felt that "it was always her" who should take on the part.

"That was also written for [Kaitlyn]. I had met her before, and we were friends already," Ol said. "She's obviously a once-in-a-generation actress, and also the nicest person. I remember meeting her at a party and saying, 'I'm writing something for you,' and she's like, 'Yeah, right.' Because that's, like, a chat-up line — which it wasn't, obviously. So, it was really nice to send it to her and go, 'You know that thing? I wasn't kidding.'"

11. In addition, her portrayal of Lily in Ticket to Paradise is Kaitlyn's first-ever rom-com role.


Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

Though she's tackled many film and TV roles throughout her career, which began at the age of 12 when she scored her first acting credit in An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong, Kaitlyn had never acted in a romantic comedy prior to Ticket to Paradise. The Rosaline star felt early on that this movie was the right fit for her to try out the genre.

"I’d never done a rom-com before, and I’m always looking to do something different and work a different part of my brain," Kaitlyn said to STACK Magazine. "I think this script is immediately such a good time, and I knew that would mean a really good time on set, making the movie, and Ol is just so talented, so it was great."

12. Billie Lourd and Kaitlyn, who play close friends in the movie, are also besties in real life.


Alberto Rodriguez / The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Billie portrays Wren, Lily's best friend who joins her for their post-graduation Bali vacation, during which Lily and Gede meet. She and Kaitlyn, who previously costarred together in Booksmart, are likewise close in real life, which made the part "an absolute dream" for Billie.

"Kaitlyn is one of my closest friends in real life, so to get to play her best friend on screen is just an absolute dream," Billie said at the Ticket to Paradise world premiere. "I am obsessed with her, and we got even closer on this movie. I'm obsessed with her family, I'm obsessed with her, I'm obsessed with her dog. I just love everything about that girl. She is heavenly."

13. The first day that George's wife, Amal Clooney, and their two children visited the set was the day he and Julia were scheduled to share a scripted kiss.


Samir Hussein / Samir Hussein / WireImage / Getty Images

George and Julia sat down with Today show anchor Hoda Kotb in October and were asked if it's awkward for them to kiss on screen like they did for Ticket to Paradise. 

"It is when my wife and kids come by to visit," George said.

Julia explained that the filming of the kiss took place on "the first day they came to visit."

"It’s like, 'Papa, oh, Auntie Juju.' It’s like — 'Get 'em out, get 'em out!'" Julia said.

"It’s really bad," George said. "'What are you doing, Papa? What is that?'"

George then stated that his kids left the set while the kiss was being filmed.

14. George has stated that he's "really proud of" Universal Pictures for taking on "the gamble" of giving Ticket to Paradise a theatrical release.


David M. Benett / Dave Benett / WireImage / Getty Images

George expressed his pride in Universal Pictures for taking a chance on Ticket to Paradise in a recent Sirius XM interview, the Wrap wrote. While George said that movie studios often feel "the gamble is too hard" to invest in films that aren't certain to earn a huge box office return, Universal made a statement by releasing the rom-com in theaters.

"I actually really applaud Universal for standing up and saying, 'No, we really want to do this. We want to open it in theaters,'" George said. "'Cause that’s another thing: They are making romantic comedies — they’re making 'em for Netflix and Amazon and saying, 'Here, that’s where they go now.' And so [Ticket to Paradise] is saying, 'No, we are still in the movie business,' and I’m really proud of them for doing that."

15. Ticket to Paradise is a rare chance to see George in a romantic comedy, and he said yes to the project on the condition that Julia also accepted the offer.


Frank Trapper / Corbis via Getty Images

"I hadn’t really done a romantic comedy since One Fine Day [1996] — I haven’t succeeded like Julia has in that forum — but I read [Ticket to Paradise] and thought, 'Well, if Jules is up for it, I think this could be fun,'" George said to the New York Times in September.

George had previously spoken to Deadline in January 2022 about not having done a rom-com in over 25 years. Before saying yes to Ticket to Paradise, he made sure that Julia was all in as well.

" ... In this one, Julia and I just get to be mean to each other in the funniest way, and the minute I read it, I called Julia, and I said, 'Did you get this?' and she said, 'Yeah,'" George said. "And I said, ‘Are you going to do it?’ and she goes, 'Are you going to do it?' and I said, 'Yeah, if you do it.' So, it was just one of those very lucky things."

16. George and Julia wore wetsuits while filming in a body of water to protect themselves from jellyfish that are "the size of your pinky nail" and cause cardiac arrest.


Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

George and Julia sport wetsuits and act out harvesting seaweed in one scene that takes place in the water. In a BBC Radio 1 interview from October 2022, George and Julia explained that they wore these outfits to avoid getting stung by dangerous "tiny jellyfish," as there was a "whole infestation" of them in the surrounding area.

"There was this whole infestation of these tiny jellyfish, so we had to wear those hysterical suits," George said.

"Yeah. They're the size of your pinky nail, and you don't feel it when they sting you, but you have a cardiac arrest 30 to 40 minutes after," Julia added.

17. Costars Lucas and Maxime were roommates for a time during the production.


Victor Boyko / Getty Images For AZ Factory, Karwai Tang / WireImage / Getty Images

"Lucas and I were roommates for two weeks, so that was pretty special. Because we're both French, we kinda hit it off real quick, and that was really cool," Maxime said to Cosmopolitan Philippines. "There were some really nice moments [while shooting the film and] we [the cast and crew] were all pretty much family there because we ran into each other in the grocery every day. It's like a big house full of your family and friends."

18. Ol was initially "terrified" to work with the cast of Ticket to Paradise.


Alberto Rodriguez / The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

When Ol was asked on the red carpet what his reaction was to learning he'd be working with his dream cast of actors such as George and Julia, he said that this was "a privilege," as well as a high-pressure scenario.

"Terrifying. Nothing but terrifying," Ol said of the situation. "Then, you realize, luckily, they're really lovely as well as really good. But I couldn't get out of bed on the first day. I was just terrified lying there, but then you think, 'This is what my 21-year-old self dreamt of.' ... Pressure's a privilege. So, yeah, all right in the end."

My level of joy after learning more about this star-studded rom-com:


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