Set Visit: How to Have a Merry Christmas, Bad Moms-Style

Mila Kunis Kathryn Hahn Kristen Bell A Bad Moms Christmas

How do you top the hilarious Bad Moms? Add more moms and you set it around the holidays, that’s how.

The upcoming sequel A Bad Moms Christmasonce again centers on our three favorite moms – Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) – who not only have to deal with the stress of Christmas, but also with their own mothers (Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon, respectively), who unexpectedly show up to spend the holidays with their daughters. Let’s just say Amy, Kiki and Carla need to go real bad at some point, just to stay sane.

Fandango had the chance to visit the set of A Bad Moms Christmas in Atlanta and experienced some of the unadulterated shenanigans firsthand. Watching the three actresses let loose at an expansive shopping mall after deciding they are done with all the Christmas madness was a real treat.

In one perfect Bad Moms moment, Hahn — as the wisecracking, straight-shooter Carla — had us doubled over with laughter, watching as she pulled out a bottle of booze to liven up a tray of sample juices. The three then proceeded to down the now alcohol-infused juice samples with abandon, also tempting the young shop girl holding the tray to partake in the holiday spirit.

Hahn’s rapid-fire hilarity with each take was pure brilliance. Then later, the women take over the mall’s PA system to try to stop everyone from letting themselves get caught up in the holiday craziness. The line-o-rama feature on the Blu-ray should be amazing.

We were able to sit down with Kunis, Bell and Hahn, along with returning writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, to talk about making the sequel, Christmas, being a mom and more.

Mila Kunis Kathryn Hahn Kristen Bell A Bad Moms Christmas

Hahn said she got excited about the sequel when she found out the women would be tackling Christmas. “When I heard it was holiday-themed, I don’t think there’s another time of the year that’s more necessary, when so many women are so busy making magic for everybody else. I just remember ripping presents open under the tree so fast as my mom was struggling to fry bacon in the pan. [laughs] I don’t think there is any other time of the year that would be so cathartic. So I was excited.”

Lucas also saw the inherent comedy in it. “I love Christmas, but I do feel that in the world of moms, Christmas is the Super Bowl for moms… it’s the biggest mom event of the year and felt too big to ignore. Anytime you have family together that you don’t see very often – maybe you don’t always want to see – packed into a stressful situation. There’s too much money, too much booze, and all those things felt combustible and fodder for comedy.”

When asked if their characters are still evolving, Bell quipped, “Does this sweater answer that question? Kiki still loves a good argyle sweater. A little argyle goes a long way.”

It seems that although Amy, Kiki and Carla transformed after the first movie, having their own mothers come to town sets them back a bit. Bell explained, “I think it’s made my character more dimensional. You saw the journey we took in the first one, where we were taking charge of our lives. But now we’re knocked a few pegs down when our mothers come to visit. You see these characters very much out of their element.”

Kunis chimed in, “I think it makes it a little bit more personal. We show three different perspectives of a mother-daughter relationship. It just so happens to culminate over Christmas, but I hope it that it makes women or mothers or daughters understand where the other one is coming from.”

Hahn added, “There’s only one person in the world who could make Carla feel small, and that would be her mother. So it’s kind of perfect that it ends up being Susan Sarandon.”

Mila Kunis Kathryn Hahn Kristen Bell A Bad Moms Christmas

As for the inclusion of Baranski, Hines and Sarandon and how they’ve added to the dynamic of the cast, Lucas said, “It’s really fun bringing new blood in. I’ve never worked with these women before – Susan, Cheryl and Christine – some have more experience with R-rated comedies than others. It’s been fun seeing everyone’s comfort level with what we’re trying to do. It’s a pretty R-rated movie… I have a lot of [male] stripper videos on my phone right now. I usually don’t have that many, but… I have so many naked men on my phone right now… At the end of the day, women are just as raunchy as men, they just don’t get to express it as much.”

Is that why having an female-lead comedy with the word “bad” in the title makes it work? Kunis replied, “I think a title is a title. It’s embracing the fact that these characters are flawed. Allowing the woman not to be the perfect, 1950s stay-at-home mom character is always nice. So I think [the word “bad”] represents that, the imperfection of a human being. It’s important to show real life. It’s the comical but real life of any parent, mother or father.”

The three leads also talked about being moms themselves and how they hope their kids will see them in the future.

Bell hit the nail on the head. “I have this conversation a lot at home. My husband and I look at each other and say, ‘No matter how cool we are, or how much we give them, they are going to look at us at some point and think, ‘we are so annoying.’ You’re meant to assimilate to the wider tribe around you. That’s why the teenagers exist because no matter how cool your parents are, and we’re trying to be very cool, they are going to hate us at some point. Or at least they are going to think we are uncool.”

Hahn said, “And like this movie says, we’re just doing the best that we can. Because we love them, so much, as human beings,” while Kunis laughed, “I like how Wyatt [her 3-year-old daughter] doesn’t look at me like a human; she looks at me like animal a lot of times. I’ve already failed.”

Boiling down A Bad Moms Christmas to two words, what would it be? Lucas answered, “The overall message is to enjoy more. Christmas is a classic example of something that’s really fun, but for some reason through society or whatever, we are told not to enjoy it. We are told to just work harder and harder. If you cut that all away, it’s really a wonderful time of year. But somehow, we suck the joy out of it.”

Moore added, “It’s that for Christmas and also the mother-daughter relationship. You can pick it apart, or enjoy it a little more and appreciate it,” to which Lucas jokingly summed up, “We see ourselves as moral teachers. It’s not just about the jokes.”

A Bad Moms Christmasopens in theaters November 1.

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