It was a surprise box office hit over Christmas, and it probably has a lot to do with the stunning Palm Beach and Terrey Hills locations, along with other beautiful Sydney venues. 

In the new edgy comedy Anyone But You, Bea and Ben look like the perfect couple, but after an amazing first date something happens that turns their fiery hot attraction ice cold – until they find themselves unexpectedly thrust together when they stay at a stunning Northern Beaches home prior to a wedding in Sydney.

The film has been a hit over summer, and stars Sydney Sweeney (The White Lotus, Euphoria) as Bea and Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) as Ben. There’s also a well-known supporting cast with both local and international stars, including Dermot Mulroney, Rachel Griffiths and Bryan Brown. For any locals watching, the real star of the film is the Northern Beaches itself!

“This movie is a wild, fun time,” says Sweeney. “It’s sexy, it’s funny, it’s R-rated, there’s beautiful places, an amazing cast. What more could you want?”

The movie began to take shape when Sweeney signed on not only to star, but executive produce the film. As the first filmmaker on the project, she convinced director Will Gluck to come on board to give Anyone But You his distinctive comedic voice.

“He has directed such iconic romcoms that I grew up watching – Easy A, Friends with Benefits – and I was really, really excited to work on this project with him,” says
Sweeney. “I don’t know how he was able to handle the chaos that the cast was – we kind of became like a camp, running amok. It was so much fun.”

Sweeney was also the one to pick her leading man. Powell was fresh from flexing his acting talents (and biceps) on the smash hit film Top Gun: Maverick with Tom Cruise.

“Fun fact: I met Glen on the stage of the MTV Awards – he gave me an award. And I remember walking up, I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’” laughs Sweeney. “And then when we were casting this movie, he was always at the top of my list. I couldn’t forget that little interaction. And he was a lot of fun to work with – he always has a joke and he was constantly working out.”

The actors say filming in Sydney really helped to create some of the amazing cinematic moments that everyone’s talking about.

“Coming towards the Sydney Opera House, seeing Sydney there in a pink dress, was amazing,” recalls Powell. “The wind was blowing, I’m coming in a tuxedo, jumping
out, knowing I’m gonna profess my love to her. It was by far the most romantic moment I’ve ever been a part of.”

For Gluck, giving Sweeney and Powell a big, romantic vista to play against was key. And he knew Sydney, Australia was the place. Since 2017, Gluck had made two films here – Peter Rabbit and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

“I kind of fell in love with Australia, as did my family. So I wanted Anyone But You to be my love letter to Sydney – one of the most beautiful, welcoming, glorious places in the world.”

With Gluck, Sweeney, and Powell on board, Gluck approached the teams and agencies that had supported the two Peter Rabbit films to see if they would be interested in giving their largest city an international spotlight. “When I explained that I wanted to shoot Sydney for Sydney, they bent over backwards to help us,” says Will. Anyone But You received the Producer Offset, as well as the Commonwealth Location Incentive from The Australian Government and funding from the NSW Government’s Made in NSW fund.

“We also had a great local crew,” says Gluck. “Create NSW helped us find vendors, and we decided to do all our visual effects in New South Wales because some of the greatest VFX artists happen to be working in Sydney.”

Aussie star Bryan Brown portrays the father of the bride, Roger who along with his wife Carol have offered to host the wedding guests at their lavish Palm Beach home prior to the wedding. Audiences will fall in love with the house – but a little bit of movie magic was used as the interiors actually belong to a home in Terrey Hills.

Romantic comedy vets Dermot Mulroney and Rachel Griffiths play the other parents, Leo and Innie. Anyone But You marks their first collaboration since they shared the screen in My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Griffiths was excited to be making another romantic comedy. “After I read the script, I said, ‘Who’s my husband?’ And when they replied, ‘Dermot Mulroney,’ I laughed because really the only other romantic comedy I’ve done is My Best Friend’s Wedding, when Dermot was the paramour of Julia Roberts. So, I thought, ‘Okay, it’s meant to be.’”

There are two other stand-out Australian actors in the film – model Charlee Fraser plays Margaret, and Joe Davidson plays Beau, her sort-of boyfriend. Joe manages to steal a lot of the laughs in the film.

Joe Davidson stars in ANYONE BUT YOU.

“Beau is what you get when you mix all the Australian slangs and icons all into one character,” he says.

Davidson was traveling in Tasmania when his agent called with the news that Will Gluck wished to meet with him in Sydney. “It said specifically in the email that Beau must be big and strong, and I’d just spent a few weeks in Tasmania traveling around, so I wasn’t in peak physical condition at all,” recalls Davidson. “I headed up to Sydney and went into a Kmart, grabbed two dumbbells, and started a little workout. I did sit-ups, and everyone was like, ‘What’s this guy doing?’ I did a 30 min Kmart workout, then headed in for my audition.”

It’s clear however, that one of Gluck’s primary goals – in addition to making a very funny movie – was to showcase Sydney, Australia, in all its romantic beauty. “I specifically wrote this movie because I wanted to spend four months in Sydney with my family and my friends,” admits Gluck. “It was selfish, but I was confident the
cast would fall just as much in love with the place as I had. And they did.”

The film is shot at iconic locations including the Sydney Opera House, on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and, of course, Palm Beach, as well as the Rocks and the Sydney Cricket Ground. Perhaps most spectacularly, the team filmed for seven nights on a superyacht as it sailed all over Sydney Harbour.

“All these things that I wrote, I never actually thought that they would let us do,” Gluck admits. “Like landing a helicopter at the Sydney Opera House and having Glen jump out multiple times, or putting Sydney and Glen on a buoy in the middle of Sydney Harbour for five nights straight.”

Even the Australian actors were blown away by the scenery. “I know this joint inside out, but looking back at Circular Quay, under the Bridge, at Luna Park, Barangaroo, at all the lights, it’s like you’re in a fantasy land,” says Bryan Brown.

“One morning, we wrapped on the boat at 5am and we were put onto a little rubber boat,” recalls Griffiths. “…going so fast past the Sydney Opera House, under the Bridge, as dawn is breaking. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I was reminded that Sydney really is one of the most beautiful cities on Earth.”

Anyone But You is in cinemas now. 

 

 

 

 

 

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