Cats! Wine Tasting! Shakespeare! Fall in love in Verona with Netflix's Love in the Villa trailer
Scrolling through social media and feeling like everyone but you is holiday-ing in Italy this summer?
Netflix has you covered from the comfort of your couch. The streamer's latest summer rom-com, Love in the Villa (out Sept. 1), follows Julia (Kat Graham), who ventures on a solo trip to Verona on her dream vacation after being unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, Brandon (Raymond Ablack). But when she arrives, she discovers her romantic villa has been double booked by uptight Brit, Charlie (Tom Hopper), who comes to Verona each year for his job seeking out vintners to work with at a wine festival.
EW can exclusively premiere the first trailer, which showcases Julia's various mishaps on her way to Verona, the hijinks between the two warring flatmates (cat pranks! food fights!), and the eventual bond that forms between them as she shows him a new side of the city.
For both Graham and Hopper, it was director and writer Mark Steven Johnson (Christopher Robin) and his script that drew them to the project. "I remember laughing out loud and crying and going through all of the emotions," Graham tells EW.
She was particularly struck by all the similarities between herself and Julia, bringing her own laminated travel itinerary from a recent trip to one of her first meetings with Johnson (and a t-shirt her character buys at the airport that reads "Endless Pasta-bilities" was actually one from Graham's own closet).
In many ways, the project was kismet for her. "Verona was already my favorite place in the world, which is also really strange," she explains. "I had had a break-up and we got back together in Verona. And then two years later, I get this film. My ex-fiance's name, he went by Brandon. I don't even call it a wink from God. It was more like a like an aggressive shove."
Similarly, Hopper was drawn to the script and its appeal to his wife, Laura, who also appears in the film as Cassie. "My wife tends to read a lot of the scripts before I get to them," he says. "Some of the ones she's like, 'Oh don't bother, you're not going to connect with this one.' And then, with this one, she was like, 'I just read this really great script called Love in the Villa. It's a really sweet rom-com.'"
She also mentioned her own interest in the role of Cassie, which down the line, led to her auditioning and landing the role. That, in turn, created a bit of a meta situation for Hopper when he arrived on set. "We just arrived in Verona, and then, I tested positive for COVID," he says. "We ended up having to go into quarantine for two weeks. So, we ended up having to spend two weeks alone in the villa, and we had our own Love in the Villa movie."
Though Graham is also a music artist, she didn't contribute a track to the film — but she and Hopper got to explore plenty of other unique avenues while making the project. Hopper had to learn about wine and vitaculture to play Charlie, a task that sounds envious.
"I could feel myself slipping into this wine stupor," he quips. "I was like, 'I gotta be careful. I got shirtless scenes in this movie.' I could see myself getting into that world a little bit too much. And I was getting offered free wine left, right and center. What's so amazing about, particularly Italian wine, is learning the journey. The taste of every wine comes literally from the soil all the way to the glass."
Perhaps one of the biggest releases for them both, though, was filming a food fight between Charlie and Julia, parts of which can be seen in the trailer. "I felt sorry for the cameraman doing the food fight," says Hopper. "He got the worst of it. It was a free for all. We got to hammer each other with food, a couple of choreographed moments, but then yeah, apart from that it was just, 'Go nuts.' It's always fun to be told, 'Go crazy. Throw a bunch of food, do all the stuff that you wanted to do as a kid but were never allowed to."
"I really did get to toss a Pecorino," laughs Graham. "I can't even tell you how much fun that scene was. I've always dreamed dreamt of a food fight like that. There were a couple of noodles in my hair afterwards."
Watch the trailer above for more.
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