While most films use alcohol substitutes for drinking scenes, "Drinking Buddies" is not like most films. The indie comedy directed by Joe Swanberg and starring Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, and Jake Johnson used actual beer while filming. As a result, Wilde got buzzed with Kendrick — and often.
Actually, buzzed isn’t the right word. During a sneak peek of Wilde’s upcoming interview with "Off Camera with Sam Jones," revealed on People.com, the actress said, "We were hammered the entire movie because it was real beer, because beer on that set was cheaper than water."
"Drinking Buddies," a film heavily comprised of improvisational dialogue, features two brewery co-workers, Luke (Johnson) and Kate (Wilde), who spend way too much time flirting with each other despite the fact that they both have significant others. Production set up shop at Chicago’s Revolution Brewery, and Anna Kendrick agreed to join the project about two weeks in.
According to Olivia Wilde, the petite "Pitch Perfect" star was taken aback when she realized the beer they were consuming at 10 in the morning on set was actual beer. The story goes she took a heavy swig of beer without knowing and "was instantly hammered."
Anna Kendrick previously detailed some of her drunken shenanigans on set. Speaking with Vulture back in 2013, she described a scene in which she played cards with Jake and she kept pounding back beer every time she lost. She didn’t realize she was tipsy until halfway through the shot.
She said, "I was like, ‘I’m super drunk right now!’ And so as soon as the take was over, I had to announce to everybody that I was drunk at work. I was horrified by the idea that I was going to be the next troublesome star who got drunk and started flipping over tables or whatever. I just tried to sit quietly until I sobered up."
Olivia Wilde previously defended the whole "drinking at work" ordeal to The Daily Beast, saying how they were trying to immerse themselves in the craft beer world and to better improvise accordingly. Swanberg would give the actors outlines of the scenes and told them they needed to hit specific plot points. But other than that, the dialogue was generally left up to them.