A real “Get Lucky” mariachi party

If that last wedding party scene in HBO Max “Father of the Bride” sounds like an epic all-night party, that’s because it really was.

With a mariachi and a salsa group combining forces and cultures for a jamming version of The Daft Punks “Get Lucky,” the dance cast was truly, as the song puts it, “up all night until the sun shines.”

“This wedding scene, we shot it until seven in the morning”, says Gloria Estefan, who plays the wife of Andy Garcia’s “Father of the Bride” in the film (now streaming). “It felt like we were really at a wedding dancing and having so much fun. It really shows.”

Director Gary Alazraki says he probably could have stopped filming the boisterous dance at the wedding union of the Cuban and Mexican families in the film earlier. But the celebratory cast, including Garcia, Estefan and the on-screen just married couple (Adria Arjona and Diego Boneta) kept demanding more live music.

“We ended up playing it over and over again because the actors kept asking for another song,” says Alazraki. “The executive producer was losing it, saying the neighbors would never see us again. But we played it until the mariachi and conga players almost passed out.”

Gary Alazraki, director of HBO Max's

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The idea for the end of the wild dance was born during a birthday party for actor Enrique Murciano during filming.

“We all danced late into the night,” says Alazraki. “The next day, (producer) Jeremy Kleiner said the spirit had to be at the end. That contagious joy he felt at the party.”

Even with Estefan starring in it first leading role in the cinema, Alazraki never considered playing the singer’s ubiquitous wedding anthem “Conga” in the bridal bash movie.

“Believe me, if it had been a wedding party, especially a Cuban wedding, ‘Conga’ would have been played,” Estefan says. “But we didn’t want to kick people out of character all of a sudden. It would have changed the whole vibe.”

Alazraki was shocked that Daft Punk allowed filmmakers to use “Get Lucky” because the now-defunct electronic band doesn’t “license movies.”

“But they did it for us,” he added.

The mariachi and salsa bands had a previously recorded version, but they improvised on set, upping the tempo to allow the actors to really move.

“It became this moment of joy,” says Alazraki. “I said to the cast, ‘Guys, dance!’ “

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Along with being a great party song, the song highlights key themes from the “Bride” remake, including staying true to its cultural heritage.

“The song ends the movie on a really tight note that’s hopeful,” says Alazraki. “But the lyrics also say, ‘We’ve come too far to be above who we are,’ which evokes this idea immigrants have of coming to America, wondering if they’re going to lose their traditions and their identity. .”

Fake champagne was used during the toasts at the “Bride” wedding. However, the director suspects contraband was part of the final party as the night wore on.

“Since it was getting late, were they able to get into the real stuff?” said Alazraki. “I don’t know what happened behind the camera. I don’t think they stayed kosher throughout production that night. Yeah, they were having too much fun.”

Late at night, the group finally gave in.

“The mariachi band played until their fingers almost bled,” says Alazraki. “They gave one last shot and said, ‘We’re done, we don’t have it in us anymore. Everyone was laughing and hugging.”

The director went to take one last shot of the moon, to reflect an earlier celebratory moment.

“When we went to take this picture of the moon, we noticed the sun was coming out,” Alazraki says. “It was morning. It was like, ‘Yeah, it’s officially a Mexican wedding.’ “

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