Which Brings Me to You Director on Lucy Hale and Nat Wolff’s Honest Chemistry

Following the success of their 2021 film The Hating Game, actor Lucy Hale and director Peter Hutchings are back in action with another uniquely romantic project that is now in theaters. Also starring Nat Wolff, Which Brings Me to You plays out almost entirely in real-time, a day in the life of two millennials who have been around the block when it comes to failed relationships. By chance, they meet at an East Coast wedding, and after a raunchy hookup in a coat closet goes sour, they end up connecting in unexpected ways after opening up to each other about their past lives in a sort of therapeutic way.

Hutchings has acted in movies and even written some, but here he’s in the director’s chair, bringing real-life personal experiences to the layered script. We recently caught up with him to learn more about his favorite movies and TV shows amid the current award season, his new film’s unique connection to Stanley Tucci, and more.

Shooting Where There’s a ‘Sense of History’

Which Brings Me To You

Release Date
January 19, 2024

Peter Hutchings

Keith Bunin , Steve Almond , Julianna Baggott

East Coasters may instantly find themselves recognizing the setting of Which Brings Me to You, whose catalyst is the wedding of friends located on a picturesque New York shoreside location. “I was born on City Island in the Bronx, this little fishing village,” Hutchings told us. “That must have been somewhere in my subconscious when I started location-scouting for this, because I really wanted to find locations that had a little bit of that sense of history, and that had these kind of old harbors and the old amusement park and these types of things.”

Related: Which Brings Me to You Review: Emotionally Raw Day in the Life of Love-Seekers with Checkered Pasts

Lucy Hale and Nat Wolff have been in the game for some time now, despite their young ages, and they bring their A-game to these conflicted central characters set against that East Coast backdrop. “I spent a lot of time in pre-production working with Nat and Lucy to make sure that they were going to be able to really get inside the skin of these characters and bring them to life,” said Hutchings. “We really wanted to make these characters as specific as possible… The more specific you are, the more universal it is. And so it’s really exciting to talk to people and see how they find themselves in these characters and in this story.”

“One of the things that I admire about both of them is that they’re constantly searching for the honest performance, for the truth in a moment,” Hutchings continued on how Wolff and Hale made their characters so relatable. “And so a lot of the prep that we did beforehand was to make sure that there wasn’t a false moment, that there wasn’t a false word that they were saying, that they both felt completely comfortable. Because once you start shooting a movie, it’s just organized chaos, when you’re racing daylight and you lose this location, and things are falling apart here.” He continued:

“A lot of my job I’ve learned over doing several movies now is be as prepared as you can, do as much as you can in pre-production, whether it’s with the cast or with all the other departments. And then on the day, it’s really fostering an environment where people feel relaxed and comfortable taking risks because I have a little bit of background in acting, and anybody who’s ever acted before, been up on stage, even if it’s an elementary school musical, knows that it’s a big risk.”

Given Hutchings’ acting background, as well as his screenwriting experience in addition to directing, we had to ask which he likes best at this point in his career. “Definitely not acting,” he said with a laugh. “Those days are long gone behind me. And actually, to be honest, the reason, even from a young age, why I wanted to study acting is because I knew I wanted to direct. I wanted to study acting because I wanted to know the language of acting, to be able to speak with performers. There are a lot of directors who are intimidated by actors because it’s kind of this mysterious process. And so I wanted to understand that.”

Related: Which Brings Me to You Clip Teases the Sultry Romance Between Lucy Hale and Nat Wolff

‘Editing Is Like Cooking’

Stanley Tucci and the cast of Big Night
Rysher Entertainment

And on the topic of directing, it’s a profession that becomes very involved in the post-production process of a feature film. “Editing is like cooking,” added Hutchings. “When you shoot the movie, you’re getting the ingredients, and then you get into the kitchen with the editing room.”

After Hutchings made this cooking analogy, we couldn’t help but begin discussing food — and the movies and TV shows that are centered around food. “I’m a big fan of The Bear,” said Hutchings, when we asked about his favorite projects from this past year. “I love any movie that’s based around cooking. Big Night is an all-time favorite. On the film side [of 2023], I really loved Past Lives and American Fiction. Those two immediately come to mind. Really special films, and I think both of them are feature debuts, which is mind-boggling because in my mind, the first feature should be, ‘you don’t know what the heck you’re doing.’ So I tip my hat to those filmmakers.”

Speaking of Stanley Tucci’s crowd-pleasing masterpiece from the late ’90s, Hutchings went to note a special connection Which Brings Me to You has to Big Night:

“I didn’t realize it when I was prepping this, but I watched Big Night a few months ago, and I’m like ‘All these locations look really similar. It looks kind of like where we shot the movie.’ And I looked it up, and it was exactly where we shot the movie. So again, it was something that was in my subconscious when I was location scouting and just drawn to that part of New Jersey.”

Looking ahead, Hutchings has a sort of passion project in the works that he’s particularly excited about. “There are there are a few things that I have in development that, for one reason or another, I’m holding close to the chest, one that has a little bit of autobiography in it,” he said. “It’s kind of split between present-day and the summer of 1989, that I think could be really fun. I hope to get to do that.”

In the meantime, from DECAL, Which Brings Me to You is now in theaters. Check out the trailer below:


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