Family is an ever-present theme in Disney movies, and now Lisa Kudrow is back with another Disney+ musical comedy featuring familial connections at its core.
Better Nate Than Ever is a Disney+ streaming production that will make way to the streaming service on April 1. The story is based on the novel High School Musical: The Musical: The series by writer and director Tim Federle.
The film focuses on the story of Nate, a teenager at the age of 13. Played by Rueby Wood, a young star in the Hollywood industry, Nate aspires to be on Broadway. He finally finds the opportunity to showcase his talents when he hears that there is going to be a Lilo and Stitch musical production.
Unfortunately, his dreams are thwarted as his parents are unable to move him from Pittsburgh to New York City. Yet the resourceful teen plans to reach NYC anyway with his best friend Libby, played by Aria Brooks from Nickelodeon's All That.
Regardless of their brilliant planning, the two need an adult to help them go through their plan. That is when Nate's aunt Heidi, played by Lisa Kudrow from Friends, comes as a beacon of shining light and offers help.
Heidi is not only on the mission to help Nate achieve his dreams but is also trying desperately to bring back her family, which was once divided by her own Broadway ambitions.
Recently, Lisa Kudrow sat with Screen Rant to talk about Better Nate Than Ever, the relationship arc she played as Heidi with her nephew, and more.
Heidi is not exactly the doting aunt that Nate grew up with. In fact, he barely ever met her. Yet she is someone he is very aware of. Heidi herself did not get to see her sister for a long time, let alone her family. And then suddenly, there is Nate, asking her for help.
Happy to be a part of his life after such a long time, Heidi struggles with the realization that Nate should not be in NYC. She tries sending him back as a responsible adult should do, but he keeps on coming back chasing his dreams to the end.
Soon Hedi understands that Nate is determined to get to his goal and knows that he will have nowhere to stay but her place. They develop a very unexpected bond as Nate stays a single night over at Heidi's, and the meeting changes the aunt drastically.
He reminds her that life was beautiful for her once too, and she too believed in exciting things. It ends up being an important lesson for her as they walk through the film.
Sharing why she said yes to the project, Lisa Kudrow said that she wanted to work in a Disney plus production. Apart from that, Better Nate than Ever stars a 13-year-old child in the lead of the film, who also happens to be gay.
Then, she read the script of the film, which was interesting enough to hold her attention. The story shows that Nate is extremely honest with himself, and his affirmations end up bringing great things his way.
The story can serve as a small reminder for younger children around 12 and 13 that even when things are at their hardest, it helps to stay true and loyal to yourself. Being a young kid is definitely not easy when you think that you do not fit in like the rest, but it's important that you remember to allow yourself the time to grow and not be hard o yourself.
It is also necessary that adults understand this and allow children a moment of break to collect themselves and be in their own skin. Hence, the entire concept of the story drew her in, and she decided that she wanted to be a part of this phenomenal film.
Recalling her auditioning process, Lisa Kudrow revealed that she has never taken part in the New York stage auditioning, and called it the "meanest thing" that she has ever come across.
Yet, her one trick for auditioning is that she imagines that there is no one in the auditioning room. There is no casting director, no head of the studio, or anyone of importance that she should know. All of the people become part of the audience, and she just performs her best.
Coming back to the film, Heidi explained why she fell out of favor with her sister. It's revealed in the script that Heidi was called for her sister's wedding. Being the maid of honor she was obligated to attend. However, she could not attend because of her career.
Her reasoning could have been the fact that her family did not support her career and she simply decided to not appear.
Lisa Kudrow also talked about her very famous role in Friends as the legendary Phoebe Buffay and shared that she is very excited to see a reboot of the series, but with young actors taking on the roles.
Yet, she also revealed that she does not have a young actor in mind to portray her character. She reasoned that she does not have the right to cast or decide that for the series. Kudrow ended her interview, sharing that now she would like to star in a Lilo & Stitch musical.