TV and Movies

‘Ivy and Bean’ Cast on Working With Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jane Lynch, Singing TikTok Songs and Howling on Set

Ivy and Bean” director Elissa Down gushed over working with “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, describing him as her “spirit animal,” at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles on Monday.

“We were shooting [during] a heat wave in Canada. The set was hot, but [Jesse] wasn’t waiting in his trailer — he came straight in and he goes, ‘I’ve got a joke to pitch,’” Down told Variety on the red carpet at Harmony Gold. “He just loves improvisation and he was such a generous actor.”

Based on the children’s book series by Annie Barrows, the upcoming film trilogy follows the adventures of unlikely best friends Ivy (Keslee Blalock) and Bean (Madison Skye Validum), from hunting down ghosts to enrolling in dance lessons. Ferguson plays ballet teacher Monsieur Joy in the third installment, “Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance.”

“I had this idea that he’s a fake French guy who says certain words, like, when you hear people say they’re just ordering a croissant — kwra-san. They don’t normally talk like that, but they just say those words with a French accent,” Ferguson said about the inspiration behind his character. “I thought that’d be a fun choice, so he’s pretty ridiculous.”

The “Ivy and Bean” trilogy also stars Nia Vardalos, Sasha Pieterse, Jaycie Dotin, Marci T. House, Garfield Wilson, Lidya Jewett and Jane Lynch. Dotin — who plays Ivy’s mom Katrine — said working with Lynch was “like a master class in comedy,” while “Pretty Little Liars” star Pieterse described the “Glee” actor as “everything you want her to be and more.”

The three one-hour features were filmed last summer in Vancouver, which many cast members pointed out were not shot chronologically.

“Every day when we filmed something, I was like, ‘Well wait, which movie is this from?’” Jewett, who plays Bean’s older sister Nancy, said. “But it was good because I got to have a deeper sense [of] them, and just learn about them in depth because of my confusion.”

Despite the pressure of filming the trilogy back to back, the cast and crew still shared some amusing moments with each other in between takes.

“On set, I made a wolf pack,” Blalock recalled. “I would walk outside my trailer and howl, and then everyone would start howling back. We made signs, like, if I howled twice, it means I’m coming or something.”

The “Ivy and Bean” cast members would also sing together while the cameras were off. “I think ‘Frozen’ was [our] favorite and a lot of TikTok songs,” Jewett said.

“Ivy and Bean,” along with its sequels “Ivy and Bean: The Ghost That Had to Go” and “Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance,” premiere Sept. 2 on Netflix.


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