If you spent the first weekend of June the right way, you now know the glory of Keanu Reeves entering a room in slow motion, Keanu Reeves apologizing to his dinner before eating it, and Keanu Reeves aggressively shouting the names of Chinese dignitaries at an intimate dinner party. You also know that Netflix's charming rom-com Always Be My Maybe became an overnight classic (and the reason you stayed up late Googling "what glasses does Ali Wong wear" and "what the hell is a Gubi chair").
What you don't know is what the stars of Always Be My Maybe, namely Michelle Buteau and Ali Wong, were doing when the cameras weren't rolling. Spoiler: it involves a dark corner of the internet that many of us like to pretend doesn't exist.
"I have a favorite offset memory. It was at dinner when we started talking about Wikifeet," Wong tells Refinery29, while Buteau begins to laugh knowingly. Apparently, the actresses were at dinner with their co-star Casey Wilson (the Gubi chair-obsessed designer in the film), and discovered that everyone except Buteau had a good rating on the foot-fetish website known for rating celebrity women's feet. Buteau's rating, rudely, is "poor."
Buteau, rightfully, was not going to let that lie: "I was like, bitch, don't come for me."
Wong, however, was determined to actually fix the situation with a foot photoshoot. "Seeing her genuine face fall, we were determined to get her Wikifeet rating up, but then the next day, Michelle tripped on set and her foot was bleeding," explains Wong, as though explaining a far more harrowing journey. The duo were (jokingly) devastated.
"I tripped over something the crew had put down. I had a [fake] pregnant belly so I just bounced the fuck back up. I felt like that door at the end of Titanic. But then I realized that I cut my foot and there was blood everywhere and these motherfuckers are throwing paper towels at me like Donald Trump in Puerto Rico. But everyone was like are you okay?" Except Wong, whose first thought was "Oh no, her Wikifeet photos!" Sadly, their mission had failed.
Apparently, to be a fly on the wall during the production of Always Be My Maybe would have been a dream, mostly involving wild stories like this Wikifeet one. Buteau, who wasn't doing standup at the time, says her riffing was at all time high.
"[During] the van rides I took with Michelle in Vancouver, she was like roasting the pedestrians on the street, with like, 'Yes, hippie man, yes! Tell me about your ex-wife, I wanna know everything,'" says Wong, barely getting out her impression of Buteau before breaking down laughing.
"Well the thing is I wasn't doing comedy in Vancouver, and I didn't have anyone to talk to all day, so I was like, 'Here it is!'" says Buteau. "Most people do push-ups to get it out, but I can't do push-ups, so I was like, well, we're gonna talk."
For Always Be My Maybe director Nahnatchka Khan, of Don't Trust The B-- in Apartment 23 fame, this little snapshot of Wong and Buteau's antics describe her entire experience working on the rom-com. "Yeah, just imagine a camera on [Ali] and a camera on [Michelle] and me with the headphones, [whispering] yeah, we got it," she says with a laugh.
Her patience, it would seem, is the reason their comedic romping stayed on track.
"I describe [Nahnatchka] as part director, part therapist," says Buteau. "[Her] ability to talk to people and also never make [work] feel rushed, and also [her] intuition to serve the story, and also always being in a good mood even though there are 17,000 things going on." Even when those 17,000 things include a photoshoot for a foot fetish website or wondering aloud about the life stories of Vancouver pedestrians.