Tom Hopper And Kat Graham Talk Netflix's Love In The Villa - Exclusive Interview

Both Kat Graham and Tom Hopper are beloved by viewers all over the world from their various projects. Now, they've teamed up for Netflix's latest romantic comedy, "Love in the Villa."

In the film, Graham plays a woman who decides to embark upon her dream vacation following a breakup. As a huge "Romeo and Juliet" fan, the recently dumped teacher realizes that there's no better time to explore Verona in Italy. However, when she arrives, she finds a dashing British man (Hopper) in the villa she booked online. As it turns out, the pair have accidentally been double-booked in the romantic locale, and they're forced to find a way to make the best of a tricky situation. From the gorgeous Italian setting to the hilarious chemistry between the lead actors, "Love in the Villa" is the perfect summer romance to add to your watchlist.


In an exclusive interview to celebrate the release of "Love in the Villa" on Netflix, Tom Hopper and Kat Graham sat down with The List to reveal what it was like making the wonderful rom-com and whether they'll be back for a sequel.

Kat and Tom have 'really great chemistry'

This is easily my favorite Netflix rom-com so far because you two are such a wonderful pairing. What was it like working together?

Kat Graham: It was awesome.

Tom Hopper: So much fun.

Graham: We had a really great time.


Hopper: Every scene in this movie was a joy to make. Between myself and Kat and then working with [writer and director] Mark Steven Johnson, the three of us got a really great chemistry very early on and [figured out] how to bring the best out of all the scenes. We had to have fun. Mark is so good at encouraging the fun in a scene and allowing us as actors to bring ourselves to it. That all helps in building the chemistry.

Graham: There were some long scenes ... I remember we did one scene where we were walking and talking, and Mark was shocked that we got through it without any cuts. I'm sure there's a lot of actors that aren't as good. They take days to get through scenes like that. It was great.


Hopper: The way that me and Kat work, it was quite funny, actually. As people, me and Kat are quite different. But as performers, and the preparation we like to have going on set in scenes, we're both very prepared. Going into every scene knowing that your team partner is going to be as prepared as you are is a comforting feeling. You know that the playful side of it and the experimentation and finding what the scene is really about [is] going to come sooner, so you get to enjoy it.

Graham: Absolutely. Because we were so prepared, we could actually find the rhythm in a lot of these scenes. We were doing a walk and talk across this bridge scene. As a dancer, I guess I would use the word "choreograph," the movements and the rhythm ... We would stop a lot of the walking and talking scenes. We were able to have more fun and it was already such a fun film to do, but working with somebody like Tom helped me have even more fun. It was a great shoot.

They got used to hearing the crew laughing during filming

There's a lot of physical comedy in the movie, especially when it comes to Tom and cats, and falling off of things. What were those moments like to film?

Hopper: Good. The thing is, me and Mark [Steven Johnson] are terrible when we're together, because we're a couple of little school boys who will look for a cheap laugh, and we're both quite goofy about it. There's a few extra little beats in there that we throw in, but we had so much fun doing it.


Graham: Yes, I miss Mark's laugh. We would do a scene and I would hear ...

Hopper: ... him chuckling away to himself.

Graham: Yeah. Chuckling away. We'd hear the crew laughing and everyone would be like, "Oh, sorry." Everyone was laughing, and then even the extras were funny. I remember doing one scene and they started clapping. I'm like, "You guys are actors, you don't clap." Everyone was so charming and fabulous. It was great.

Are you both fans of rom-coms, and do you have any favorites?

Graham: I'm very picky with my rom-coms, unlike other things in my life. I'm a picky person. I love a few different rom-coms, but I like old-school ones like "Annie Hall," or ["Pretty Woman"].

Hopper: I grew up on so many rom-coms. I don't know if you'd call them rom-com, but I suppose they are in a certain way — "Three Men and a Little Lady" is one of my favorites. Richard Curtis movies — "Notting Hill" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral" [are] two of my favorites. There's something like [being] cuddled up on a couch with it raining outside on a Sunday afternoon. There's something so nice and cuddly about it and warm and cozy. That's what I hope people will see with this movie.


Tom's wife Laura Hopper plays an important role in the movie

Could we see you reuniting in a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan way in the future?

Graham: Only if Laura [Hopper, Tom's wife] comes.

Hopper: That's the thing. My wife being an addition in this movie made it really special, because [Kat] and Laura got on so well as well. It all made it so much better for me, because I'd never worked with her that closely before. Having her in the movie, and doing such a great character — Cassie comes in like a tornado in the movie. It's great. [She's] such a good addition to the film ... That'll be fun to do again, but in a different setting.


You are both in popular TV shows — Tom in "The Umbrella Academy" and Kat in "The Vampire Diaries" — and they both have crazy fandoms. Did you bond over that?

Hopper: We haven't at all.

Graham: We didn't even talk about it. We were too busy enjoying Verona and obsessing over food and where we were shooting and how great the script was and how much fun we were having. Tom does so much ... The most we talked about other stuff was because he was in the middle of "Resident Evil," and that was coming out.

Hopper: That was just about to come out. It was just about to drop.

Graham: We were talking a little bit about that. Other people look at or obsess over the TV shows, but personally, once I've done a job, I like to go on to the next thing. I don't promote other films once I'm done. It's always interesting. I'm like, "Oh, he was still talking about [that]. Okay, that's cool."


Hopper: Also, we were so — I don't know about you, Kat — I felt like we were so immersed in this movie [that] all we talked about was the movie.

Graham: Yeah. It was our life.

Kat Graham is ready to go 'back to Verona'

Do you have any particularly favorite moments from the set?

Hopper: There's two sunset scenes that we did.

Graham: Oh, yeah, those were great.

Hopper: They were both amazing. A lot of them are location-based because it was incredible to be there. There's that one [where] we were walking across the bridge, which was beautiful. For me, the most memorable scene was the four of us at the restaurant having the big 10-page dinner scene.


Graham: It didn't feel like 10 pages.

Hopper: It felt like we were doing a play or something. It was that long.

Graham: It was so great. Everyone was on their A-game, and it was hilarious. It was the funniest. Everything was super memorable. I remember everything super vividly.

Hopper: It feels so rich in my mind, the movie. I'm also someone who very rarely wants to watch something that I've done. I'm not a big fan of watching myself and watching back a movie. That's the experience I had, and I want to remember it like that, rather than the edit it becomes. But for this one, I was so excited to watch it to see what Mark had done with it — more than anything, to go back there [and] relive it, because I had such a great time.


This was such a positive experience for you both. I feel like this is so rare.

Graham: Yeah. We were talking about this in an earlier interview, but people have this idea of Hollywood, and oftentimes, it's completely wrong. You work; you get burnt out. The hours are exhausting. You'll deal with a difficult director or a cast member that doesn't know their lines or they're a diva on set, or like Tom says, in the edit, it's completely different, and your beats are chopped to cr**. It's exhausting, away from your family, the location you're stuck at. 

There's so many things that I can complain about. But this was actually one of those experiences where everything was perfect. I know, because I've shot stuff after it. I'm like, "This sucks. Take me back to Verona. I'm never working with anyone but Tom and Mark again." It was honestly the most perfect thing ever.

Umbrella Academy's Luther is fun for Tom Hopper to play

Tom, I am a huge "Umbrella Academy" fan. Season 3 left us on a huge cliffhanger. What was it like filming those episodes?

Hopper: Season 3 was a lot of fun. It's been my favorite season so far to shoot and to view. It's exciting to see where it might go from now. It's kind of up in the air.


Luther's character changed and evolved so much in this season. That was exciting to see.

Hopper: [That] was fun for me to play as an actor, from where he's come from to where he is now. It's been a gift for me, actually. I've had a lot of fun doing it.

What's next for you both?

Hopper: Well, a few things. I've been producing a lot this last year. I've got a couple of movies that we're doing in the coming months. I'm negotiating about a movie at the moment that I'm doing with Emma Roberts, which I'm shooting in September. I might be doing a Western as well, which looks pretty good. Then we should be seeing about Season 4 of "Umbrella Academy." We don't know yet. [Netflix has since renewed the series for a final season.]


Graham: This is my fourth film of the year. I just dropped my second album of the year. To be honest, I need a minute. I'm going to take a little break. I'm going to get married.

I did just wrap production on a refugee documentary that I'm producing and hosting with Time Studios. That's coming out next year. [I'm] also producing and seeing what's next — trying to grow and not plan everything. [That's a] lesson I've learned. I'm excited to see what life is like when I stop planning it a bit and take the lesson from this movie to heart and actually not be like, "I'm going to do a movie and I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that." I think I've earned that at this point.

Is there anything else you want people to know about "Love in the Villa"?

Graham: It's as magical as it seems. Everything that you guys feel while watching it — it's not fake. It's something that is such a real experience.

Hopper: People should go and visit Verona and feel it for themselves. They really should. Like Kat says, that's absolutely true. All those feelings — it's all there.

"Love in the Villa" hits Netflix on September 1, 2022.

This interview was edited for clarity.