Based on a YA novel of the same name, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah follows two best friends planning their perfect bat mitzvahs, until drama — and one boy — threaten to ruin it all. The film stars real-life sisters, Sunny (Stacy) and Sadie Sandler (Ronnie), along with Samantha Lorraine (Lydia) and Zaara Kuttemperoor (Zaara) as their characters’ best friends.

The movie — which premieres via Netflix on Friday, August 25 — focuses on the theme of friendship above everything else, and the film’s stars shared what it was like hanging out with each other while filming, during an exclusive interview with J-14 in our September 2023 issue.

“At the hotel where everyone stayed during production, there was a rec room that we went to every day after filming. We had a lot of fun bonding. Friendships that we made on set, I don’t think we’ll ever lose,” Sunny gushed. Sadie agreed, adding that the cast would “explore Toronto” when they weren’t filming.

Samantha, for her part, gushed that the girls never “stopped hanging out 24/7,” sharing her favorite memories from set. “Whether it was playing video games, watching horror movies or doing karaoke, we always had a blast together,” she recalled.

'You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah' Cast on Bringing YA Novel to Life
Courtesy of Netflix

While they had a blast filming the movie, it was also important for the stars to embrace each other’s cultures and display them in the film — especially since not a lot of teen movies showcase the bat mitzvah experience.

“It makes such an impact if people know about other people’s traditions because it just brings everyone closer together,” Sunny explained. “Judaism is such a big part of the world and it’s such a big part of our lives. I think that just educating people more on it is doing good for everyone.”

Sadie went on to say that “the film definitely shows what every 12 and 13-year-old Jewish kid goes through,” noting that it can be “scary” when performing “in a different language, in front of all these people who you want to make proud,” but “important” to show onscreen.

For Samantha, she “was able to represent my Latina culture and share that with my onscreen father (Luis Guzmán).” Her character, Lydia is Jewish-Hispanic. “Diversity is super crucial to society, so being able to create a movie based of Jewish culture is really exciting to see,” she added.

While Zaara didn’t “personally” have a bat mitzvah, she was able to get “more perspective” on the preparation through this film.

“I know that I would watch my friends preparing for their big day, practicing a lot, planning the event,” she added. “I think that this movie does a really good job at showing everyone how important it is for a lot of people.”

For more exclusives from your favorite stars, pick up the latest issue of J-14, on newsstands and online now.

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