'It's a Wonderful Binge': Dexter Darden Praises 'Improv Legends' Patty Guggenheim and Tony Cavalero, Says Writer-Director Jordan VanDina Gave Cast 'Space to Create' (Exclusive)

It's a Wonderful Binge, the holiday sequel to The Binge (2020), is now streaming on Hulu, and fans of outrageous Christmas movies like The Night Before and Office Christmas Party are certain to love this new seasonal offering. One of the film's main draws is its incredible cast, which includes Dexter Darden, Eduardo Franco, Kaitlin Olson, Nick Swardson, Tim Meadows Patty Guggenheim and Tony Cavalero. Recently, PopCulture.com had a chance to speak with Darden about the new movie, and he had a lot of high praise for his co-stars, as well as the film's writer-director Jordan VanDina.

Notably, VanDina is the scribe behind both Binge projects, while the first film was directed by Jeremy Garelick. For Darden, VanDina "is The Binge... There is no Binge without Jordan." Going on to note Garelick's incomparable contributions to the series, Darden added, "Jordan's doing amazing, amazing things. But this was his idea. He brought this to Jeremy Garelick in American High. He created this world, this universe, is how we say that we're living in. So he was on set for Binge 1, which was super helpful because when you have a comedic mind like that who is just as intelligent as he is, as kind, as generous with his ideas, it really makes it a lot easier."

Jumping into It's a Wonderful Binge, Darden says "it was really great" having VanDina behind the camera "because I was expecting him to be super, super, super hands-on because he is the creative and he has the pen. But, similarly to how it was in Binge 1, he gave us our space to create. He did exactly what Jeremy did to have our rooms to improvise, and to laugh, and to humanize our experiences on camera so that the audience could relate."

Darden continued, "And when me and Eduardo get together, or me and Zainne [Saleh]... Eduardo's one of my best friends in real life now. The bond we built from Binge 1 has truly just stood the test of time. So when we have the chance to step on screen together and start to riffing and doing jokes and stuff, it feels natural, and Jordan kind of gave us that space to do so. 

The actor went on to say, "He's just such a creative genius. I mean, to take a concept like this and make it in a world where it stands alone, its first, and now the second can stand alone on its own. Hopefully, there's a third and fourth, so that they all can stand alone and we all can keep watching it and talk about it in the back."

Following the thread of VanDina's creative process on down, we asked Darden about working with Guggenheim (She-Hulk: Attorney at Law) and Cavalero (The Righteous Gemstones), who, together, deliver some of the most hilarious moments of It's a Wonderful Binge. "So that's what Jordan does, right? Jordan just hires his friends who he feels are very funny, and then just lets them go," Darden revealed. "And fortunately, everybody loves Jordan, so then we get all of these incredibly talented actors to come out and step out and do the thing."

He added, "Working with Patty and Tony in general, they are improv legends in this community, came up from the ground up, in the Groundlings circuit and did the thing. So when they are standing there delivering their dialogue, and having their moment and having their chemistry, for me, it's just keeping these ears open so that I don't miss a beat. Because you never know what Patty's going to say or what Tony's going to say, and that's what makes it so fun."

Finally, Darden shared, "That's what made this movie so brilliant for me, like having the opportunity to keep working with these creative minds like Tim Meadows and Nick Swardson, and then the list just goes on and on and on and on. So I was just super fortunate to be able to work with them, and learn from them, and play with them in the sense of having a lot of fun." The Binge 2: It's a Wonderful Binge is now streaming on Hulu, as is its predecessor, The Binge.