Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton and her husband, Amazing Grace star David Hunt, recently produced and directed their movie Unexpected.

Unexpected follows the messy relationship of Amy (Anna Camp) and Bob (Joesph Mazzello) as they navigate infertility and Amy’s growing animal collection.


In an exclusive interview with uInterview founder Erik Meers, Heaton and Hunt discussed the origin of the story.

“The genesis of this film is, we actually optioned the book in 2004 called Enslaved By Ducks by Bob Tarte,” director Hunt began. “It’s a humorous and charming retelling of this couple that adopt some animals and when we wrote the screenplay it didn’t really work, so I turned to a writer that we’ve worked with before and said, ‘We need a different engine for this story, I think it needs to be about a couple who can’t have kids who go on a journey of adoption.’ And he goes, ‘oh what a great idea.'”

“He called me a week later with the draft, I said ‘wow that didn’t take you long,'” Hunt continued. He said, ‘no, it just poured out of me. I never told you this but both my daughters are adopted.’ So the whole project caught fire as a result of that, into what you see.”

Producer Heaton picked up, “Because a lot of the conversations between our hero couple, Bob and Amy, who you know, for your listeners, can’t have kids and Amy wants to adopt and Bob doesn’t and so it’s that journey and a lot of those conversations are verbatim that Rodney, our writer, had with his wife so I think that’s why it’s been striking a chord with the viewers.”

The two also revealed what it was like working together on set.

“You only can have one director on a set right, to go and talk to the actors and so I would say, you know, ‘let me just give you my little input before you go and talk to the actors,'” Heaton started. “Because it doesn’t work to have Dave going up and then me coming up saying something else but Dave would get so excited about like, ‘oh I just make this one adjustment’ that he would throw his headphones and start running.”

Hunt continued, “I think it’s important that I mean joking aside, that you present the unified front to the cast and the crew, so if you have any squabbles or conflicts you do it, you know, behind the camera and privately and then you go out, myself as one voice, I’d kind of present the group opinion. I mean, generally speaking, this is the only chance I had of actually being in charge because in my house I’m clearly not.”

Unexpected is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video and other VOD platforms.

Read more about: