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NBC Insider Apples Never Fall

Alison Brie Started the Apples Never Fall Group Chat in the Most Unusually Hilarious Way

The cast spilled on how they formed chemistry before filming Apples Never Fall, even while living on different continents.

By Caitlin Schunn

A beloved mother disappears and her husband is the main suspect, as their four children grapple to understand their parents’ marriage while searching for their missing mother.

That's what happens in the new Peacock limited series premiering Thursday, March 14, based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel Apples Never Fall. Now, the star-studded cast (which includes the likes of Annette Bening, Jake Lacy, Alison Brie, and Sam Neill) is now sharing with NBC Insider how they bonded and formed on-and-off-screen chemistry in order to bring this family drama to life. 

Here's what they had to say about filming Apples Never Fall.

Apples Never Fall Cast on Their Real-Life Friendships

It all started with a very simple task: start a group chat. Actors Alison Brie (Amy), Essie Randles (Brooke), Conor Merrigan-Turner (Logan) and Jake Lacy (Troy) were encouraged by director Chris Sweeney to head onto WhatsApp and get to know each other before meeting and filming.

“So, of course, I started the group chat as the eldest sibling,” Brie told NBC Insider. “I started the group chat and was like, ‘LOL, Chris Sweeney’s so lame. Wants us to talk about breakfast?’ We just made fun of him. We lightly ribbed him for a little while, and then we legitimately bonded and it was actually a great idea.”

RELATED: Jake Lacy Shares the Sweetest BTS Moment from The Office — and It Has to Do with Jenna Fischer

Brie and Randles admitted they took Sweeney’s advice — and did share what they had for breakfast — and a whole lot more.

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“It was great because Essie and Conor live in Australia, and Jake and I live here,” Brie said. “It was really nice to establish that banter before we got down there [to film in Australia]. I feel like by the time we met, I did feel like I already knew them and we all bonded immediately.”

Brie and Randles revealed to NBC Insider one moment the cast all shared outside of the show was watching the Met Gala in real time.

“We were rating the outfits,” Randles said, as Brie added, “That was really fun … like a true family that gets along. It doesn’t matter where you are, you know? You have fun anywhere.”

Merrigan-Turner told NBC Insider it was a tall task to portray adult siblings and their complicated relationships with each other, but it was made easier by forming real friendships outside of filming.

“We’ve all been in each other’s lives since the day we were born,” he said. “And that is the chemistry we had to try and honor onscreen. How is our relationship over these 30-year-long bonds? I think we tried to emulate that. But offscreen, it was an organic formulation of four friends.”

Sam Neill (Stan) added that he and Annette Bening (Joy) also got along from day one, helping their chemistry on Apples Never Fall.

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“She’s such a warm person and such a fabulous actor,” he told NBC Insider. “And we all became friends. The whole family became very close. And we continue to be, which is quite unusual, you know?"

How did the Apples Never Fall cast feel about working with Hollywood royalty like Annette Bening and Sam Neill?

Brie described working with Bening (American Beauty) and Neill (Jurassic Park) as simply “incredible.”

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“There were just moments of watching them performing live in front of us that felt extraordinary,” she told NBC Insider. “Like, we had chills. And they’re just the coolest … the sweetest … like the bond that we established as siblings, we had the same bond with them as parents. We all felt like a family and spent a lot of time together on and off set.”

Randles called her onscreen parents “total masters and legends,” while Merrigan-Turner described them as “really good people.”

“Sam and Annette are both like wide open, and here to work and draw you in, and treat everyone as colleagues — cast and crew alike,” Lacy said to NBC Insider. “They are such beacons for how to carry yourself with that level of success and talent.”

How did Annette Bening use her own experience as a mother to portray Joy Delaney?

Annette Bening has four children, and is also the youngest of four kids, making her uniquely prepared to play the matriarch in Apples Never Fall.

There’s so much history behind it, and everything is so loaded within the family,” Bening said to NBC Insider. “As well as things you laugh at that like nobody else would understand, that you all have your own language. So, in a way, you know, I think we really wanted to get that in this series.”

Apples Never Fall

Bening explained one of the hidden secrets to the Delaney chemistry: nicknames.

“I know in my family we all have nicknames,” she said. “My kids have nicknames. So, we very quickly thought it was very important that each of our kids have nicknames. And you notice that in the show that everybody’s calling each other like, ‘Logi Bear’ or ‘Brookie’ or ‘Aim.’ There was this familiarity amongst all of us that was kind of delicious fun.”

Watch Apples Never Fall only on Peacock starting March 14.

Original reporting by Stephanie Gomulka