Spy Who Dumped Me, The: Directed by Susanna Fogel

Director Susanna Fogel claims that the main premise of The Spy Who Dumped Me is all fiction:  “I would love to tell you that I had an amazing spy adventure full of car chases and intrigue, but that’s not what happened.”

Fogel co-wrote with David Iserson the action-comedy, starring Mila Kunis playing Audrey, the titular dumpee, and Kate McKinnon as her best friend, Morgan.  After Audrey learns that her ex was a CIA agent, she and Morgan are pulled into a series of international escapades.

The adventures involve another government agent (Sam Heughan), high-octane action, and frantic calls from her parents (Jane Curtin and Paul Reiser) who, strangely, are more concerned about how to work the TV remote.

the deep friendship between two women seen on screen, something she says she doesn’t see much in movies with women. “I have these wonderful friends and they’re supportive and loving and you can really be yourself around them in a way some people even can’t with their partners,” she notes. “David and I wanted to show that, so that’s autobiographical. That, and the Jewish parents focusing on a minute issue when there’s world-saving stakes.”

Casting Mila and Kate

SF: Kate had a small part in my first feature, “Life Partners”–it was also her first movie. This was before she was an icon in comedy. So she was the first person we approached. She’s so perfect because Morgan is the kind of person looking for an opportunity to turn the dial up to 11 and give the jazz hands. Yet she’s also a thoughtful, present, introverted person who can give humanity to a character like that. And Mila is just the perfect counterpart because she seems like a girl who has girlfriends and is accessible but smart and confident. It’s easy to identify with her.  She can believably show insecurity and that a smart, beautiful woman can also feel vulnerable.

Mila and Kate’s chemistry
SF: They met at the table read and obviously, if they hadn’t had chemistry, it wouldn’t have worked. But it was almost instantaneous. There’s so much shorthand women have with each other, it felt like they’d known each other forever. The first day of wardrobe tests Kate liked this linen jumpsuit Mila was just kind of casually wearing, and Mila took it off and gave it to Kate to wear. They quickly formed a real friendship.

Working with a female director

SF: I heard that Mila said, “no one is yelling at each other.” We had a great experience. I can’t imagine efficiently getting the day done if you’re taking a break to have a meltdown on someone. I can’t imagine the inefficiency of yelling. How do you stay on schedule?

Sam Heughan, Star of TV’s Outlander

SF: I wasn’t familiar with him, unlike seemingly every other woman on the planet. After I cast him,  many people’s moms and aunts and friends from home were like, “I love that guy!” Totally by coincidence, a few days before he was brought in, a friend tried to explain the plot of “Outlander” to me and I got completely lost. But he was so endearing. The role wasn’t written as hunky a guy as he naturally is, but he was so sweet and natural he made it accessible. We were like, “We shouldn’t give him demerits for being so attractive!”