Susanna Fogel Wanted A Big Popcorn Spy Thriller Starring Women, So She Made 'The Spy Who Dumped Me'

Director/co-writer Susanna Fogel on set with Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon.

When was the last time you saw a spy thriller buddy film with two women headlining it? Susanna Fogel asked herself that before making her new movie, The Spy Who Dumped Me."

"Either there's a sexy assassin figure who doesn't have recognizable feelings or there's a damsel. There wasn't enough in between" Fogel told KPCC's The Frame. "Especially when I'd watch movies that had that action movie quipping, the woman was never the one doing the quipping. It was always a guy. The guy always got the zingers. And it started to really bother me."

Fogel's previous film, Life Partners, was an indie comedy centering on the friendship between two women. The Spy Who Dumped Me presented a challenge to explore that same theme, but for a big popcorn movie audience.

Fogel brings together an unusual combination of cinematic influences for this movie, from the '90s indie films of Nicole Holofcener and Ang Lee to James Bond and Jason Bourne spy thrillers.

"I'm also really invested in making stories about women and friendships, especially stories about female friendships that don't involve catty conflict between the women," Fogel said.

Directed and co-written by Fogel, the movie stars Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, kicking butt and taking names — in a different way.

"One thing that was important to both David [Iverson] and me, my co-writer, is we wanted the women to feel empowered. But at the same time, not the sort of canon of female action star where there's a very male way of handling things that just happens to be played out through a woman," Fogel said.

The Spy Who Dumped Me is in theaters everywhere this weekend.


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