What do you get when two best friends who lead normal lives are dropped in the middle of an explosive high stakes spy adventure? You get “The Spy Who Dumped Me.”
Audrey (played by Mila Kunis) takes a hit when she’s dumped over text by her spy boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux). Almost at the jump, Audrey and her quirky best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) are thrust into a euro spy journey once they realize their lives are in danger because of Drew’s line of work. Dodging both CIA operatives and dangerous assassins, Audrey and Morgan use their wits and life skills to outsmart everyone.
amNewYork spoke with Kunis and McKinnon to discuss their hilariously fun new film out Friday.
These are two characters who have their own insecurities and desires. Did either of you have a role in developing the back stories, or was everything already on the page?
Mila Kunis: For me it was very much on the page. I would say Susanna [Fogel] and Dave [Iserson], who wrote the script, did a beautiful job of cultivating two incredibly thoughtful characters.
Kate McKinnon: It was all there and then I kind of said to Susanna and David, can we make her a little weirder? And then they said, “OK, if we make her weirder, we also have to make her more vulnerable.” And I was like, “Ugh, OK, fair trade,” so that’s what we all did. I’m so proud of the way that turned out.
Do you have anything in common with your characters?
MK: I think aspect-wise, absolutely. I definitely have insecurities about things that I’m capable of doing. You don’t know what you’re capable of doing until you’re actually put in a position where it’s a pressure cooker and it’s fight or flight.
KM: For me, this was essentially a documentary. [Deadpanned, laughs] It’s me! Who are we kidding? The character is very close to me and that’s part of why I felt vulnerable doing it.
I think one of the reasons this film is so fun is because of your natural chemistry with each other. Is that something you found you could establish on the spot?
KM: Truly lucked out. It can go down any number of ways and we just met each other and there was this instant comedic balance — Excuse me, [Mila is] showing me a picture of a pig and the sound it’s making is so funny. [Laughs]
MK: We got very lucky that we find each other thoroughly entertaining at all times.
How are your comedic styles different from each other?
MK: We have polar opposite comedic styles. I find Kate to be so incredibly funny. She’s genuinely brilliant, as a girlfriend, I would just genuinely laugh at whatever comes out of this girl’s mouth. So I thought, “Well, that’s going to be a character choice.” I don’t do characters and I’m not physically funny.
Audrey and Morgan’s friendship is so endearing. It’s rare that you see that type of relationship with women in comedy — it’s usually competitive.
MK: I think in any movie, if it’s a two-hander, in order to have a catalyst to drive the characters to do something they would never otherwise do, the two characters have to get into a fight, never to speak again! And then there’s the “Will their friendship save the day?” and we all know that the two characters will always ultimately get back together. So we decided to skip that and simply have two awesome badass characters take the world on without having to be catty with one another.
MK: Yeah! And I think it’s more true to life. When all s— hits the fan, my friends and I don’t fight.
How was shooting through Europe?
KM: I loved the city of Budapest, Hungary, so much. It’s so wild. Mostly what Mila and I did, though not together, was go to the zoo. I can say that I went to the zoo in Budapest, three separate times.
MK: My kids went a lot. Kate and my children went to the zoo all the time. I was busy being an adult and working, while Kate and my children were frolicking in Budapest. But we had a great time traveling. I traveled with my family. Kate didn’t bring her cats so she didn’t have her family. Kate was on a solo journey learning about the culture and the people. I had a newborn and a 3½-year-old.
KM: I don’t think you can bring my family on a plane. [Laughs] On Sundays I spent it with the orangutans.
Since the both of you have lived in New York, what are your favorite spots to hang out, restaurants?
MK: Kid-friendly delivery upon request food. Lots of things have changed since I was 20 and the things that excited me about New York.
KM: Pound for pound the rowboat in Central Park.