I’m not going to lie – I had a pretty good time at South by Southwest this year. Between seeing some of tomorrow’s hottest films (The Final Girls/Turbo Kid) and interviewing names that have been on my journalistic hit-list for years (Ryan Gosling), Austin really hit the spot, but the festival’s biggest surprise came in the form of Paul Feig’s new espionage comedy, Spy.
Starring Melissa McCarthy, I wasn’t completely sold on how her bumbling secret agent would stack up against previous films cut from the same spandex cloth, but my expectations were immediately trounced by Feig’s witty screenplay and McCarthy’s ability to play off her supporting cast. As a fan of the actress, this made me very, very happy.
As alluded to above, Spy does not succeed because of McCarthy alone – quite the opposite actually. Without people like Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Miranda Hart, McCarthy would be left to carry the brunt of Feig’s laugh-riot on her own shoulders, which is a tough task to accomplish.
Without equally funny people to pitch in, McCarthy’s style might have been beaten like a dead horse, and the most successful sidekick to balance out those antics is Jason Statham. By far. As Agent Rick Ford, Statham delivers one of his most memorable performances to date, as he mixes together his overly-adept action skills with straight comedic banter akin to a more badass Leslie Nielsen.
South by Southwest also gave me the chance to chat with Paul Fieg about his new flick, and he was joined by stars Jason Statham and Bobby Cannavale. During our exclusive interview, Jason spoke about dabbling in more comedic fare, Paul dished on how he established his cast, and Bobby talked about his favorite espionage thrillers. Of course, I had to end the interview by asking Jason about Crank 3, since I’m one of the biggest Chev Chelios fanboys you’ll ever encounter (and I wish I could have reported better news some three weeks ago).
Anyways, check out the full interview in the video above and be sure to catch Spy when it opens June 5th!