"Depressing to hear the statistics,' says 'The Spy Who Dumped Me' director Susanna Fogel on the number of female directors working in Hollywood
Susanna Fogel speaks about her upcoming movie, working with Kunis and McKinnon, and female directors in Hollywood.
Susanna Fogel's star is on the rise. Best known for her 2014 romantic comedy 'Life Partners' starring Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs, the director will soon have yet another comedy to her name in the form of 'The Spy Who Dumped Me.' Set for an August 3 release by Lionsgate, the film features Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in co-starring roles, as well as Justin Theroux and Sam Heughan in support. Written by Fogel and David Iserson, the film follows two best friends, Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (McKinnon), who get chased through Europe by assassins after one of their ex-boyfriends turns out to be a CIA agent.
Featuring two ladies in the leading roles, as well as one behind the camera, 'The Spy Who Dumped Me' could quite possibly turn out to be a trendsetter. Asked by Variety about how it felt to be a female director at a time when Hollywood is slowly beginning to evolve and becoming more accepting, she said it was "an honor to get to be a person who gets to talk about this," adding she was "thrilled to be in a position to encourage other women to do it."
"It’s a little depressing to hear the statistics and I wish there were so many women we didn’t even have to ask the question. But as long as we do, I take the responsibility seriously," she elaborated. "I didn’t have a lot of men to ask questions of when I was starting out. There were two female directors people suggested I talk to when I was starting out and they were Nancy Meyers and Kathryn Bigelow. Men starting out have so many options of filmmakers to connect with artistically and be shepherded by and collaborate with."
But the situation has now improved drastically. "I hope all the women making movies now are aware we have the opportunity to be that to new filmmakers," she said. The actresses would undoubtedly welcome improvement on that front as well, as one can infer from Kunis noting that there was "no yelling to one another" while working with a female director.
Fogel insisted it just wasn't her style. "We had a great experience," she said. "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?"
The director also spoke about how, at the heart of the movie, it was one about the deep friendship between two women. Fogel said she rarely saw it 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 observed. "David and I wanted to show that, so that’s autobiographical."