SXSW Q&A Highlights: Spy premieres at SXSW Film Festival with Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham and more


Ahead of its US release on June 5th, the new action-comedy Spy had a special unofficial world premiere at SXSW tonight, with actors Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale joining writer/director Paul Feig to show off the film to the Austin, Texas crowd.

The room was filled with laughter from start to finish, with the actors joining the crowd in seeing the anticipated film for the first time. Though the film is still months from release, we were told by Paul Feig before the movie started that aside from a couple of audio changes and colour adjustments, what we were seeing was the final cut of the film. Melissa McCarthy, who couldn’t stay for the Q&A after the film, joined Paul in opening the film, saying “I’m so excited that our movie is premiering at SXSW, I just want you to enjoy the movie so much!”. Paul also expressed how glad he was to show off the film at SXSW, noting that Bridesmaids also was first shown here years before to a great reception.

In the Q&A that followed, Paul Feig talked about getting to work with Jason Statham for the first time, “Every since I saw Crank, I’ve been a fan. Jason Statham is possibly the funniest man on earth.” He went on to talk about what made him pursue this concept, “I’d always wanted to direct a Spy film but realised they’d never let me direct a Bond movie, and I love working with funny women, so I thought I’d write something for a female lead, and it all fell together really wonderfully… then for Rose to come on board…. every performance she turns in is so different to the last one. She just blows my mind. And Bobby, who I’ve always been dying to work with came on board… playing a post modern Tom Ford, with eyeliner, beautifully done.”

Jason also talked about his experiences on set, “It was a complete crack… trying to keep a straight face is difficult every day, we get so many different lines with each take. It’s so enjoyable, it really is.”

Stay tuned to The Iris for one-on-one interviews with the cast and director of the film, and our full review! The film will be released in Australia on June 4th. And keep your eyes peeled for all our SXSW coverage!


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.