The director spoke about passing the Bechdel test and working with Melissa McCarthy in a couple of interviews on Monday (June 1st).
Paul Feig, the director of the new movie Spy starring Melissa McCarthy, has spoken about his desire to write realistic roles for women, rather than conform to the usual rom-com rubric where all that female characters talk about are their relationships with men.
The 52 year old director, who has previously helmed movies such as Bridesmaids and Knocked Up, told The Huffington Post on Monday: “I want to write to the things I want them to be discussing and not be discussing. I have no desire to do, at this point in time, a romantic comedy where it's all about… talking about a guy or this and that. I love to be able to pass the Bechdel test.”
Paul Feig spoke about his desire to write credible, realistic movie parts for women
The Bechdel test refers to an increasingly popular tool for movie criticism when it comes to the portrayal of female characters. It is passed when a movie features a) at least two named female characters, b) who talk to each other, and c) about something besides a man.
Instead of talking about relationships, Feig revealed that his films feature dynamics and conversations between the female characters that are grounded in real life, such as the balance between work and home life.
“I just love writing for women, and I just want them to talk about what all the women in my life talk about,” he said. “When I'm hanging with groups of women, that's the kind of stuff they discuss. It's not all this romantic comedy sort of talk.”
‘Spy’, which is released in theaters on June 5th, sees Feig work with Melissa McCarthy for a third time (they worked on Bridesmaids and The Heat together). Her CIA field-worker’s character has a romantic interest with Jude Law, but Feig asserts that it’s a relatively small part of the film’s scope.
In a separate interview, he told SCPR about McCarthy’s on-screen presence. “She's just that person on screen that people want to be best friends [with]. You immediately feel very comfortable with her when she's on screen. And it was important for me, in this one, I really wanted to show off the side of Melissa that I know, that an audience doesn't know. Because they're so used to seeing her play these brash, really in-your-face characters, and the Melissa I know in real life is very sweet and unassuming.”
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