No for sure. And speaking of differentiation, I talked to your production designer, Richard Hoover, some time ago, and he said that the instructions for the color palette of Second Act were relatively loose, thereby allowing him to emphasize the multiple shades of Manhattan. What was your reasoning behind that? I know you grew up in Manhattan.
Well, as you mentioned I grew up in Manhattan, the Upper West Side, and I’ve been able to do pieces of films and TV shows in New York but never the entire thing because it’s an expensive place to shoot in. In this particular case, because Jennifer’s children are going to school in Manhattan, there is a reason for the film to be anchored there, and so I got to capitalize on that creatively and I turned it into a love letter to New York. It was a bucket list thing for me to be able to film an entire movie in the city, and so I wanted to make the most of it.
Richard is an amazing production designer and we had a lot of fun, along with Pat Field, our costume designer, designing a color palette and a fashion that complimented most of the glitz and glamour of Manhattan, as well as the more gritty side of Queens.
In the movie you definitely see that contrast. It’s like, there’s the idealism and there’s the working class life, and that imagery has more than likely contributed to the legs of the film. People are tuning into it.
I have to ask. I know you have a movie coming out later this year called My Spy. Is there anything you can say about it?
Sure, My Spy is a story about a CIA operative who screws up a mission and is forced to do a surveillance detail of a family as punishment, and there he strikes up an unlikely friendship with one of the subjects he’s surveying, a nine-year old girl, and so it’s the story of their relationship. The CIA operative in the movie is being played by Dave Bautista, who’s a wonderful actor, and we have found an amazing young actress in Chloe Coleman, who portrays the young girl, and it’s very sweet and funny and there’s a lot of action in it, so it’s quite a bit of a different muscle that I’m using for that movie compared to Second Act.
I definitely can’t wait. It’s interesting that there is relatively short release gap between the movies, compared to Second Act taking five years to be released after Grudge Match, which in turn came out five years after Get Smart. Is it a case of wanting to work at your own pace? Or just different circumstances?
It always depends. Get Smart came out in 2008. We were making 40 percent fewer movies back in the day. It was like you had the same number of animals on the Serengeti, but the ponds kept on shrinking for everyone to drink. So it took a little longer. I went through several movie starts and stops before Grudge Match finally came to be. And you never can tell. Sometimes there are periods when movies come together, and, in this particular case, I haven’t been this busy since back in the Sandler days when I went back-to-back-back. But it’s a nice change of pace; you never can tell- you can’t count on anything.
That’s a good life philosophy everyone should follow! Last question, I know you probably get asked this a lot, but one of my favorite comedies of all time is Get Smart: it had a great cast, great writing, and definitely great direction. I’m just wondering, what are the chances that we see a sequel to it?
I think that the time for a sequel to that movie has passed. Steve’s getting a little older to play Max [laughs]. But you never can tell. I mean, I certainly think there’s a rich history to that franchise that maybe you could do a reimagining or a prequel with a new cast in it. But I believe for that particular cast, the ship has probably sailed on that one.
That hits me hard, because I do love that movie. You have a point about the window closing, although Tom Cruise continues to do Mission: Impossible movies, so maybe Steve Carell could do a parody of that? [laughs]
No, 100 percent. Look, Tom defies the laws of nature. He’s an absolutely amazing actor at that age. We have thought about doing a sequel a couple of times. But since we made our movie, Dwayne Johnson and Anne Hathaway have become massive superstars, and so it’s always hard to put together a cast like that again because, as budgets are shrinking, you’re also trying to keep up with the Joneses, and, on an action-comedy like that, you want to give the audience the most bang for their buck.
You know the landscape has changed with studios these days. The big budgets are really for the audience to see it.
No you’re right, the film landscape has changed a lot- studios and audiences are always trying to figure out what to expect from the other. But I’ll always remain hopeful!
Well I appreciate it, I appreciate that a lot.
But sir, thank you so so much for taking the time to speak with me. I’ve been a fan of your movies for a long time.
Absolutely, it was a pleasure talking to you. Take care!
Flickering Myth would like to thank Mr. Segal for sitting down with us.
Special thanks to Gayle Khait of Hive Communications Collective for making this interview possible!