Mr. & Mrs. Smith is now streaming on Prime Video and for those who tuned in, the series is now quite like the story we remember. Starring Donald Glover and Maya Erskine, the new updated Mr. & Mrs. Smith does take place in a similar espionage setting but its two leads are far removed from the original story.
Most of us remember the action comedy of the same name starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie but clearly the series doesn’t quite go the route of that story. From the moment the first episode aired, it “seemingly” killed off the earlier version of the characters (played by Alexander Skarsgård, Eiza González), bringing audiences up to speed on a new story.
The series unravels with two lonely strangers who land jobs working for a mysterious spy agency that offers them a glamorous life of espionage, wealth, world travel, and a dream brownstone in Manhattan. The catch? New identities in an arranged marriage as Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Smith. Now hitched, John and Jane navigate a high-risk mission every week while also facing a new relationship milestone. Their complex cover story becomes even more complicated when they catch real feelings for each other.
With the series dropping each week on Prime Video, we get to understand a little more about the new Mr. & Mrs. Smith with its star and co-creator, Donald Glover.
What made you want to reimagine Mr. & Mrs. Smith?
Uh, so much money. No, I got into this project because I saw the movie and I was like, “I don’t get it.” And then my brother was like, “It’s just a good date movie.” And then I was like, “Oh, what kind of movie do we need now? Or what kind of message do we want to do now?” And I just wanted it to be more about a partnership, and marriage because I felt like a lot of my friends were asking, “Why do people get married?” And I just was like, “We should explore that.” Why do people get married? Why do people partner up? And it’s because it’s just harder to do things alone.
What was it about the concept of arranged marriages that intrigued you?
I feel like an arranged marriage, you know, not giving people the chance to leave, makes the stakes feel higher. It’s kind of like sex is better when it feels bad. When you feel like you’re doing something bad, like a little bit, you know? Back when I was younger I was like, “This is crazy.” And I feel like marriage feels better in a good way, where a lot of it’s like, OK, like if a marriage doesn’t work, it’s not a failure anymore. But I think, there’s also something to “You did fail on some level. Did you learn anything from it?” And I think that was kind of the question where it’s so easy now to just give up on any sort of relationship. There are a lot of ways out. And I just felt like it was more interesting to stuff people together and be like, “There’s no way out.” And then you start to make something new that’s beautiful.
Can you talk about how the wardrobe was inspired by the 1970s?
Fran (showrunner Francesca Sloane) wanted to sexualize me. It was interesting because she kept talking about how men’s clothes in the seventies were a lot sexier. But she was also talking about how women wore a lot of sheer stuff back then. Like, you know, and they were not wearing, like they didn’t want to wear bras in film. And she was like – we should do that for you. So I have a lot of sheer shirts and physique-accentuating shirts and stuff. The costume department did a really, really good job of mirroring in a new way. A lot of that kind of stuff, and I’m always a fan of that stuff. I always wanted to be Paul Newman or something. I just always want something that feels new or something that feels like you’re not going to get it anywhere else. We always try and Moneyball it that way.
Talk about how Mr. & Mrs. Smith benefited from a predominantly female writers’ room.
There were only two men on the writing staff—me and my brother. I was working on another show at the same time and my brother was also on that one. So we were going back and forth, so usually, it was all women writing all of the episodes and doing all the heavy lifting. It’s exciting to me because there’s a lot of feminine gaze stuff that I just normally wouldn’t catch like the whole Hot Neighbor storyline. This hotness is coming not from the physical necessarily. It’s coming from the interaction, which I feel like I couldn’t have written that necessarily. A lot of that came from just having an all-women women’s writing room.
How do you think your show will be received?
I always believe that whatever you make is for whoever enjoys it and that’s fine. Most of the time, you’re making it for yourself and you hope that other people like you like it. But I know it’s funny. There’s a lot of tension. Romance is kind of an easy way to put it. But there’s just a lot of relationship tension, too, which I feel is a female gaze thing, which I think really works. Really, I have no clue who’s going to like it. I try not to think about it too much because I just don’t think it matters in the big scheme of things. But it will be interesting because it is an entirely female writers’ room and I guess on some level, an action thing. But it’s also really about the relationship. So I’m excited to see how people interpret that.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith starring Donald Glover and Maya Erskine, is now streaming on Prime Video.
(Images: Prime Video)