Miranda Hart, British Comedy Awards’ crowned Queen of Comedy plays along with Hollywood A-listers Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Allison Janney and Melissa McCarthy in the action comedy “Spy.”
Hart plays Nancy, best friend to Melissa McCarthy’s Susan Cooper, a desk-bound CIA analyst, the brains behind her suave colleague, super spy, Bradley Fine (Law), who is out in the field, engaged in dangerous assignments. When Fine suddenly vanishes, Cooper goes undercover herself. Dressed in various disguises to ensure her anonymity, Agent Cooper quickly proves herself adept at the job, despite formidable challenges.
But Bradley’s attempt to walk a ‘Fine line’ with Susan doesn’t sit well with her best friend and colleague Nancy. Deeply protective, she blames him for stifling Susan’s career advancement and toying with her emotions. “Nancy is an earpiece girl, like Susan,” Hart says. “She’s tacky, geeky, great at her job, but socially quite rubbish. She and Susan are two fish out of water, in the same empty fishbowl. They have a ‘womance,’ you might say.”
Director Paul Feig tailored the part of Nancy specifically for Hart, whom he has admired for years. “I’ve tried to get her in other projects, and it never panned out, so it’s enormously satisfying to finally work with her.”
Topping notes that Feig celebrates unconventional women and Hart fits that bill – if the bill can accommodate her 6’1” stature. Skilled at using her lanky frame and gait to great comedic effect, the British star of her self-titled UK sitcom also appears as ‘Chummy’ in the hit BBC series, “Call the Midwife,” set in the 1950s.
When it appears Susan has breeched the parameters of her mission, Nancy is dispatched by her boss, Elaine Crocker (Janney), to find out what the novice spy is up to. She quickly discovers her BFF has gone full-on rogue. “As a solid ‘rules & regs’ kind of gal, Nancy is both appalled and awed by Susan’s defiance of Elaine’s ‘observe and report only’ directive,” explains Hart. “Nancy is terrified of the world and begins screwing things up for Susan. She makes everything a complete muddle, which is where a lot of the high comedy happens.”
Miranda Hart explains one of her favourite scenes in the movie, “Nancy needs to distract eyes away from the dance floor, so she rushes the stage and tackles 50 Cent. Just plows him over.” Miranda Hart said she appreciated spending two days sprawled all over the “handsome and muscular Mr. Cent.” The numerous bruises on her body afterward attest to the zeal with which Miranda performed the scene. “I mounted him rather aggressively after the tackle, which caused the security guards to manhandle me. We lay on each other for hours of shooting, which made for a somewhat awkward hello the next day.”
50 Cent himself confirms that, on the first take, “Miranda hit me like a linebacker. I was prepared to sort of fake fall when she made contact, but no fakery was required. I found myself on the ground.”
Planeload of action and laughs explode when “Spy” opens in cinemas this May 21 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.