Although Fey had never worked previously with directors Glenn Ficarro and John Requa, she had faith in their comedy-drama reputations established by 2003’s Bad Santa, 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love and last year’s Focus.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Having lost her latest cinematic life in sacrifice to The Force Awakens, moviedom’s frisky feline Tina Fey is at it again, this time in an adaptation of Kate Barker’s memoir of her service as a journalist in Afghanistan and Pakistan. What’s more: She tried to head it off at the pass. If you’re not up to speed, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – a film for which Fey serves as both a producer and a leading lady – features Alfred Molina and Christopher Abbott portraying Afghans. The people are attractive. Robbie works surprisingly well as a friendly but competitive foil to Fey despite their very different styles and backgrounds. That is familiar to me.
“In this film, I think she shows her range in this role that she hasn’t necessarily shown before”, Barker says. “I like little dudes!”
In a review of the book New York Times critic Michio Kakatuni described barker as “a sort of Tina Fey character” – a description that immediately piqued Fey’s interest.
Tina Fey has proven herself capable of elevating some fairly mediocre material. Everyone was like, ‘Ah, she’s about to die!’ But I looked down and it swam between my feet. “And because I’m an egomaniac and a moron and wildly unimaginative, that really spoke to me”.
The movie doesn’t make much of an impression until Kim has morphed from fish-out-of-water rookie to battle-tested adrenaline junkie.
“She asked me if I was ever scared about going into Afghanistan and what things were like”, Barker says. “Welcome to the Fun House”, as one character tells her, speaks to the fraternity party lifestyle that the Westerners lead. “When I told people over there – expats, Afghans, Pakistanis – they completely got it, right away”. She took a risk a year ago, too, playing against type in Sisters in which she was the loud, daring sibling opposite best friend/soul mate Amy Poehler’s staid, boring sis. Peeing amid a crowd of men isn’t an option, but on the other hand, Kim is welcomed by some village women for a secret chat in which they inform her that they, not terrorists, have been the ones blowing up the village wells built by the Marines. (And if she is, why isn’t Hollywood making them?) And why can’t she pass on projects whose scripts read like dishwater compared to the strong brew of an average 30 Rock episode?