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Donald Glover Explains His ‘Clash’ With Phoebe Waller-Bridge Over ‘Mr. And Mrs. Smith’

‘Mr. And Mrs. Smith’ series, now on Prime Video, brings Donald Glover and Maya Erskine to the forefront as the titular spies. But the journey to this on-screen duo took a turn regarding the initial casting and creative collaboration pre-production.

Originally, Phoebe Waller-Bridge was set to star alongside Donald Glover and co-create the series. But in a recent chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Glover opened up about a clash that led to a change in plans, citing cultural differences as the core issue.

He pointed out their conflicting approaches to the creative process. Waller-Bridge’s solo writing style, coming from her British roots, didn’t sit well with Glover’s emphasis on a collaborative writers’ room, a method he employed in ‘Atlanta.’ The actor explained:

“I don’t think we ever felt comfortable enough with each other, and that’s okay. That’s what happens when you’re two captains. It’s like, ‘This is how I run my ship.’ ‘Well, this is how I run my ship.’ And it’s such a big idea, this show; I don’t think it can have two captains.”

Breaking Up Was Tough For The Duo

Reflecting on the early stages of ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith,’ Glover mentioned a stylistic mismatch:

“I mean, she rewrote the pilot, and I saw her script, and I was like, ‘It’s definitely not my style,’ but if she’d done it with her in it, we’d all be like, ‘This is a great f**king show.’”

Waller-Bridge exited from the project co-produced by Francesca Sloane in 2022 during its writing phase. The split turned into a divorce-like situation, according to Glover:

“The hardest part is knowing when to say it’s over. Like, when do you quit? Because you want to be cool, like, ‘Oh, it’s over, that’s fine,’ But we both put a lot of work into it. We both were working really hard, so who gets to keep the cat? But I’d brought [Sloane] in, and also, I feel like Phoebe wasn’t fully in love with the thing. But I feel really good about the fact that if the thing was feeling more like hers and she was like, ‘I just love this,’ I would have been like, ‘You should have it.’”

The New Take On’ Mr. & Mrs. Smith’

The revamped spy thriller promises a fresh take on the 2005 film starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, introducing two strangers navigating a world of espionage, high-risk missions, and the complexities of a relationship.

Joining Glover and Erskine in the cast are Parker Posey, Wagner Moura, Michaela Cole, John Turturro, Paul Dano, Alexander Skarsgård, Eiza González, Sarah Paulson, Sharon Horgan, Ron Perlman, Billy Campbell, and Ùrsula Corberó.

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