Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife (cert. 15) is released in UK iTunes on Monday 23rd March and is available on DVD 13th April 2015, courtesy of Solo Media and Matchbox Films. We chatted to writer, director and star Scott Foley about the inspiration behind this dark comedy…
In the film, your character and his friends plot to kill your best friends annoying wife. Have you ever disliked a friend’s spouse for real?
Yeah. I’ve lost friends. There were a couple specific incidents, and this was more of a general idea that I had. For men, after a certain age, it gets hard to make new friends. I found myself with a wife and kids, and some of my friends weren’t around as much. They weren’t calling as much, and I didn’t quite know what it was. Someone said, ‘Yeah, I recently lost one of my closest friends. He got his finger stuck in a wedding ring.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, that’s what’s happening! We’re all going off and making our own families.’ But I have had a couple friends, in particular, who were just victimized by these women who had a specific idea of what their marriage was going to be and they were going to make sure that their husbands fit into that idea. It was very tough to watch.
This is your first time writing and directing. How did the film come about?
I sat down thinking, ‘What an interesting time of your life to write about, where everything is changing.’ It’s such an interesting emotional moment, where you’re all splitting off and you’re making your own families, and what happens to friends through that journey. I sat down to write it, and two weeks later, I looked up and I had this fucked up, sometimes gruesome, horrific yet weirdly funny script. I thought, ‘Oh, god, what have I done?! This isn’t the kind of film I want to make!’ I gave it to a couple people and their response was, ‘We like this. This is really funny. It’s fucked up, but it’s really funny.’ And we ran with it from there. I like Ordinary People. That’s the kind of film I want to make. But somehow, this is Throw Momma From The Train meets Very Bad Things.
This movie is very different from anything you’ve done before, as an actor. Did you want to write crazier things for your character in the film?
No, I didn’t. I could only imagine that conversation when I showed up on set. It would be like, ‘Dude, how come you’ve got all the good lines now?’” I wasn’t even planning on being in the film, but there’s a lot that goes into the casting of something like this. You want the right person, and someone who’s going to be good on set around everyone else, which maybe I was and maybe I wasn’t. But, you’ve also got to look at the business side. When we were thinking about actors who could help this movie get made and get distributed, and who had a large social media presence to help promote it, it was my name that kept coming up, so I just stepped in. It might have done me in ‘cause I was just wrecked after doing this, but I think I was the right person for the part, ultimately. Because of the rapport that I have with Patrick, James, Amy, Marika, Donald [Faison] and Greg [Grunberg], it worked out. I’m happy that I did it.
Did you actually Google ‘disposal of a dead body’ for research? And what was the darkest one you found?
I was so surprised that no one from the NSA knocked on my door and was like, ‘Hey, what are you doing? Why are you searching how to get away with murder? Why are you searching how to dispose a body? What’s going on?’ I spent probably two full days, just on that one scene where Patrick [Wilson] talks about different ways to dispose of a body, going to the deepest, darkest corners of the internet. I went to websites that maybe two people had ever been on before, learning that if you put a body in a bag of kitty litter, it will turn to jelly in 30 days. There were some really fucked up things, but you’ve gotta be accurate. You’ve gotta tell the truth and be honest with the story. The internet is a dark, dark place. I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere, someone has this file that says, ‘Scott Foley, on March 13, 2012, was searching for how to dispose of a body for 48 hours.’
The casting of this film is very interesting. Your wife stars in the movie as someone else’s wife. How did you end up deciding which actor would play each of these roles?
It’s funny, my wife (Marika Dominczyk) plays Patrick Wilson’s wife. Patrick is my brother-in-law, and his wife (Dagmara Dominczyk) plays Stacy, who I kill. Amy Acker played my wife in the pilot of The Unit, though she was recast, and she plays my wife in this. It was a horribly incestuous set. We just had a couple of table reads and we were like, ‘Why don’t you try reading that part? I’ll try this.’ When we found the right fit, we stuck with it. You’d think there was drama here or there, but there wasn’t. Everybody was very professional, and we had a really good time with it. [it’s like] ‘Are you cool?’ ‘Yeah, you just made out with my wife. I’m totally cool.’ For the sex scene between Amy Acker and myself in the bed, James Carpinello was the one at the monitor ‘cause I couldn’t be there, and he was calling, ‘Action!’ That was a little weird.
I don’t necessarily recommend directing your husband or wife in a film, but if you have to do it, you have to do it.
How did your friends and family react when they saw the film?
Everyone was pleasantly surprised. People that weren’t involved in the film – friends of mine that knew about it and who I told about it – weren’t quite sure what the fuck to expect. But people who have seen it were like, ‘Oh, you did it!’ I think they were more proud of me than they are of the film. In saying that, it is a big confidence booster that it resonated with them and that they got it. Overall, almost everybody has been happy with it. There have been a couple of people who were like, ‘I can’t do it! He pees on her?! I can’t do it!’ You either get it or you don’t.
What’s next for you?
I have a couple ideas that I’m banging on for a film. It’s strange, you make a movie and, all of a sudden, your agents are calling you and saying, “Hey, I know these guys with some money who are looking to finance something.” You’re like, ‘Oh, god, now I’ve gotta come up with something really amazing.’ I just sold an idea to ABC with Shonda Rhimes, so I’m in the process of writing that right now. We’ll see. I definitely want to do another one, but it’s about finding time. I had a third kid, and I can’t breathe. I didn’t sleep last night. I don’t know what the hell is happening. I want to get this one out there and have people watch it. If people will watch this and go see it, I think it will be much easier for me to get another film made. If people relate to my point of view or my perspective, maybe they’ll see if I can do another one.