With breakout roles as the lead alongside Daniel Kaluuya in Queen & Slim and A24’s After Yang, Jodie Turner-Smith has shown her strength with a growing filmography that’s as varied and hard to pin down as her fab fashion sensibilities. Following her late 2022 role in Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of White Noise for Netflix, she will next star in the streamer’s upcoming Murder Mystery 2.
The Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston-led comedy sees the return of private detective married couple Nick and Audrey Spitz, who are invited to celebrate the wedding of their friend the Maharaja on his private island. But trouble follows the Spitzes again, this time when the groom is kidnapped for ransom just after the festivities begin — and each guest, family member, and even the bride herself are suspects.
LAMag: A comedy with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston set in beautiful locations, sounds like a no-brainer role to take?
Jodie Turner-Smith: It’s self-explanatory, right? It was very very easy to say yes to this! I’ve admired Adam and Jen for many years and I loved the first movie. I thought it was really good fun so I was eager to put myself inside of that world. I was also excited about the possibility of joining what I like to call the “Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler Cinematic Universe.”
What would you like to see them do next in this universe?
Oh my gosh, I mean, what can’t they do in this universe? This whole banter they have between each other as two people that are playing a married couple getting into hijinks and shenanigans, I think really works. I just saw both of them a second ago and I was like “Murder Mystery 3 and I’d be involved?”
So your character looked like such fun to play. I saw you previously called her “‘The Countess’—but without the o”, but I’ll keep it clean! How was that experience for you?
I had so much fun playing her! I think it’s always really juicy to lean into more “villainous” aspects of one’s personality. So it was really fun to play this person who was bitchy, a bit of a mean girl, very self-absorbed and self-interested but also I wanted to play her with a level of this deep honesty because she’s being truthful in every way that she is being.
I loved the dance scene at the wedding with all the cast involved. I read that Adam and Jennifer weren’t given choreography and just had to improvise—was this the case for you as well or were you given practice time?
No, we had choreography. For them, it was about jumping into this thing because their characters don’t have this choreography because they didn’t watch the tape. We rehearsed all of that and obviously, The Countess would know every step and have it down to a tee so it was important I had choreography.
What was it like to be part of that dance scene? It reminded me of Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” performance, where everyone starts dancing.
It was really fun! I love when there is a random dance sequence in a movie, it’s one of my favorite things. I think there should be one in every movie.
What was it like to film in Hawaii? It looked like such a beautiful setting.
Just absolutely gorgeous. That was actually, believe it or not, my first time going to Hawaii. We did everything, I had my family with me so we went hiking, we went to volcanoes and we went to waterfalls… It was just stunning. Jen and Adam really know how to work and they know how to pick a location.
You have such a wide-ranging filmography, which makes you hard to pin down as an actor. What would you say is the main thing you look for when you’re picking a role?
Working with good people. I seek only and always to be better so I want to work with people that push me to be better and whom I can learn from so that I can grow and expand and just really enjoy it all.
You recently starred in White Noise, which came out in December. What was that like as a learning experience working with Adam [Driver] and Greta [Gerwig]?
Oh my god, it was another experience which I absolutely loved. I wish I had more to do because I loved it so much. Noah [Baumbach] is just a phenomenal director and Greta is so incredible. I was gutted we didn’t have any scenes together, Greta and I, but we got to spend a lot of time together off camera so that was really nice. Also, Adam is just such a generous actor, I loved our scene together. Don Cheadle is amazing, so incredible, another comedic genius. It was just a remarkable experience to do that film. Right now I’m having some really amazing Netflix experiences!
So you’re in L.A. at the moment, where is your favorite place to go when you’re in town?
Honestly, it’s my house because I live in Topanga Canyon and it’s so gorgeous and quiet, I’m in nature and it’s beautiful and amazing. But, this is such an L.A. thing to say, I really love Erewhon. As I’m flying back into Los Angeles every time, one of my first thoughts is always “I can’t wait to get to Erewhon.” It’s a health food shop, It’s where I get all my potions and goodies and things that make me feel good inside and it’s my favorite place to go when in L.A.
Murder Mystery 2 will be released on Netflix on March 31.
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