‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (2024)

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‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (1)

Amazon’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” series may not have Brangelina, but it does have Donald Glover and Maya Erskine — alongside a lineup of guest stars that director Hiro Murai has described as “the Avengers of character actors.”

Ahead of the recently announced Season 2 — which may or may not feature Glover and Erskine — showrunner and series co-creator Francesca Sloane breaks down the guest actors (and one animal) who made Season 1 shine.

  • A different kind of hot

    ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (2)

    As John and Jane’s nosy neighbor, Paul Dano steals the screen in one of the series’ most captivating performances. But it took a while for Sloane and Glover to cast the part. “In the scripts, the name of the character is literally Hot Neighbor. So, I think a lot of people expected a Marvel actor with abs of steel to play that part,” Sloane says. Along with casting director Carmen Cuba, they auditioned and screen-tested a “conveyor belt of hunks” with “big, buff muscles and crazy hair” before arriving at Dano, who, of course, is “an attractive guy” — he just didn’t fit the prototype they had in mind. Ultimately, Dano “played the part so f*cking well” that Sloane and Glover rewrote scripts to turn his one-episode cameo into a multi-episode arc.

  • The blood-related breakout

    ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (3)

    Inspired by his co-star, Erskine, casting her own mother in her Hulu comedy “Pen15,” Glover called upon his mom, Beverly Glover, to play John’s mother in the season finale. “She was great at sticking to the script, but she was also the queen of improv,” Sloane says, noting that Beverly knew exactly how much to baby the John character. “She was one of the best actors we had.” Sloane was also taken by watching Donald direct Beverly: “The tenderness that he had toward his mom… Donald is a naughty comic, but around Beverly, he is such a good boy. He directed her as such a good boy.” Beverly isn’t the only blood relative to cameo in “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”: One of Donald’s sons had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance as John’s ex-girlfriend’s kid in the farmers market scene.

  • The No. 1 choice

    ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (4)

    While many of the guest roles were malleable, Sloane and Glover dreamed of casting Sarah Paulson as John and Jane’s marriage counselor from the beginning. “We wanted the therapist to be really intelligent but also say some cringeworthy things where you almost miss it,” Sloane says. “You want her to be funny — but accidentally funny. And Sarah is so good with nuance in that way.”

  • The guest who brought the giggles

    ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (5)

    When casting the creepy art enthusiast and real estate mogul Eric Shane, Sloane and company knew they needed an actor whose face alone conveyed “they have skeletons in their closet.” Enter John Turturro, who “knew how to play unhinged beautifully.” The only problem: When shooting a bizarre scene in which Eric orders John and Jane to get on all fours and act like dogs, Sloane says the cast and crew struggled “to stop ourselves from laughing too much.” “Once we got through our fits of giggles, we were sort of able to get through it,” Sloane jokes.

  • The 'delight' to have on set

    ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (6)

    To film the ski resort-set in the third episode, the crew spent months living in the Italian Dolomites, an experience that started to feel like “The Shining,” Sloane says with a laugh. But despite the close quarters and high altitude, Billy Campbell (Parker) made the most of his surroundings. “Every single day he would wake up at the crack of dawn with a smile on his face, hike the Alps and come back,” Sloane says. “He was this beam of sunshine all the time.”

  • The father-in-law playing against type

    ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (7)

    To cast the sought-after target Toby Hellinger, whom John and Jane must transport across Lake Como, Sloane looked no further than her own father-in-law, Ron Perlman. “Ron has played all of these roles as a badass and gangster and bad guy,” Sloane says. So, she was attracted to the thought of him “playing a blubbering baby-man who’s in distress… and commenting on how aging happens backwards once you get to a certain point.” Still, the role is by no means an easy one, as Toby must keep up with John and Jane by running from gunfire and jumping over ledges to evade their pursuers. “Ron’s such a pro, but I thought he was going to kill me,” Sloane says. “We really put the guy through the wringer.” Sloane adds that one scene in which Toby tells John and Jane a joke at the dinner table was inspired by countless meals she’s had with Perlman in real life. “I’ve been with his son for 11 years,” she says. “So, I’ve sat around many tables with Ron telling jokes with such charisma.”

  • The off-screen idols

    ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (8)

    Casting Other John and Other Jane, Sloane and Glover brought in some of that classic sex appeal from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s 2005 film adaptation. They needed to cast characters that John and Jane would idolize, and, in turn, Sloane and Glover found actors they themselves looked up to. “Wagner Moura would tell these stories where everyone was just mouth agape, totally charmed and hanging onto every word,” Sloane says. “Donald fell in love with him.” As for Parker Posey? “I’ve idolized her since I was a preteen. She is the ‘It Girl’ for me.”

  • The clawed diva

    ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (9)

    One of the trickiest guest stars to wrangle was Chi-Chi, who plays Jane’s cat, Max. While the crew attempted to shoot a short scene between Erskine and Dano, Chi-Chi went rogue, jumping out of Sloane’s arms and burrowing under the set. “We all should have been stressed because time is money, but instead we all turned into naughty school kids during a fire drill,” Sloane says. As Chi-Chi went into hiding, the cast and crew began playing Never Have I Ever and “acting like 13-year-olds” until the cat began to cooperate. While the incident provided a moment of levity on set, Sloane admits Chi-Chi was, consequently, written out of some future scenes.

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                          ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Boss Breaks Down the Series’ Guest Stars: Paul Dano’s Unlikely ‘Hot Neighbor,’ Donald Glover’s Real-Life Mom and a Defiant Cat (2024)

                          FAQs

                          Will there be a season 2 of Mr. and Mrs. Smith? ›

                          Salt-N-Pepa Joins Beastie Boys, Notorious B.I.G. and RZA in Super7's Hip-Hop Action Figure Line (EXCLUSIVE) “We are excited to announce that a second season of our groundbreaking spy series, 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith,' is in the works for our global Prime Video customers,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon MGM Studios.

                          Is Donald Glover any relation to Danny Glover? ›

                          He was born Donald McKinley Glover at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. His mother, Beverly (Smith), ran a daycare center, and his father, Donald Glover, is a retired postal worker. He is not, despite rumors, related to actor Danny Glover.

                          Is Johnny Depp in Mr and Mrs Smith? ›

                          Johnny Depp was originally cast as John Smith, but turned it down after being overworked with other movies he was shooting. Brad Pitt reportedly left the project after Nicole Kidman dropped out and her replacement had not yet been found. Once Angelina Jolie signed on, he returned to the project.

                          What happened to Mr and Mrs Smith in the end? ›

                          They would eventually be gunned down in a tearful display of marital loyalty, but it was a moment that made it abundantly clear that death is the fate of Smiths; we just didn't know it was by the same people who employed them.

                          Is there a Mr. and Mrs. Smith 2 movie? ›

                          The screenwriter of Mr. & Mrs. Smith explains why a sequel to the movie never happened. Despite the film's success and the stars' real-life romance, a sequel wouldn't have the same love story element as the original.

                          Where can I watch Mr. and Mrs. Smith 2? ›

                          Let's start with the bright spot: Mr. & Mrs. Smith will return to Amazon Prime Video for a second season.

                          Are they making a new Mr and Mrs Smith? ›

                          Filming began in the summer of 2022. On May 14, 2024, Amazon Prime Video renewed the series for a second season, with Sloane returning as showrunner. However, whether Glover and Erskine are returning or not is unclear.

                          Are there two versions of Mr and Mrs Smith? ›

                          The Amazon series Mr. & Mrs. Smith is very different from the 2005 classic starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Described as more of a remix than a remake, 2024's Mr.

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