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Megan Daley
June 03, 2015 AT 08:48 PM EDT

From Bridesmaids to The Heat to this weekend’s Spy, writer and director Paul Feig is no stranger to working with hilarious women — especially Melissa McCarthy. But according to Feig, his early pitches for female-driven movies weren’t catching on as he was told they “wouldn’t sell in certain markets.” After hearing it over and over, he came to the conclusion the idea just didn’t make any sense.

“I don’t want these things to be about a male audience or a female audience,” Feig told EW and People’s own Jess Cagle recently during a SiriusXM’s Town Hall with the director, McCarthy and Spy co-star Jason Statham. “It’s funny people and the only reason I know it’s going to work is because the people that I’m casting are some of the funniest people I know.”

That’s where McCarthy comes in. The actress and Feig were having dinner when he mentioned the idea for Spy. “It truly grabbed me in such way and then to see her really change and morph into this confident person. I called Paul the next day and I said, ‘I beg you, I beg you. Please let me play Susan Cooper.” 

The full interview is available above and for EW’s take on Spy, head on over to our review

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

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