While being in a talk show, Hollywood actress, Kate McKinnon taught the song „Yozsefváros” from Animal Cannibals, to 10 million people all around the world after shooting her movie in Hungary called The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018). If you have a good eye for locations, you can see that many of the scenes were recorded in Budapest.
Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) are best friends and living lavishly in Los Angeles. One day, Audrey gets dragged into a van, where she realizes, that her ex-boyfriend, Drew (Justin Theroux), is a spy and he is getting chased by enemy operators. Drew shows up at Audrey, and explains, that the reason that he broke up with her is to protect her. The man gets shot immediately in the head, but before his death, he gives Audrey a little statue, so that it reaches its destination. The girls get into action, even though they do not understand anything about the situation.
Moviemakers love Hungary, especially Budapest. Maybe not everyone, but most of them. Firstly, the country has a favorable tax rebate is a pretty nice welcome by itself. Secondly, it is very diverse due to its colorful architectures, it can be shown as Berlin or Moscow or many of Europe’s big cities. Thirdly, – which is hard to admit, but true – some places are so crashed, abandoned, and demolished, that it is entirely credible, that some Eastern-European mafia-gang rivals are trying to have a shootout there. In the movie, Budapest played as itself, Vienna, Prague, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Lithuania, and even as Los Angeles.
The production and principal photography for the action/comedy started in Budapest, July 2017. They used a lot of CGI on the locations, and many of them are deformed. There are some exceptions though. The characteristic Corvin Square with its yellow ceramic stone is one that the Hungarian eye can instantly see. Important to note, in this scene Kunis and McKinnon are trying to steal a car from Hungarian actors Ági Bánfalvy and Áron László. Another example is when Kunis, McKinnon, and Sam Heughan are trying to save the world in the library of the Technical University of Budapest, which plays as Bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris. One can recognize the roof parking lot at KÖKI Terminal Shopping Centre, wherein the distance, housing projects of the 10th district of Budapest can be seen. Besides that, regular guests of Józsefváros’ Grund Pub can quickly realize, that it is not a Los Angeles bar, but their favorite place to spend time. The locations reworked with CGI are the Freeport of Csepel, which has been reconstructed to the beautiful canals of Amsterdam, or Vajdahunyad Castle which has been transformed into a castle in Prague, and Terézváros’ Eötvös Street, which has been widened to being unrecognizable.
There is a question, which needs to be asked about every Hollywood movie or series, that has been filmed in Hungary. Is Attila Árpa in the movie? The answer is: Yes! The same answer goes to the question „Is he playing a security guard this time as well?”