Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Character: Kim Baker
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Written by: Robert Carlock (screenplay by), Kim Barker (based on the book "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan" by)
Release date: March 4, 2016
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Running time: 1h 52min

SNL alumni Tina Fey steps into the well worn shoes of journalist Kim Barker in Paramount Pictures’ adaptation of Barker’s memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which details her years as a reporter in Pakistan and Afghanistan beginning in 2002.

Cast & Characters

Tina Fey (Kim Baker), Margot Robbie (Tanya Vanderpoel), Martin Freeman (Iain MacKelpie), Alfred Molina (Ali Massoud Sadiq), Christopher Abbott (Fahim Ahmadzai), Billy Bob Thornton (General Hollanek), Nicholas Braun (Tall Brian), Stephen Peacocke (Nic), Sheila Vand (Shakira Khar), Evan Jonigkeit (Specialist Coughlin), Fahim Anwar (Jaweed), Josh Charles (Chris), Cherry Jones (Geri Taub), Scott Takeda (Ed Faber), Eli Goodman (Tucker Wang)

Production Photos

Trailer

Production Notes

“It’s shamefully true that I heard about the review of the book and thought I could worm my way into the project,” jokes Fey. She goes on, quite seriously: “But what really attracted me is the story of a woman who arrives in Kabul expecting to spend three months … who ends up spending three years. Kim starts out a novice at reporting and a novice at the kind of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll lifestyle that reporters lead there. It’s a total awakening for her.”

Fey came aboard as a producer, at the center of a crack trio completed by comedy innovator and “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels and producer Ian Bryce, whose films range from the award-wining comedy “Almost Famous” to the epic “Transformers” series.

She also decided to jump into the role of Kim, perhaps her most ambitious film role to date. Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa note that Fey’s decision to play Kim takes her into new territory. She still plays a relatable modern working woman, but one who goes far beyond the office confines of her famed portrait of comedy writer Liz Lemon on “30 Rock.”

“This is definitely not Liz Lemon Goes to War,” says co-director John Requa. “Kim Baker is a really complex character who gives Tina a chance to spread her wings as a wide-ranging actress.”

“Tina is the funniest person I’ve ever met,” adds co-director Glenn Ficarra, “but this movie also allows her to take her skills to a whole new level.”

The real-life Kim Barker was thrilled by the synergy she felt with Fey. “It’s so exciting to have Tina Fey playing me,” she muses. “I think we have very similar senses of humor, but also she really wanted to do the story justice.”

Fey’s biggest qualm about portraying Kim was not their different worlds; she was ready to dive headlong into the reality of a newbie war reporter’s life just as Barker had once done – and to explore the emotional frisson of a woman who moves through states that range from overwhelmed to adrenaline-jacked to desensitized to self-assured. Indeed, she was thrilled. “Helicopters and explosions are not typically part of my day-to-day,” she points out, “so that was interesting to me.”

Instead, Fey’s sole consternation was their mis-matched heights. “My only regret is that I can’t pull off playing Kim at 5’10”,” Fey muses. “In the book, Kim describes how she towered over powerful men who’d proposition her and grab her butt. I’d love to portray that — but I’m only 5’4.””