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Genie Director Sam Boyd on Melissa McCarthy and Paapa Essiedu's Chemistry

In Peacock's new original movie, Melissa McCarthy plays a genie to a man named Bernard Bottle in a holiday adventure you won't want to miss.

By Stephanie Gomulka

Move over Santa Clause! A genie is ready to take over this holiday season by granting unlimited wishes (and some chaos) in Peacock’s new fairytale comedy.  

Director Sam Boyd (In a Relationship, creator of the series Love Life) spoke to NBC Insider about how Genie follows in the tradition of a buddy comedy with its own enchanting twists starring the dynamic duo of Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The Little Mermaid) and Emmy Nominee Paapa Essiedu (The Lazarus Project, I May Destroy You).

Melissa McCarthy and Paapa Essiedu Star in Peacock’s Holiday Fairytale Comedy Genie

Melissa McCarthy dressed up in gold tinsel to resemble a Christmas tree in a scene from the new movie GENIE

The movie follows a man named Bernard Bottle who wants to fix things with his family and inadvertently summons a genie named Flora from his antique jewelry box.

Boyd previously directed the series Love Life starring William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) and Anna Kendrick (Trolls Band Together, Pitch Perfect) in their respective seasons. While describing Genie, Boyd says he thought a lot about "classy, all ages bangers" like Elf, Home Alone, and even non-Christmas classics like Mrs. Doubtfire

"I think they made a lot in the 90s and into the 2000s and it was exciting to kind of take a crack at a new one of those," Boyd said.

Adding to the fun of the movie, Boyd loved a lot of what McCarthy brought to the table and her character.

“All of a sudden there are these hilarious new lines…I love in the tradition of any great sort of you know buddy comedy where there’s usually a straight man so to speak,” Boyd said. “A lot of times I laugh just as much too at you know Paapa’s reaction to what’s going on.”

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As much as he loves the comedic notes of the film for Boyd, seeing the “emotional bedrock” they created were some of his favorite moments, he said.   

“The connection between Bernard and Flora and their chemistry—the chemistry between those two actors—was always super important so there's a lot of hilarious stuff that that kind of came out of those interactions,” Boyd said.  

Genie is Written by Beloved Screenwriter and Director Richard Curtis

Paapa Essiedu and Melissa McCarthy stand outside in a scene from the new movie GENIE

The film also stays true to the “sort of a tradition” of a Melissa McCarthy movie and a Richard Curtis (Love, Actually, About Time) Movie, according to Boyd.

“Richard, is you know a ‘Writer’ with a capital W and his dialogue, his voice is so great and strong, but at the same time you have someone like Melissa who’s such a force of nature and brings so much incredible stuff to the table that surprises you and needs to go in the movie,” Boyd said.

RELATED: Your Wish is Granted: Where to Watch the Holiday Comedy Genie

Don’t worry about catching the holiday blues, Curtis assured NBC Insider: “It’s going to end well.”

Touching on Essiedu’s performance as Bottle, Curtis says he’s “such an interesting and wonderful” actor.

“I’ve seen him parts where he’s mean or puzzled or mysterious, but to actually have him playing this super sweet human was such a joy,” Curtis said.

Stream Genie now exclusively on Peacock.

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