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Rashida Jones on watching spy films for her upcoming “Frenemy of the State”

Rashida Jones in Celeste and Jesse Forever

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When “The Bourne Legacy” comes today, Rashida Jones will be one of the first in line to see it. At least that’s the impression she gave IFC upon learning we had just seen it before sitting down to talk about her new film, “Celeste and Jesse Forever.” “How is it? Is it good? As good as [‘The Bourne Identity’]?” she asked us, pressing for details.

Her interest was about more than just planning how to spend her weekend — just as she and her writing partner Will McCormack had previously gorged themselves on rom-coms for inspiration for “Celeste and Jesse,” they’re now watching spy films to prep for inspiration for their next writing project, “Frenemy of the State” — about a socialite who becomes a spy.

“We watched Bond movies, the ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ BBC series, ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ with Richard Burton,” she said. “And we read Valerie Plame’s book, [‘Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House’] for lady spy things.”

Jones started writing “Frenemy of the State” as a comic book with co-writers (and husband-and-wife) Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis, which was later optioned by Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Jones and McCormack have finished the first draft and are on to the second, but this isn’t a vanity project for the actress to star in.

“We wrote it for a 21-year-old,” Jones said, “and I don’t want to write something that I’m in again anytime soon. I think I want to keep them separate for now.”

The protagonist of “Frenemy” is Ariana Von Holmberg, an heiress who uses her tabloid globe-trotting as a cover — if she’s caught out on a ledge, she (or at least the CIA) can put out the story that she was “on a bender” to excuse her actions (never mind she’s actually been sober for two years). She basically has to keep up the persona she cultivated when she was young and immature, because her fame is something more than a desire for attention. But there are drawbacks — she has to make her successes look like accidents, such as pretending she can’t fight in a fight for her life. Her primary mission in the comics involves stopping a nuclear weapons deal.

“Spy plots are hard, really hard,” Jones laughed. “I struggled with the spy part of it. The lifestyle stuff was easy, but the spy stuff was hard.” She admitted to amnesia-envy — the plot twist behind “Total Recall” and “The Bourne Identity” which allowed filmmakers to “just create whatever you want and it just is what it is. It’s such a good plot point.”

Eventually, Jones would like to direct a film as well as write one, but not just yet. “Will and I have talked about maybe the next thing we write, me directing it, too,” she said. “It wasn’t the thing I grew up wanting to do, but as actors, we have a lot of sensitivity for other actors — what they need, what they don’t need. So we’ll see. But I would never direct myself,” she conceded. “I couldn’t do that.”

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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