The celebrity cameo you almost definitely missed in Netflix’s Set It Up

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Kayleigh Dray
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Netflix's Set It Up: Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch

It’s the rom-com everyone is talking about – and now there’s a new reason to obsess over Netflix’s Set It Up.

We, all of us, have a sneaky passion for the rom-com formula. There’s nothing quite like a feel-good boy meets girl, boy competes against girl, maybe boy and girl fall in love (but maybe they won’t) story to lift your mood on a particularly bad day.

So it stands to reason that Netflix’s Set It Up, which honours this this time-tested “will they/won’t they” formula (while giving it a wee update for millennial audiences) is making such huge waves on social media. Indeed, our own Moya Lothian-McLean recently penned an ode to Claire Scanlon’s feature debut, praising it for treating the rom-com genre – and its characters – with rare respect.

“It’s a sweet, frothy film about two young people that doesn’t rely on lazy outdated stereotypes to sell itself,” she writes. “And that’s what makes it timeless.”

If that weren’t reason enough to cancel your weekend plans and settle down for an evening in with Set It Up, though, this news may just convince you: the film features a surprise celebrity cameo. And hardly anyone has spotted this A-lister’s starring role. 

That’s right: Scanlon – who has previously helmed episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – recently revealed that she included an extra-special Kimmy Schmidt Easter Egg in her new movie.

And that Easter Egg came in the form of her Kimmy Schmidt boss, Tina Fey.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Scanlon shared: “It meant something to me to have Tina… we were shooting, it was April and I was in New York prepping the film, and I asked Tina if I could just come by her office. And I was like, ‘Can I do this?’ And she was like, ‘Oh god, we’re not talking about that. Of course you can do it.’”

She added: “Tina is great. She’s just as cool as you think she would be. When people ask me what it’s like working with her, I’m like, ‘Everything you would hope it would be and more.’ She’s just great.”

So where was Fey amongst all the meet-cutes and delightfully romantic misunderstandings?

Well, remember that opening montage of unseen bosses making ridiculous requests to their stressed assistants? Watch it again and you’ll hear Fey’s familiar voice calling out the first demand.

“The first voice that you hear is Tina,” shares Scanlon. “She says, ‘Jessica! The phones!’— that’s because Jessica was her assistant, and when I was working on Kimmy Schmidt, I knew Jessica.”

She added: “[It] was really meaningful to have her be the first voice you hear”

Set It Up, for those who have yet to catch it, tells the story of two young assistants in New York City, who realise that they can make their lives easier by setting up their workaholics bosses to date.

However, while trying to perpetuate this romantic ruse between their nightmare bosses, the assistants realise (you guessed it!) they might be right for each other. But don’t expect this to play out exactly like your typical rom-com: it refuses to let its female leads make themselves smaller to accommodate love – and it takes tropes on and knocks them out of the park, in a truly spectacular fashion.

Starring Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch, Set It Up is streaming on Netflix now.

Image: Netflix


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.