Anna Kendrick had never done a TV series, but she was so taken with the script for Love Life that she signed on to both star in and co-executive produce the series for HBO Max. Emmy, the award-winning official publication of the Television Academy, which hits newsstands May 29, talks with the Oscar- and Tony-nominated actress about the refreshingly relatable anthology that follows a frazzled 20-something on her quest for love.
Show creator Sam Boyd sought to create a funny, character-driven series about love and relationships with the hopes that famed comedy director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids; Freaks and Geeks) would sign on as a producer. Fortunately, Feig was immediately drawn to the story. "The voice was so great and unique, and I loved the idea of how each of the pieces of your past come together when you're with the person you ultimately end up with," he says. Kendrick, who co-starred in the film A Simple Favor, directed by Feig, lobbied him to join the project. "I harassed Paul to get myself attached to it," she says. "I like a strong, confident voice, even if the material is off-the-wall." It was Boyd and Kendrick who pitched the show to HBO Max, resulting in a full-season deal that became one of the network's first orders.
Love Life centers around the dating adventures of Darby, a young New Yorker played by Kendrick. In emmy's cover story "Love and Learn," the actress describes the series as a "romantic dramedy." "It's about romance, but there's so much more to explore because there's joy and heartbreak in all of her relationships," she says. Kendrick also reveals that some of her own dating disasters were incorporated into the series and served as fuel for the occasional dumpster fire that is Darby's dating life. For inspiration, Kendrick says, "I unloaded my entire relationship history to the writers because I have recently been a young woman on these exact journeys. It was really interesting to see the details getting sliced and diced into the show. They're peppered enough so that nobody looks too much like anybody I've dated."
Feig knew this story was right in Kendrick's wheelhouse. "She's just so good," he says. "And you can see the full range of what she can do in the show." Kendrick, who is also an executive producer on the series, says, "I wanted to be a producer because I wanted to be involved. I have very strong feelings about whether a guy would make me feel a certain way. I can be opinionated, normally; but it felt nice to know that I had a seat at the table."
With most Hollywood production on hold in light of the COVID-19 restrictions, Kendrick has been lying low at home and is not compelled to do any writing after having released a memoir in 2016. "That book was so hard," she says. "If this quarantine has taught me anything, it's that self-motivating is based on a goal. So, you know, first I'll try to brush my teeth after 10 a.m., then I'll write that script."
Additional feature highlights from the new issue include:
- In "A Throne of Her Own," emmy talks with Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult about their starring roles in The Great, Hulu's new series about Catherine the Great and her not-so-great husband, Peter.
- With 34 restaurants around the world, seven Michelin stars and six TV shows on-air in the U.S., Gordon Ramsay doesn't shy away from a challenge. In "Outer Limits," emmy talks with chef Ramsay about "getting back to the beginning of food" as he navigates rough terrain to taste hyperlocal cuisine in the National Geographic series Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted.
- Film noir has a longstanding history of bringing suppressed human impulses and fears to light. "Dark Journeys," excerpted from the book TV Noir by Allen Glover, describes the threads and trends of this moody genre.
Emmy, the official publication of the Television Academy, goes behind the scenes of the industry for a unique insider's view. It showcases the scope of television and profiles the people who make TV happen, from the stars of top shows to the pros behind the cameras, covering programming trends and advances in technology. Honored consistently for excellence, emmy is a six-time Maggie Award winner as Best Trade Publication in Communications or the Arts and has collected 52 Maggies from the Western Publishing Association. Emmy is available on selected newsstands and at TelevisionAcademy.com for single print and digital copies as well as subscriptions.
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