The MRS. DAVIS Team on the Wildly Ambitious Peacock Series: 'Let's Swing for the Fences' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The MRS. DAVIS Team on the Wildly Ambitious Peacock Series: ‘Let’s Swing for the Fences’

April 18, 2023 by  

Mrs Davis on Peacock preview

MRS. DAVIS — Episode 106 — Pictured: (l-r) Jake McDorman as Wiley, Betty Gilpin as Simone — (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Peacock)

In MRS. DAVIS, the wildly ambitious new Peacock series (debuting Thursday, April 20), much of humanity is enamored with the artificial intelligence affectionately known as Mrs. Davis.

However, a group of rebels wants nothing to do with it…and a nun, Simone (Betty Gilpin), gets drawn into a quest to destroy the all-knowing machine.

“I really connected to so many themes of our scripts,” Gilpin told reporters. “My character was raised by magician parents, and I was raised by actor parents. My dad is [also] a priest…I grew up really backstage, and in stage managers’ booths, sort of in on the idea that you’re pulling one over on the audience. There are strings being pulled—fake noses and costumes and there’s an unknowing illusion happening, like in a magician’s trick.”

“Then my character is introduced to a life of faith that is all the opposite tenants: Where there are things that can’t be explained,” she continued. “It’s not about a trick or illusion. It’s faith-based, or the intangible. While I’m not a person of faith, my dad is, of course. And seeing that he had both knowing illusion and blind faith in his life, and kind of weaving between those two things, really helped me tackle this script and the themes that it deals with.”

Mrs Davis on Peacock preview

MRS. DAVIS — “TBD” Episode 104 — Pictured: Betty Gilpin as Simone — (Photo by: Sophie Kohler/PEACOCK)

As the series tackles the (very timely) issue of artificial intelligence and the potential danger surrounding that, MRS. DAVIS also manages to incorporate a hodgepodge of tones to keep the series surprisingly light.

“We’re sort of a product of things that we consume,” showrunner Tara Hernandez explained. (Hernandez, a vet of THE BIG BANG THEORY, co-created the series with Damon Lindelof.) “The intention was to do something that we just hadn’t seen before. There’s so much great content and viewers have so much at their fingertips to consume. And so if you’re lucky enough, as we were, to get to create a show, it’s like how do you just make this something that cuts through? And more than that, something that we would watch?”

“So landing on this specific tone, I would say, was something that we were craving, we were wanting,” she continued. “It was a product of the time that we were developing this series, which was very early and throughout the pandemic. And so it just felt like, let’s go for it. It can be all these out there, wacky, zany things…we believed in Betty Gilpin and her ability to embody Simone…We just said because we had her giving us such an incredible, grounded performance, let’s go–let’s swing for the fences.”

Mrs Davis release date

MRS. DAVIS — “TBD” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Betty Gilpin as Simone, Jake McDorman as Wiley — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/Peacock)

Jake McDorman, who plays Wiley, Simone’s ex—and a member of the resistance fighting against Mrs. Davis—previously worked with Lindelof (on HBO’s WATCHMEN), and was intrigued about what the show could be from the first audition.
“I’ve been a fan of Damon’s work since forever, so when I saw that he was attached to this, and I got the audition, automatically, I was like, ‘Oh, man, this is gonna be good. F—. I’m really gonna want this. Oh, damn,’” he said. “It’s scary to love a script because it’s a competitive thing.”

Once he was cast, the actor wanted to know everything he could about what was going on in the show’s larger mythology. But in his initial audition, he got a single scene to work with. “So I was like, ‘I think it’s funny? I think maybe it’s funny,’” he recalled. “So I was like, ‘Can I have the script?’ They sent me the first two scripts, and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s funny. And then some.’ I told Damon and Tara, it’s like a game of Mad Libs got out of control—and I mean that as a compliment. So once I had the context of what the show was, it’s like shooting five different genres in one.”

“You get to do all the things that you’ve always wanted to do,” he continued. “From comedy and drama and action-adventure to sci-fi to rom-com—it’s literally all those things.”

For Gilpin, who worked with Lindelof on the 2020 film THE HUNT, having that pre-series familiarity helped navigate MRS. DAVIS’ unknowns.

“In true Damon fashion—and Tara Hernandez fashion—the script deals with some really dark and important themes, in a very joyful and silly way,” she explained. “And [in a] very original way. I think that oftentimes we either choose between content that is important and depressing or joyful and mindless. And this is really important and joyful. That made going to work and being away from my toddler that much easier—it felt really fun and like we were really saying something and asking some real questions, but not in a pretentious or self-serious way. There’s just as [many] pratfalls as there are tears. That’s how I like it.”

MRS. DAVIS, Series Premiere, Thursday, April 20, Peacock


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