By María Estévez, MWN
After the explosive events of the last season, Apple TV’s award-winning ‘The Morning Show’ returned with Alex Levy, brilliantly played by Jennifer Aniston, and Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) continuing the fight in the newsroom narrative around #MeToo, COVID-19, and other topics.
Metro recently talked with a 52-year-old actress and producer to learn more.
Does the show feel the waves of #MeToo and COVID-19 in the writer’s room?
It takes a lot of twists and turns and we’re basically dealing with a lot of repercussions of what Season 1 handed us. You see the struggles, the outcasts, the cancel culture. Everyone walking around with their own guilt of what they allowed to and not to happen. There’s a lot of self-reckoning and it definitely gets spicy. It was fun creating a new show in real-time as we’re watching the world learn a new normal and hoping that we are portraying it as honestly as we can. So, it was a lot of responsibility, but exciting at the same time.
What is so special about this show?
We address issues head-on and air the conversations that are taking place behind closed doors; the conversations that people don’t feel like they can say out loud because they’ll be outcast immediately. I think we portray more of the grey areas as opposed to the black and whites that the world can sometimes put upon people.
Tell us about your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It took me down hard and I think it took Reese down, too. We had already shot the first bit of the show before the pandemic and then we shut down and then the show was re-written in order to incorporate COVID-19. So, doing the show and creating it whilst in a pandemic while keeping all the protocols and having endless Zoom meetings with our incredible epidemiology team, was a lot. The main thing was everybody’s safety. It took some adjusting and, then like everything, it became very normal. Hopefully, it won’t be normal for that much longer. But we got through it and I think we made a really good show.
Many things are changing in our society and in Hollywood.
I think in our culture, there’s never been a time of more change. I think we all are just humans trying to figure it out; we’re all capable of terrible things and we’re all capable of great things. I think this show really beautifully addresses cancel culture and how there’s a human cost to exiling people or condemning them for one thing they did in their lives because no one is perfect
You, as your character, have suffered from tabloid media and paparazzi.
I do think that journalism has shifted so much in the past five years with the emergence of social media, misinformation and politicized news. I think it’s very hard for audiences to find the truth. We’re all searching for the truth. There used to be one universally accepted truth and now there are thousand different ways to consume the news.
Season 2 tells us that there’s a price of success and fame.
I agree with it 100%. There is a cost but also you can be the conductor of what that cost is eventually. The cost is really that you can’t do the things that you used to be able to do, but you figure out a way around that. You put yourself out there as an artist and you are out there for people so it has become a sport for people to decide how they feel about a different person this week or the following week, or what they’ve said or if something was said out of context. It’s a lot more than just, ‘We’re going to perform for you and entertain you.’
This new season covers some heavy ground.
I don’t think any of it was difficult, I think it’s just the truth. Things like systemic racism within the media industry, homophobia, sexism, ageism… they’re all meaningful. And doing the show was more about how to allocate time to every different issue which is on people’s minds right now. We’re in a cultural reckoning and people are really comfortable voicing it. People are actually interested in hearing it. And people really appreciate it when you go there on a topic that is taboo and say the unspeakable or the thinkable. There’s such relief for an audience to say, ‘Oh that’s me! I feel that way.’ There are other people thinking those things. Because, again, it’s not so black and white.
Do you like your alter ego, Alex Levy?
I love Alex’s absolute ability to be professional in one moment and then lose her sh*t uncontrollably in the next. She’s a human pendulum.