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Love Life creator wants to build "the Nancy Meyers version of the MCU"; William Jackson Harper discusses working with an intimacy coordinator

  • "There was always an intention to make the whole thing feel like this shared universe. If we're lucky enough to continue the show, it would always have this baton-pass feeling," says Love Life creator Sam Boyd in a joint EW interview with Season 2 lead William Jackson Harper. "What was exciting to me, from the very beginning, was we can hone in on all these different characters across however many seasons, but it's all happening at the same time. It's like the Nancy Meyers version of the MCU. So having this baton-pass from Darby to Marcus and having her pop up and thread through is a way to make it feel like the same show, while it also feels like a totally different show. It's about the small ways we can connect it back to season 1 and make it feel cohesive — and also Anna is great, so anytime you can have her pop in, it's fun to figure it out." As for Season 3, Boyd says: "I think, like with season 2, it definitely will start with the actor. We're very excited at the opportunity for this show to feel as big and sweeping and reflective of the actual world as possible. We've had a lot of discussions, although nothing's set in stone. We're just starting to think about wanting to follow an LGBTQ+ character and, again, with every season trying to broaden the scope. We're trying to make the show less about any one thing and more about this multitude of characters and experiences that hopefully, cumulatively, all feel like the real world." Meanwhile, Harper filming sex scenes with Jessica Williams under the supervision of an intimacy coordinator. "Oh, dear," says Harper. "Yeah, we definitely had an intimacy coordinator. Those things are always nerve-wracking for everybody. You don't just go for it. You get very clear consent with every single move. You're still acting, but it's very much a dance, very choreographed. And thankfully our intimacy coordinator, Olivia Troy, was very clear about how everything happened, how it had to look, and we locked in with each other and then would joke in between — because it's awkward having play sex! I mean, that's just a weird thing to do at work."


    • Jessica Williams explains the importance of her solo Love Life episode: “Her journey this season is going from someone who is typically kind of guarded in her relationships and with intimacy, I think she has the habit of kind of shying away from it, which I do personally relate to,” says Williams. “And then, over the course of time, she meets Marcus. She develops this relationship with Marcus, the friends start dating, they break up. Then they reconnect during the pandemic and then we kind of go on this journey with them, as they get married, have a kid and kind of settle into being each other’s person and choosing to be each other’s person, which I think is a really big part of her journey.” 
    • Why Love Life set Season 2 during the pandemic: "As far as the pandemic itself, the show has always been so specific about time. And obviously, no one really saw 2020 coming," says creator Sam Boyd. "I even remember with Season 1, the Season 1 finale ends with New Year’s 2020, just because we shot at like Christmas 2020, a week before it was supposed to take place. And obviously, no idea what was coming for the world. Then I remember seeing people online being like, 'Oh my God, if they only knew! They’re all celebrating 2020!' So we had kind of already positioned the show in this very specific timeline. And I think it’s fun for us to kind of play with, as we’re jumping back and forth and starting Marcus’ story at a certain point in Darby’s timeline, and showing this kind of shared universe, it felt like it would probably be weird not to address it. So I think that was something from the beginning that we talked about and just wanting it to feel like slice of life, but also, trying to use it as a way to have this character face himself and strip back everybody else’s ideas about him, so that he can kind of just face himself."

    TOPICS: William Jackson Harper, HBO Max, Love Life, Jessica Williams, Sam Boyd