×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Noel Wells Talks ‘Master of None’ Episode ‘Mornings’ and Idea-Jamming with Aziz Ansari

The Netflix comedy “Master of None” took a lot of people by surprise, but co-star Noël Wells knew she was involved with something special. The relationship between Wells’ character Rachel and Aziz Ansari’s Dev became the heart of the first season, and they anchored a pair of memorable two-handers: the first date episode “Nashville” and the bittersweet penultimate installment “Mornings.” Her creative collaboration with Ansari and co-creator Alan Yang emboldened the actress-writer-director, who recently wrapped her feature helming debut.

Master of None” (Netflix)
Season 1 ep. 9, “Mornings”
Written by Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang; directed by Eric Wareheim

NOEL WELLS: “I had been auditioning for a lot of things where I didn’t understand the point of the character. This was two people who were on equal footing having fun conversations.

“Through shooting [Aziz and I] revised the scripts so they got even better as time went on. We would take the scenario of a scene and then improvise together to see what was the more natural way of speaking, seeing what kind of jokes could arise from that and it really allowed me to give my point of view. We created this working relationship where all of our dialogue felt like two people that really did connect because we were connecting when we were doing it.

“The ‘Mornings’ episode we spent a lot more time on. It was kind of idea-jamming. We spent a lot of time talking. He would talk about things that happened in his relationship and I would talk about things that happened in my relationship. The idea was really, really strong to begin with, but it allowed Rachel to have a specific point of view, which in a lot of ways is my point of view.

“What I love about Aziz is he has a very optimistic point of view about everything, and the sweet bubbliness to the beginning of that relationship is that version. But then those subtleties creep in, ‘Maybe this isn’t everything it seems’ and one thing can blow up all the tension that’s been bubbling underneath. I tend to go darker, so I think I pushed it. I like the balance we created.

“We did have a really natural fun rapport. I’ve never had that acting off of somebody, where we were on the same page from the get go. It was a very rewarding experience and it felt very formative to me. It was the first time it felt like, ‘I can do this,’ and I had somebody pushing me and saying, ‘Hey keep going, I really like what you’re doing.’

“It was kind of our bottle episode. We shot on our set for an entire week, it was basically chronological because we could get away with that. It was like I lived with Aziz and the crew for a week. There was a lot of cute moments and then there was the sex scenes. It was the first time I had to do all that.

“Our dressing rooms are across the way from each other, and Aziz came out in a robe and I came out in a robe and we were like, ‘Welp, we’re gonna do this.’ At that point it’s like we’re friends and now we have to go do this thing. The whole crew was very wonderful and awesome, but there was a level of being very nervous about it and I think Aziz was too. We would do a take and then he would make a joke at the end and I’d be like, ‘Come on, don’t make me laugh right now, I’m trying to be really serious!’

“There was a scene where we were having sex on a chair. It’s not that I’m conservative but I’m very shy and we were trying to bandage to cover up my boobs and they were like ‘we can see all the stuff that’s covering up your boobs.’ So there was a moment when I had to put on something much smaller and it’s like now my boobs are in his face. I don’t know. It was fine. It was hard for me but also funny. All of it was very funny.

“There was lots of improv on set, specifically the sex stuff there was a lot of goofy improv because those were the things we didn’t rehearse for obvious reasons. The part where we’re post-sex and he says, ‘What if I came like this?’ and he did an impression of a really gross guy. And I did the impression of like… We did that in the moment. It was an improvised moment and I’m really happy it made it in.

“[Eric Wareheim] is such a pro. Specifically for that episode, we were very late in shooting and everybody was in a great rhythm, really what he did was let us do our thing and pull us back if we were going too far. He gave us a lot of breathing room to figure things out. Anytime I was insecure I would say ‘Eric, am I doing OK?’ and he would be like ‘Dude, you’re doing fine.’ That was his directing for me. Sometimes that’s all a director needs to say.

“The first time I saw the episode was right before the premiere. I hung out with Aziz and he said, ‘Do you want to watch “Mornings”?’ It was really sweet, I got to watch it with Aziz. It was so wonderful to watch it with him and get to have that moment.

“I really cared about the characters, and that episode I’m really, really proud of. Working on the show gave me a lot of confidence to go forth into the world on whatever creative endeavors I’m working on.”

More TV

  • Gloria Vanderbilt Dead at 95

    Gloria Vanderbilt Dies at 95

    Gloria Vanderbilt, a famous model and socialite who was often a subject of fascination in the worlds of fashion and media, has died at 95, according to a report on CNN, where her son, anchor Anderson Cooper, has worked for several years. From a young age, Vanderbilt led a tumultuous life, one marked by a [...]

  • kinetic-content-ceo-Chris-Coelen-renews-deal

    Kinetic Content's Chris Coelen Re-Ups as Company Makes Scripted Move (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chris Coelen has extended his tenure as CEO of Kinetic Content as the LA-based production business moves into scripted TV. Kinetic is part of the Red Arrows Studios stable and has been built on unscripted fare, with a roster of factual entertainment, formats and lifestyle series including “Married at First Sight,” the “Little Women” franchise [...]

  • BABY

    Italian TV Producers Head to L.A. With High-End Series Pitches (EXCLUSIVE)

    Looking to replicate the success of “Gomorrah” and “My Brilliant Friend,” a clutch of Italian TV producers is making the trek to L.A. to pitch high-end TV series based on local properties steeped in crime and history. Top outfits such as Fabula Pictures, the makers of Italian Netflix original “Baby,” and Lux Vide, which is [...]

  • ChileVision-y-Mediapro-Studio

    The Mediapro Studio, ChileVision Sign Co-production Pact, Set ‘El Discipulo del Chef’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  —  Spanish production powerhouse The Mediapro Studio and Chilean broadcast network ChileVisión, part of  Turner Latin America, have signed a co-production pact, kicked off by “El discípulo del Chef,” an ambitious entertainment format. One of Mediapro’s big new unscripted plays, the show will be introduced to buyers at October’s Mipcom trade fair. The title [...]

  • david-tennant-in-netflix-procedural-criminal

    David Tennant, Hayley Atwell Among Guest Stars in Netflix Procedural ‘Criminal’

    A host of guest stars have signed on for “Criminal,” the stripped-down Netflix procedural set in France, Spain, Germany and the U.K. The action takes place within the confines of a police interview suite. There are three 45-minute episodes set in each country. Guest stars in the British installments include David Tennant (“Good Omens”), Hayley [...]

  • Baztan Elizondo Guardián Invisible

    Conecta Fiction: Spain’s Navarre Primes Film-TV Gameplan

    MADRID  — Navarre has been a long-term film and TV shooting locale thanks to diverse and sometimes stunning landscapes that take in the Bardenas Reales badlands, immortalized in titles such as “The World Is Not Enough” and “Game of Thrones.” One of Spain’s richest regions, Navarre has historically levied its own tax regime, which led [...]

  • Jeremy Sisto, Ebonee Noel, Dick Wolf,

    Dick Wolf Plots Cross-Network Crossover Between CBS, NBC

    Veteran television producer Dick Wolf, best known for creating the “Law & Order” franchise, is eyeing a cross-network crossover between his CBS freshman procedural “FBI” or its in-the-works spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted” and one of his NBC shows, such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” or “Chicago P.D.” The decision whether to go with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content