You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mark Duplass on How the End of ‘Togetherness’ Helped Birth ‘Room 104’

Thursday evening witnessed bright skies that eventually became twinkling stars and a hanging moon draped over Hollywood as producers, actors, and eager first-time viewers of HBO’s “Room 104” helped launch the new addition to HBO’s television lineup.

Hosted by Cinespia, the first season premiere of HBO’s half-hour series debuted at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The 12-episode series was co-created by brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, who are also executive producers on the anthology project. “Room 104” takes the viewer behind the closed door and inside the four walls of a single motel room where we meet different guests on each episode, with each character having its own (and very unique) story. The stand-alone episodes offer varying tones, plots, and even time periods, while the motel room setting remains the same.

“It was an idea we had a long time ago and honestly anthology shows weren’t being made then, we couldn’t get it made for a long time,” Mark told Variety. “And eventually our reputation caught up with us a little bit and once ‘Togetherness’ was done we decided, you know, we want to do something that’s intensely collaborative that tells different kinds of stories, that shows different kinds of protagonists on screen.”

From a tormented babysitter in the first episode, “Ralphie,” to a loving couple celebrating over five decades of marriage in “My Love,” the audience gets to be a fly on the wall for a wide spectrum of interpersonal relationships.

“Jay and I, when we travel, we’re always sitting in these motel rooms and we look at dings on the walls and stains on the carpet and we always imagined what those stories might be,” Mark added.

Even with such a restricted setting, executive producer Xan Aranda recalled, “We wanted to make sure that we had as many places in the room for things to occur.”

The cast boasts a solid list of both new faces, such as first-time actress and professional Muay Thai fighter Natalie Morgan, and veterans including James Van Der Beek and Philip Baker Hall.

“Room 104” premieres Friday, July 28 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

More Scene

  • Meredith Walker, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler,

    Inside Amy Poehler's Smart Girls 10th Anniversary Dinner (EXCLUSIVE)

    “I’ve made an observation I’d like to share. I’m the only one that’s eaten my crab cake,” joked Amy Poehler as she addressed the room during the round robin introductions being made at her Smart Girls 10th anniversary dinner on Monday night. The 16 women at the table, who were so enthralled in the conversation [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron, Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de

    Alfonso Cuaron Says 'Roma' Is Better in Theaters

    Director Alfonso Cuaron opted to work with Netflix for his latest film “Roma,” but the decorated filmmaker isn’t discounting the importance of a big-screen viewing. “The complete experience of ‘Roma’ is unquestionably in a movie theater,” Cuaron said Monday night at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles for the premiere of “Roma.”  The streaming giant did [...]

  • Dylan O'Brien, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett,

    Travis Knight on Getting the Call to Direct ‘Bumblebee’: ‘Did You Guys Get The Right Number?’

    “Bumblebee” director Travis Knight admits he couldn’t believe it when Paramount Studios and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura called him two years ago, asking him to helm the upcoming “Transformers” movie. “My initial question was, ‘Did you guys get the right number?'” Knight joked at Sunday’s premiere of “Bumblebee” at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. “You’ve seen [...]

  • Director Peter JacksonWarner Bros. Pictures THEY

    Peter Jackson Talks Transition From 'Hobbit' Movies to World War I Documentary

    Peter Jackson remains a bit astounded at his transition four years ago from the Shire of Middle Earth to the French battlefields of World War I. Jackson introduced his documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday night at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, four weeks after it aired on Armistice Day on the BBC. [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • Children's Defense Fund

    Angela Bassett, Conan O'Brien Honor Young Students at Children's Defense Fund Gala

    Awards season may be right around the corner, but on Thursday, Hollywood took a break from the glitz and glam to celebrate five high school students who have excelled academically despite facing extreme adversity both at home and in the classroom. The 29th annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center featured [...]

  • Dolly Parton attends the world premiere

    Dolly Parton Hopes to Perform 'Dumplin'' Song at the Golden Globes

    It’s not easy to upstage Jennifer Aniston. But everyone at Thursday night’s premiere of her new Netflix flick, “Dumplin’,” seemed to be singing the praises of Dolly Parton, who earlier in the day received a Golden Globe nomination for “Girl in the Movies,” one of half a dozen new songs she wrote for the film. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content