×

Why ‘Women’s Anger’ and ‘Fear’ Play Integral Roles in ‘The Morning Show’

The Morning Show” is sometimes about people leaning fully into their most base impulses. Other times it’s about harnessing those impulses for their benefit.

For actor and executive producer Reese Witherspoon, anger was one of her best motivators when playing the part of up-and-coming news anchor Bradley Jackson in the Apple TV Plus original drama.

“I’m interested in women’s anger,” she told Variety at the Paley Center’s screening of the pilot episode in New York City on Tuesday night. “We don’t see it a lot on film, and I think women expressing their rage and anger is a really exciting character trait to explore. My character just doesn’t have a filter and she has kind of a hairpin trigger, anger response.”

This was a character trait Witherspoon advocated for in the room with showrunner Kerry Ehrin. “Reese wanted to push her character to have more of an anger issue, which I thought was really funny and fun,” said Ehrin. “She wanted to genuinely be a little unhinged, which I was super down for.”

The show centers on a day of reckoning after beloved morning show anchor Mitch Kessler (played by Steve Carell) is fired amid allegations of sexual misconduct — which the team behind the show feels gives them the perfect opportunity to showcase all emotions that would come out in the aftermath of such a bombshell.

You can look at [‘The Morning Show’] from many different points of views,” executive producer and director Mimi Leder told Variety. “Misconduct in the workplace, women in power, women in control, women trying to be controlled, women trying to seek their own destiny — it’s all there.”

When asked if there was an element of fear in embarking on a story so close to the sexual allegations against former NBC anchor Matt Lauer, Leder replied, “Fear is a really great motivator. We are in the cultural shifting dynamic of the #MeToo movement. This show is a snapshot of that, and I wanted to explore that world of truth telling.”

For actor and executive producer Jennifer Aniston, the fear came full force on the first day of filming, when she had to build 15 years of emotional history with co-star Carell in one scene.

“It felt like diving naked, chest first into an empty pool,” she said.

But pushing past that fear became worth it, and now she hopes the show “will shine a light, check people at their door, and ask, ‘Has this been taking place in my environment?’”

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: Quibi Releases Chance

    TV News Roundup: Quibi Releases Chance the Rapper's 'Punk'd' Revival Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Quibi unveiled the first trailer for “Punk’d” hosted by Chance the Rapper, and Showtime announced a documentary about an elite basketball community that is co-executive produced by NBA star Kevin Durant.  DATES Gildart Jackson, the award-winning audiobook narrator and actor best known for his roles in “Charmed” and “Whodunnit?,” will [...]

  • Comedians Live Streaming Self Quarantine

    How Comedians Are Adapting to Entertain Fans While Self-Isolating

    On March 11, comedian Jim Gaffigan was in Bogotá, Colombia, in the midst of his worldwide Pale Tourist tour when he received a call from his manager that Argentina was closing its borders in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and his upcoming show there was canceled. He had a choice: fly to São Paulo, Brazil, for [...]

  • Dave Review

    TV Ratings: 'Dave' Scores Gigantic Streaming Numbers for FXX

    Lil Dicky’s FXX show is scoring some not so lil viewership numbers. The rapper, real name David Burd (hence the title), and his new series “Dave” are averaging 4.8 million total viewers per episode across all platforms, which represents a ridiculous 2112% increase over its on-air average of just  217,000 viewers. The audience for the [...]

  • Quibi

    Quibi Target of Injunction Request Seeking to Block Its Turnstyle Mobile Tech

    Five days before Quibi’s scheduled April 6 launch, the Jeffrey Katzenberg-founded mobile-video venture has been hit with another legal action — demanding that Quibi be forced to stop using technology it allegedly stole from an interactive-video company. The motion seeking a preliminary injunction against Quibi comes from New York-based Eko, which last month sued Quibi [...]

  • Comic-Con atmosphere

    Comic-Con Still on for July Despite Coronavirus Fears

    The organizers of San Diego Comic-Con are still “hopeful” that it will take place in July as planned, despite mounting fears that putting on the largest fan convention in the country would be dangerous given the current coronavirus climate. Events of all kinds have been canceled around it, yet Comic-Con remains scheduled to take place [...]

  • Sinclair

    IATSE Slams Sinclair for Coronavirus Response to Sports Broadcast Freelancers

    Amid an industry-wide shutdown amid a pandemic that has put millions out of work, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has criticized Sinclair Broadcast Group’s plan to loan money to certain freelancers, calling it an inadequate response to these unprecedented times. Last week, in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Sinclair unveiled a multi-million-dollar [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content