Jordan Weiss, the creator and writer behind the forthcoming comedy “Dollface,” first wrote the series while in school at USC. Now, the 10-episode series has been produced by Margot Robbie’s production company Luckychap Entertainment for Hulu, and stars bold-faced names such as Kat Dennings, Shay Mitchell and Brenda Song.
“I wrote it as my writing sample when I was an assistant in college, while working for another comedy writer at the time,” Weiss said during Hulu’s Paleyfest event in Los Angeles, Calif. on Tuesday night.
While Weiss had no intentions of the series getting picked up, a former assistant with whom Weiss briefly worked, showed off the script while helping on the set of “I, Tonya,” which then led to Robbie and Scott Morgan deciding to develop the story.
“I was like, ‘My staff example?’ I was just trying to get a job on ‘New Girl!’” Weiss joked. “And they were like, ‘It’s a TV show,’ and I was like, ‘It’s a staff example,’ and they were like, ‘It’s a TV show.’ So they were right.”
The young creator said the series is based on her own experience abandoning female friendships when in relationships. The series follows titular character Jules (Dennings), who, after being dumped by her longtime boyfriend, is forced to re-forge her female friendships.
“I was in a relationship in college and struggled to put myself out there with friendships as much as I could have,” Weiss said. “And coming out of that time, coming out of a breakup not dissimilar to the one in the show, and realizing that I needed to put more times into my girlfriends, that’s where the idea really came from.”
Dennings also said she resonated with Jules’ story, sharing that she too sacrificed friendships to spend more time in fruitless relationships: “Jules loses herself in her relationship and has lost her close friend circle along the way. I’ve done that, had breakups and back-together dramas, and I think it’s a really beautiful part of being a human person — man and lady. And I think it’s important to show.”
Although the series is based on four female best friends, Weiss and the “Dollface” cast-members were quick to clarify that gender doesn’t, and shouldn’t, play a distinguishing factor in the friendships shown on-screen. Weiss mentioned that stories within shows such as “Sex & the City” and “Broad City” have often been reductively described as “female friendship” tropes, a description she hopes to avoid with “Dollface.”
“I think at the end of the day, these stories we’re telling are so relatable that you can throw the gender aspect out the window,” Song added. “At the end of the day, the friendships are what drive the show, and these characters are so distinct and themselves that I think that people watching, whether they’re male or female, can find qualities in each of these characters that they can relate to. So it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female — it’s about friendship, and it’s about life.”
Dennings, who admitted to having a glass of wine before going on stage, agreed: “To me, feminism is equality…so why worry about it, man?”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misquoted Dennings as saying “feminism is a quality” and incorrectly reported her wine consumption. The story has been corrected.