Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.”
“I was on the show for like three years in total,” she told me Sunday at the “Loki” FYC Emmy event at the Pacific Design Center. “I just felt like I poured everything into it. It’s almost like a campfire story that every filmmaker kind of brings their take and their perspective. I just felt like I gave so much to this. I was like, ‘You know what, I feel like this was my effort for ‘Loki.’ I felt like having someone new and with fresh eyes — that, for me, is what will make a good season.”
Herron recalled one of her first meetings with “Loki” star Tom Hiddleston. They took a walk in a park in New York City. “We had to talk in code because it’s Tom Hiddleston, right?” she said. “There was a runner near us pretending to do warmups for a run, and we were like, ‘This dude is just listening to us.’ So we couldn’t say ‘Loki.’ It was like, ‘Arnold is going into a special building.’”
She also remembers wrap day. “We all went into the office of the Citadel and stood in a circle. Everyone was crying because we couldn’t believe it was over,” Herron said. “Tom did a beautiful speech, and because he’s such a gem, he thanked everyone individually.”
As we know, the series made headlines when Loki revealed he was bisexual by making a comment in Episode 3 that he enjoyed the company of both princesses and princes. That made waves. Prominent British writer-producer Russell T. Davies blasted the reveal as a “ridiculous, craven, feeble gesture” toward telling queer stories. Herron, who identifies as queer, said, “I don’t disagree that there should be bigger stories being told, but — and I think he has a right to his opinion — I’m very proud of what we did in the show. Russell is a hero of mine, but like I’ve said, I hope that we did at least open the door and that more stories will come.”
Jemima Kirke didn’t know her fellow “Sex Education” actor Ncuti Gatwa was the new star of “Doctor Who” until almost two weeks after it was announced, when I asked her about it at her “Conversations With Friends” FYC event. “That’s amazing,” Kirke said. “He’s a real craft actor. He’s done so much theater. He’s so natural and so charismatic. His energy is so good. I wouldn’t have imagined he had done so much stage just because of how natural he was on camera.”
Samara Weaving is getting ready to play Hugh Hefner’s former fiancé Holly Madison in a series adaptation of the ex-Playboy Bunny’s memoir, “Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny.” “It’s an important story to tell,” Weaving told me at the premiere of her Hulu rom-com “The Valet.” “I had never thought about that until I spoke to her. We need to get it out there. It’s about coming from a small town and having big dreams. But that can be dangerous for so many people.”
Joel Kim Booster, writer and star of Searchlight Pictures’ “Pride and Prejudice”-inspired LGBTQ rom-com “Fire Island,” says he’s talking to the studio about developing a “gay ‘White Lotus’” TV series, he revealed at “RuPaul’s DragCon. However, he cracked, he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as the “gay destination writer.”
Booster also said that it was the success of “Happiest Season” – Clea DuVall’s 2020 LGBTQ holiday movie starring Kristen Stewart – that finally got “Fire Island” the green light after being told for a number of years that the movie was too niche.
Congrats to “Entertainment Tonight” supervising producer Emily Lefkowitz and Daniel Stevenson of The Agency RE in Beverly Hills. The two wed on May 21 at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The weekend began with a surprise video shoutout from the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” congratulating the bride and groom shown at their welcome dinner. Lefkowitz wore a custom Vera Wang wedding dress for the big day with the groom in an Ermenegildo Zegna tux. Rabbi M. Beaumont Shapiro of L.A.’s Wilshire Boulevard Temple officiated.