“We seriously guard our laugh-per-page ratio; we really want people to laugh,” admits Rob Delaney in our recent webcam chat (watch above) about their acclaimed Emmy-nominated hit comedy series “Catastrophe.” Also joining him is co-creator, co-writer and co-star Sharon Horgan, and the duo is currently in the middle of shooting the highly anticipated third season of the UK/US co-production. It’s due to air on Channel 4 in the UK and stream stateside on Amazon Prime early next year. The pair promises more laughs for audiences to look forward to: “We have been struck by the fact that in series three, the things that are zany, that we might not have allowed ourselves to do before as much, are now much zanier,” Delaney reveals.
In “Catastrophe,” Delaney plays Rob Norris, an American adman in London who hooks up with Sharon Morris, an Irish school teacher (Horgan). Season one saw their whirlwind week-long fling lead to an unexpected pregnancy, with Rob relocating to London and the two eventually falling in love. The second six-episode outing, which debuted on Amazon in April saw the action leap ahead a few years, as Rob and Sharon were married, coping with the highs and lows of new parenthood, and expecting a second bundle of joy.
For season three, we are thrown back into the story immediately after the events of the second season finale. “Unlike the huge gulf between seasons one and two, there’s no gulf between two and three,” explains Delaney. “That had its challenges,” Horgan smiles. “We had to have extreme health regimes and we couldn’t age in any way. That took a lot of effort and we had to put in a lot of training!”
That being said, Horgan explains that coming up with the initial concept was relatively easy. “It was nice because we knew what we were going to do, which was pick up from exactly where it left off, but in terms of what the series was about, that’s what we spent a lot of time talking about because we didn’t want to repeat ourselves and we didn’t want to bore people with the same sort of chummy, yakking away about life couples stuff.”
“Catastrophe” has been acclaimed largely due to the chemistry between Horgan and Delaney and their refreshingly honest and relatable writing about the highs and lows of relationships and parenthood. They were nominated at the Emmy Awards in September for Best Comedy Writing, losing out to “Master of None.” Season three promises more of what works on the show, but dialed up even further. Delaney says, “We’re more comfortable now so we know that either of us can do something incredibly embarrassing or very very silly, and it really fits. If there was stuff from series two where you would go ‘oh god, oh no,’ then they will need to wear a diaper or a nappy when they watch series three.”
After being pressed for more details about the upcoming third season, Delaney and Horgan remained predictably tight-lipped. “Factually, I will tell you nothing, maybe less than nothing,” Delaney smiles, offering that all of the main characters will be back, including Carrie Fisher as Rob’s sarcastic and high-maintenance mother and Ashley Jensen as highly-strung friend Fran, and that we can expect new characters played by a surprising list of guest stars. “We haven’t overdone it, it’s not cameo central,” Horgan notes. “But we had some lovely characters where we thought wouldn’t it be nice if so and so played it, but they’d never do it, sent it to them and then oh god he’s actually going to do it!”
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