“Because we had to cancel all the events we were going to do and the festivals, we were so worried about how we were going to get it out there, says Anna Winger about “Unorthodox.” In her exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above), she adds, ” It was a really amazing, unexpected thrill that so many people watched it.” She discusses adapting the 2012 memoir “Unorthodox” by Deborah Feldman as a four-episode Netflix limited series starring Shira Haas.
The Berlin-based showrunner attributes some of the breakout success and ensuing conversation to the “Making Unorthodox” special that is also on Netflix. She explains, “In the old days of DVDs, that was always such a pleasure to watch the ‘making of’ something after you had no more to watch. There was this sense of getting to find out a little more of the people who made it, so it’s a really nice addendum to the show.”
“Unorthodox” follows Haas’ character as she leaves her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, with her husband played by Amit Rahav pursuing her in Berlin. Winger explains about why she has been deliberate not to use the “black-and-white” term of “escape,” “The word ‘escape’ implies that the place that the place she’s leaving is an undesirable place to be and we don’t see it that way. Most people who live there would never leave and are very happy.” She continues, “It was really the story of this young one woman and this young man who set out to find herself and go on this journey. In her case, she really sets out to find herself. In the case of her husband, in a way, he finds himself in the process of looking for her, so it was those journeys that interested us. We never wanted to make an indictment of Satmar culture or anything like that.”
As head writer, Winger contends with “Part 1” in the Best Movie/Limited Writing race at the Emmys. Will Winger score a Best Limited Series nomination through her role as executive producer? Make your predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until the nominations announcement on July 28. And join in the fun debate over the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums.