“There is a social comment on virtually every aspect of modern life,” says Simon Meyers of “I May Destroy You.” The producer was compelled to help bring the HBO limited series to life thanks to the unique perspective writer and star Michaela Coel brought to her scripts. “It just had heart and truth,” he explains. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“As soon as I read it I thought… I’ve been waiting to read this voice for years,” reveals Meyers. He was struck by Coel’s ability to dive into serious topics without getting dragged into pure misery. “It’s that true, and that entertaining, and funny at the same time,” he describes.
This doesn’t mean that the process was simple. “The scripts were never finished,” jokes Meyers, noting that the writing process continued throughout the shoot. It was a complex filming schedule because it wasn’t broken up into episodes like many TV schedules. Instead it was an approximately 90 day process of filming all 12 episodes, with little captured in chronological order. “There were always a couple that we called our delinquent children,” suggests the producer of a few scripts that took longer to finesse. But he praises Coel for her collaborative nature throughout the process. “She’s a great rewriter,” he states. “Sometimes collaborations can be a little rocky, but this wasn’t. It was… a very inclusive show.”
One of the elements that makes the series so unique, and so real, is that every character makes massive mistakes. “There are no goodies and baddies,” explains Meyers. “It’s the grey areas in between that are interesting.” Coel ensured that even her own role, Arabella, was not always operating on the moral high ground. Meyers remembers her stating that “:even my angels have horns and my devils have wings.” Eliminating the distinction of heroes and villains is part of what Meyers believes sets the series apart and cements it as honest storytelling. “There’s no forced dialogue,” he describes, “it’s all natural.”
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