Mimi Leder Interview: ‘The Morning Show’ director
“I directed the pilot and the second episode, but I felt the show really grew … as the characters were reaching this crescendo,” explains “The Morning Show” director Mimi Leder about the first season finale, “The Interview,” for which she’s an Emmy nominee for Best Drama Directing. “It felt like it was an episode that truly represented what the show was about.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Leder above.
The Apple TV+ drama explores the inner workings of the title news program, which is thrown into turmoil after its anchor Mitch Kessler (Best Drama Actor nominee Steve Carell) is fired for sexual misconduct. “How these morning shows look, they’re very bright, they’re very warm, they’re very inviting,” she says. But the tension that goes into making them tells a different story, so “we wanted to create the feeling of great complexity behind the scenes because these characters were very flawed. And the show immediately examines a predatory culture.”
In its second season, the show will continue to keep up with current events. “The Morning Show” was only a couple of weeks into shooting its new episodes when they had to shut down due to COVID-19, and when they return to production the pandemic will factor into the storyline: “We’re a morning show that deals with the ills of the world, racism, injustice, and all that morning show light stuff. And then you incorporate COVID, just like the morning shows did.”
That mirrors how rapidly developing events affected season one, which wasn’t initially planned as a story about harassment in the workplace. “When this was conceived there was no #MeToo movement, and during the writing the #MeToo movement happened, and we went obviously toward it,” she remembers. “So it’s very strange how the universe works.”