Mimi Leder interview: ‘The Morning Show’ producer

“The Morning Show” on Apple TV+ stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon as TV journalists grappling with the behind-the-scenes tension of a breakfast news program based in Manhattan. The drama series earned eight Primetime Emmy nominations for its first season with Billy Crudup taking home a statuette for Best Supporting Actor. Aniston received the drama actress prize at the SAG Awards. Season 2 premiered last September and executive producer Mimi Leder says it was that behind-the-scenes aspect that initially intrigued her. Watch the full interview with the PGA Awards nominee above.

“I’ve always been fascinated with behind-the-scenes of films and television shows,” Leder tells Gold Derby in our “Meet the Experts” panel for Producers Guild Awards nominees. “I love the idea of what newscasters and people who are celebrities or public figures look like to the public. And then behind the scenes, the complexity of their real lives mirror real-life people. They’re all very flawed. That has always fascinated me.”

Leder is thrilled to collaborate with her colleagues and applauds Aniston, Witherspoon and the entire team from this series.”Jen and Reese are real producers,” she explains. “They’re executive producers. They’re extremely smart. It’s been very synchronized. I direct both of them, I produce the show. We have an extraordinary crew and the entire cast is ridiculously great. Reese and Jen contribute to their characters and the entire script. They’re incredible actors and it’s just been a lot of fun.”

One of the major challenges of “The Morning Show” is the real-life aspect that tackles issues happening in the world today. “In 2020 we had shot 13 days and then we had to shut down and throw all the scripts away. It’s a fictional universe we live in but we’re dealing with real life. Me too, identity, race, sexuality. We deal with it authentically. We had six or seven scripts when we started. We stopped and we regrouped because the world shut down. In that time we examined very carefully, what is the story we want to tell? Because we’re a news show. We threw all the scripts away, which was painful. But it was actually very exciting because we had to take a deep dive into where we are and where the world is.”

Another popular TV show on Leder’s resume is the classic series “E.R.” from NBC. This season of “The Morning Show” saw her reuniting with Julianna Margulies, who plays another news anchor and the love interest of Witherspoon’s character, Bradley. “We were exploring sexuality and identity,” Leder says. “We were exploring how hard it is for women in power to explore who they really are. We wanted to find a Diane Sawyer type and someone that was instantaneously recognizable. Julianna had that factor and she had gravitas. She’s an incredible actor and she said yes! We were incredibly grateful. It was really fun to work with her again after all those years.”

Watch the full interview above. “The Morning Show” is available to watch on Apple TV+ and has been renewed for a third season.

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UPLOADED Feb 17, 2022 8:30 am