Molly Smith Metzler interview: ‘Maid’ creator

“I’m the daughter of two school teachers. So there was a huge emphasis on education and culture, but not a lot of access to some of these things that my friends who came from privilege came from,” explains “Maid” creator Molly Smith Metzler about why themes of social and economic class have permeated so much of her work, from theater to TV, where she has written for shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “Shameless.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Metzler above.

Inspired by a memoir by Stephanie Land, “Maid” follows Alex (Margaret Qualley), a young aspiring writer and mother trying to escape her abusive relationship while also struggling to overcome an endless series of financial and bureaucratic hurdles. “It felt like … an incredibly urgent high stakes thing just to get through the day every day,” says Metzler about Land’s story as she presented it in her book. “It was very eye-opening to me how difficult America makes it to be a single mom in this country, working below the poverty line, working minimum wage.” So the main question in adapting it for TV was, “How do we capture the incredible emotional stress of being poor in this country?”

Metzler’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by the industry. She and her writing team were awarded Best Adapted Long Form by the Writers Guild earlier this year. “It’s crazy. Because I am a writer, and all my friends are writers, and my husband’s a writer, and I know how critical and sort of cranky we are as a group,” she says. “I think to write a limited series that’s about a writer, you just kind of hope that you’re doing a good job,” so getting the nod from her peers was particularly “special.”

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UPLOADED Jul 12, 2022 2:30 pm