Robbie Amell interview: ‘Upload’
Robbie Amell knows that the creator of the show, “Upload,” Greg Daniels, couldn’t have possibly known about COVID-19 when the show was shooting in 2018 and 2019. But with that being said, Amell notes that a lot of the things that Daniels wrote into the show (which takes place in 2033) ended up coming true in some form. “The opening scene where you see people on the subway wearing masks had nothing to do with a global pandemic. It was more a look at pollution and where the air quality might be in the future,” he says in our recent webchat (watch the video above). It got to be so eerie that Amell and the cast were hoping that Daniels would write some optimistic notes into the second season in the hopes of it coming true. “We were talking to Greg about writing a vaccine for the pandemic into season two, just in the hopes that it would come to fruition.”
“Upload,” which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, is a sci-fi/comedy centering on Nathan Brown (Amell), a computer programmer who is seriously injured in a car accident. Told that he is likely to die from his injuries, he chooses to have himself “uploaded” into a digital afterlife where he can still interact with the world of the living. While there, he begins developing a close relationship with his living handler Nora (Andy Allo), but also has to deal with his very controlling living girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards).
Amell traveled a strange road that lead to him getting cast in the role of Nathan. After communicating to his agent that he was looking to do a comedy on a streaming platform, he was told about “Upload” and that Daniels wanted to meet with him. He was supposed to meet with Daniels for 15 minutes but their meeting ended up going for an hour, which made Amell very confident. “I called my agent, and you never say this as an actor but I was like, ‘I think I booked it. I think this is my role.’ It just felt so right.” Amell would find out that they had gone in a different direction but got another call from Daniels a month later and Amell went to meet him for a second time. “Greg was like, ‘Hey, you were the first person to audition for this. It would be really cool if you were the last.’”
The show was picked up for a second season shortly after its premiere in May. Amell describes seeing the writer’s room right before the pandemic hit: “Greg had the cast come into the writer’s room for season two. There was a giant wall with all the potential storylines.” While he wasn’t able to divulge any of the upcoming plots of the second season, Amell did tell us that they are planning on moving forward with the new season. “I wouldn’t dare tell you anything but I’m really excited about where they want to take the show. I believe we have table reads coming up and myself and the rest of the cast are really pumped.”