Rose Matafeo interview: ‘Starstruck’

“Rom-com fans are very tough, tougher than you think,” confesses “Starstruck” creator and star Rose Matafeo in our recent webchat. She continues, “It’s always tough to write something that is branded with being part of a specific genre from the outset. It was a challenge to be able to satisfy people who are total fans of rom-coms, but also bring people to it who don’t necessarily like rom-coms. Making sure that the comedy element of it was strong enough was really important for us.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

In “Starstruck,” Matafeo plays a millennial New Zealander living in London called Jessie. After a one-night stand with a movie star (Nikesh Patel), the pair develop an awkward and endearing relationship. The HBO Max series has recently been renewed for a third season. Matafeo writes it with fellow New Zealanders Alice Snedden and Nic Sampson.

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Matafeo reveals that Jessie “feels like a sister in a strange way. There’s so many ways we are similar but there are ways that we’re different. There are certain decisions that you would make that they wouldn’t, or vice versa. I think she’s a lot more confident than I am. She bowls into things and does things before thinking. I’m a bit more weary and think through things and am a bit more anxious. Everything else is pretty much the same. We’ve got the same prescription for glasses.”

The creator identifies how being in a writers’ room gives you a different mindset when approaching relationships. She says, “in comedy you are always going, ‘what is the funniest story here? It’s not necessarily the most moral. It’s not necessarily the one that makes the most sense. You’ve got to run towards the story that will create situations that are more conducive to jokes. As a writer, it puts you in a bit of a bind when you’re trying to make characters who feel real.”

She later adds, “It’s funny because people make such stupid decisions, particularly in relationships. But those are so often made in private. There’s no witness to those stupid things. When you’re putting a relationship on screen like this, you make people make mistakes that everyone makes. When people see that I honestly think they react to those scenarios so violently because they’ve done it themselves. And honestly, a lot of the inspiration for the most stupid things Jessie has done relationship wise in the show, are sometimes inspired by things that we have done before.”

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UPLOADED Jun 16, 2022 9:30 am