It’s no surprise the past year has created unorthodox circumstances behind the scenes of major TV shows.Rafe Spall and Esther Smith recall their director Jim O’Hanlon being struck with COVID-19 and forced to direct their Apple TV+ series Trying from hi…
It's no surprise the past year has created unorthodox circumstances behind the scenes of major TV shows.
Rafe Spall and Esther Smith recall their director Jim O'Hanlon being struck with COVID-19 and forced to direct their Apple TV+ series Trying from his bedroom.
"We shot during the height of the pandemic. The second season was when COVID-19 was hot in this country, but we got it done," Spall tells 9Honey Celebrity exclusively.
For two weeks of their 14-week shoot, Hanlon communicated with the cast via zoom.
"Someone walked around with an iPad with his face on it, and he was directing and shouting from his bed with COVID-19. It was mad," Spall says of filming, noting he was just grateful they weren't shut down.
Smith jokes, "I got so used to seeing Jim as this evil genius head without a body."
"Like wow, you've got legs. None of the quality of the show was compromised. We were very blessed that we were able to do it," Spall replies.
Trying follows Nikki and Jason, who decide to adopt after being told they had slim chances of conceiving naturally. Season 2 chronicles the adoption process as their entire lives are scrutinised while they're being matched with a child.
"It was immediately funny and warm. It was dealing with serious subjects in a lighthearted way. I met Esther and thought she was brilliant and lovely. Then they agreed to pay us a load of money," Spall says of the project.
"When I first read the script, I read the first two episodes and sat in a little coffee and shop. I read it in the quickest time. I was crying, laughing. And thought this was something I want to be a part of. Often time, you get scrips, you get a bit distracted. But this felt really special and full of so much heart," Smith adds.
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The actors believe the strength of the show is that it doesn't use typical cliches around adoption.
"I love how normal these two people are. For me, highlighting this subject matter is really important," Smith says. "It's two everyday people going through this thing and highlighting how difficult it is. And the hoops you have to jump through, and the constant pushing back. While trying to maintain a normal vibe, and that it's not something that consumes them."
She adds, "Their life isn't about adoption. It just informs their journey, and that's the story that they're telling right now."
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While the plot may hit home for many viewers who have been through similar circumstances, Trying is relateable for many people.
"Most people can identify with getting to a certain stage and you feel like something is missing," Spall says. "Whether it's job, career, kids, relationship, whatever it is. You get to a certain age, and you go 'is this it?'. You get part through your hedonistic 20s and then you go 'what now?'"
In the series, Jason and Nikki endure several ups and downs on the road to becoming parents, but their love and support for each other remain a constant. The actors worked tirelessly to ensure they were cast, meeting privately to rehearse their lines before their audition.
"I paid for that rehearsal space, and Esther never paid me back. It was 60 English pounds. I'd like my 30 back," Rafe jokes.
On working alongside each other Spall says, "She laughs at me, and not with me. She mercilessly teased me from the morning to the day because I often fall over. My favourite thing about doing this show is Esther."
"A lot of effort went into that chemistry, and Esther is quite stinky," he jokes, adding, "Esther is more lovable than Nikki if that is even possible."
They both say they have a deeper understanding of how difficult it is for some couples to have children.
"If you get to the point of adopting, then you must really want kids. It's not for the faint-hearted, you're emotionally means-tested," Spall says. "To get through that process, you've probably already got through the difficult process of not being able to conceive. More power and respect to those people."
Trying season 2 premieres Friday 21 May on Apple TV+
Source: Entertainment News, TV and Celebrity Gossip - 9Celebrity https://celebrity.nine.com.au/tv/trying-season-2-rafe-spall-esther-smith-exclusive/294752f1-1cfc-4bc6-87ae-974f0751575b