Creator and director of “Solos” on “Power and power” of a solo story (video)
Isolation is not usually the most inspiring topic for writers, with the difficulties the situation poses in creating conflict and a compelling story. But “Hunter” creator David Weil found that the idea of being alone stimulated his imagination in enough ways that he could develop a seven-part anthology series based entirely on solo storylines, aptly titled “Solos”.
The Amazon Prime Video show stars Nicole Beharie, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Anthony Mackie, Uzo Aduba, Helen Mirren, Dan Stevens, and Constance Wu in “character-driven stories” that “maintain that even during our moments the more seemingly isolated, in the most disparate circumstances, we are all connected by human experience.
The “Solos” creator, writer and director told TheWrap’s Emmy Screenings panel, which also starred “Solos” director Sam Taylor-Johnson, that the concept was formed for him ago. many years, when Weil fell in love with a storyteller while telling a story.
“The play really grew out of my desire to want to try and go back to how I first fell in love with storytelling,” Weil said. “And I first fell in love with storytelling with the best storyteller I know, my grandmother, who told me stories about her experiences during the war around her kitchen table. She would transport me to these incredibly difficult worlds, but worlds that also had hope and beauty. Worlds of his dreams and fears. And so there was such power and power, I think, in a storyteller in a singular storytelling environment and they were really able to transport you to so many different places. And so I wanted to create this experience for an audience.
“Solos,” which was filmed last year under COVID-19 security guidelines, consists of seven episodes, each named for its central character: “Leah”, “Tom”, “Peg”, “Sasha”, “Jenny”, “Nera” and “Stewart.” Taylor-Johnson worked alongside Weil for two of the episodes, “Peg,” which stars Helen Mirren, and “Stewart,” an episode starring Morgan Freeman and Dan Stevens. (Just in case you didn’t haven’t seen yet, we won’t reveal the reason for the spoilers behind this deviation from the one-actor format here.)
“David sent me ‘Peg’, it was the first I read. And as soon as I read it, I knew in my gut that this was something I had to do – I wanted to. do – and I felt I could see how to do it, ”Taylor-Johnson said.“ And it was definitely a challenge to think about how to create an entire episode of one person, a singular journey. But the way David wrote it and then structured it takes you on such a journey. And the emotional content is so strong. And in the hands of Helen Mirren, it was so beautiful. And to have someone with such a solid theatrical training that she could take it, that she knew how to beat a monologue so loud, if you will. And so I was excited when David came up with ‘Peg.’ And then I was like, ‘What else? Do you have any more?’ And luckily he did. And I got to do ‘Stewart’ too, with Morgan Freeman, which was a treat.
The logistics of filming “Solos” made production much easier to do than many other projects that faced stoppages and delays, because, as you can probably guess, filming just one. actor automatically makes things safer for everyone.
“I wrote the first episode, ‘Tom’ and then ‘Peg’ a year ago in May, during the pandemic,” Weil said. “And the pandemic has certainly accelerated the possibility that such a unique and daring series could be. Not only was it about, I think, a lot of the emotions and feelings that people all over the world were having, feelings of isolation and loneliness and loneliness, but filming this, actually producing it, was incredibly safe during the pandemic. He was an actor in an environment, for the most part. And that’s how that moment in time became when “Solos” really had a way to be. “
Watch TheWrap’s full Emmy Contenders panel with the “Solos” team via the video above.