Archived the era of #MeToo, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon return to the conduct of The morning show with an “explosive” season two (from September 17 on Apple TV +). The series, which denounced workplace harassment even against unsuspected public figures, popular and reassuring faces of morning TV, picks up exactly where it left off in the first chapter.
The two actresses, who here also play the role of producers with their respective companies, have earned mutual trust and, side by side, seem ready to face the new pitfalls of the small screen together.
The new cycle of episodes sees the participation of “our” Valeria Golino (plays Paola Lambruschini, a documentary maker) and above all the arrival of Julianna Margulies (the beloved face of ER and also the star of The good wife, struggling with the character of Laura Peterson, UBA news anchor).
In a meeting with the foreign press, this star couple anticipates some upcoming news and reflects on what Covid has meant for the realization of the project. Neither has the reputation of chatterboxes and this appointment via Zoom is no exception.
Let’s start with the news: which are the ones you are most proud of?
Jennifer Aniston: «In the next installments, new characters will arrive, taking place immediately after the events of season one and in an energetic way. In practice we see the consequences of what happened before, with a focus on cancel culture, many plot surprises and a “spicy” twist ».
Reese Witherspoon: «This time we explore different themes dealing with homophobia, endemic racism and women in power».
How much responsibility do you feel in telling the present in the very moment in which it unfolds?
Aniston: «For me it is a challenge, exciting and honest, even if it is loaded with pressure. I am thrilled to provide the public with a window into this new normal».
What do you like about your character?
Aniston: «I love that Alex retains the ability to be a pro even when things are out of control».
Reese Witherspoon: «I believe my role explores the theme of self-discovery and identity, where it comes from and what it wants. It is not so obvious, indeed I know people who at 40 want to understand who they are and we try to help them».
As producers, what changes in your commitment on set?
Reese Witherspoon: «We had a conversation with the writers at the beginning, but the story is in their hands, the ideas are theirs, you can see that they are a heterogeneous group where diversity reigns.».
Jennifer Aniston:: «For us it is important to treat things not in black and white but in a gray air, which can lead to a social but also domestic dialogue».
How did the pandemic affect the characters?
Jennifer Aniston: «Not only have filming been blocked, but the episodes have been rewritten to put Covid in history. On the set we followed strict protocols, a team of epidemiologists was hired, we wanted first of all to ensure the safety of all members of the crew and their families. It’s difficult, I love to see the faces of the people I work with and love. Even during rehearsals we wore masks and visors and then took them off only at the time of the take. This has strangely become the new routine, but I hope it doesn’t happen for long. There are many rules but we did it, with a good product».
Reese Witherspoon: «What happens to the world while you make other plans is amazing. And with the pandemic, something bigger than us has happened to us, which we wanted to include in the story of the series and get people the idea that The Morning Show is a project in which they can meet and see each other again.».
What did you learn from each other?
Reese Witherspoon: «A lot, even if often for safety reasons we found ourselves wandering at different times».
Jennifer Aniston: «We have known each other for a long time, we respect each other and making this journey together has become so natural that I could not be more grateful but it seems that time together is never enough, as each of us has been assigned to a certain group of the crew.».
A strong message from the series?
Reese Witherspoon: «We are all human and should not be identified or defined by a single mistake».
Has this series changed your opinion of the world of journalism?
Reese Witherspoon: «L‘information has changed a lot in the last 5 years, so it is difficult for viewers to understand where the truth lies and news broadcasts are no longer central as sources».
Jennifer Aniston: «Before the morning programs had a reassuring effect on the audience but today the information is fragmented and it is interesting to understand how the different different generations are told in the show.».
Jennifer Aniston: «I have great respect for those who work in the world of information without being swallowed by it. It must be hard to find yourself at the center of the media bombardment».
Reese Witherspoon: «I am happy to have grown up in a period without social media. Journalism remains of vital importance to society, it allows free speech. Sometimes I have to figure out which source to trust myself».
Is success a boomerang?
Jennifer Aniston: «As an artist you get naked but now it seems to have become a very popular sport to judge with malice»
Reese Witherspoon: «the success? Sometimes you reach it and you feel lost, sometimes you enjoy it, but I am happy that this theme is addressed in the show».
Jennifer Aniston: «In times of pandemic, the public wants escape and turns to the sci-fi or western genre, instead we try to make a difference anchored to reality»
What uncomfortable theme does season two address?
Reese Witherspoon: «IRacism, aging, sexism – these are all hot topics today and people want to hear about them»
Jennifer Aniston: «If a topic is taboo, people want to know it because they identify with it and feel heard».