Splitting Up Together Cast Interview
During the #WrinkleInTimeEvent we had the opportunity to screen four new ABC Network shows. The first and my favorite of the four was Splitting Up Together starting Oliver Hudson. The show was so much more than what I thought it was going to be and I just loved the writing and storyline. It was funny, heartwarming, thought-provoking, and it will make you look at your marriage in a whole new light. At least it did for me.
About Splitting Up Together:
Based on the Danish series, “Splitting Up Together” is the story of a couple (Jenna Fischer, “The Office,” and Oliver Hudson, “Scream Queens”) whose marriage is reignited by their divorce. Emily Kapnek (“Suburgatory”) writes and serves as executive producer of this new comedy, along with Ellen DeGeneres.
The series stars Jenna Fischer as Lena, Oliver Hudson as Martin, Bobby Lee as Arthur, Diane Farr as Maya, Lindsay Price as Camille, Olivia Keville as Mae, Van Crosby as Mason and Sander Thomas as Milo.
Jeff Kleeman, Mette Heeno, Mie Andreasen and Hella Joof are also executive producers of SPLITTING UP TOGETHER, which is based on the original series created by Heeno. It is produced by A Very Good Production and Piece of Pie Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Dean Holland directed the pilot.
Splitting Up Together premieres on March 27th at 9:30|8:30c on ABC.
After the screening, we sat down with Oliver Hudson and Lindsay Price in addition to Emily Kapnek, Creator & Executive Producer, and Dean Holland, Executive Producer about the show. They gave us some insight into how the show was created and what we had to look forward to in the season.
We started by asking how we think the show would portray divorce in the real world. In a room filled with mostly married women, we all had different takeaways from the show.
Emily Kapnek: I think we felt like a lotta people seem to identify with the world and the characters whether they were going through a divorce or not. We just drew from all of our own real-life experiences. We’re all married with kids. We’ve had lots of stories to share. And I think the main goal is just to tell a story about divorce that isn’t always toxic and negative that has a little bit of hope and a little bit of optimism.
And there’s some that wish for — for me personally, you know, having grown up with parents who are divorced, I think everyone always hopes, oh, my gosh is there any chance in the world that they can get it back on track. And I think a lotta kids feel that way. And to tell a show where there is that sort of glimmer that’s being dangled and a lot of love between the main characters was just sort of a new way of telling a divorce story for us.
I have to admit that it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with these characters. I choose sides and I was rooting for them to find a way back to each other. I think the show did an amazing job of showing all the different sides of divorce and showing a couple who aren’t at each other’s throats. We next talked about the kids in the show and how they were on the set with Oliver Hudson.
Oliver Hudson: It was great. It was honestly great. The kids were amazing. The bigger ones were professional and they were just spot on. Sander, who is an amazing little actor, he’s a kid.
He’s seven. So, I had to parent 24 hours a day, because I was on set working with the kids and I sorta took to him and I became, you know his wrangler. And then, of course, I’d go home and have to deal with my own children. It was nonstop. But they were great. Sander he’s such a sweet boy. He is a very sweet boy, but he’s eight years old. Sometimes I’d have to take him aside and be like, okay, bud, let’s get it together now.
Emily Kapnek: And I think one of the things that is so great about Oliver in the show is that Oliver has three kids in his real life. And watching him deal with these kids, it’s so authentic. Do you know how I kept saying over and over again, it’s like you can tell he’s a dad. You can tell how he deals with these kids, how he delivers the kids, and no kid-glove thing where he’s sometimes he says stuff that’s really harsh to the kids. You know, there’s a couple episodes in where he gives it to them pretty bluntly, and it just feels really authentic. So, we love his performance.
We asked the cast about their roles in this show, since it has more comedy and it’s funnier than other shows they have been connected to in the past. We wanted to know if they prefer the heavy shows over the lighter one or vice versa.
Lindsay Price: I think when you have kids — I have two little boys at home — it’s so nice to go to work and just be light and not carry anything home that’s like heavy or exhausting. Like, I get to go to work and it’s fun and it’s also a topic that is relatable. So, it’s kind of a sweet spot. This job it keeps you feeling hopeful and happy.
Oliver Hudson: I like this. This is my favorite job I’ve ever done in my 20 plus years. And I mean that. I mean I’m supposed to say that, of course, [LAUGHS] but I actually mean that. It’s fun, but this is, for me, the most connected that I’ve been to a project just because I live this life. And when I read for Emily, she was sitting way in the back and I was like, okay, I want this job so bad, ’cause I’m so bad at the reading, and I was like, fuck, that wasn’t that great but — and I did a whole spiel. Like, listen, okay that was fine, but I need to have this job, because I live this. This is my life. I know how to do this. And she listened to me.
We talked to Lindsay Price about their role in the show and what drew her to the character. She’s that likable friend that we all wish was our friend, and her relationship is so funny in the show.
Lindsay Price: I mean this script in and of itself captivated me, and I loved the characters ’cause they’re real. They’re real people. But I do think it’s interesting she probably immediately seemed selfish that she doesn’t want them to get divorced. But I think what ends up happening is when people close to you go through it, you start checking your own life and looking under the bed and seeing what’s under there. And I think it’s challenging. But typically I think she knows that they love each other and that they should be together. Sometimes people can see it better than you can.
We asked about the Danish format of the show and how much of that did the use in creating this show. Since none of us are familiar with the Danish show we didn’t know if much has changed at all.
Emily Kapnek: I mean we did take a lot of the elements that I thought were the most compelling from those eight. They had zero storylines about the kids in the Danish format. The kids were very peripheral. They never went to their workplaces. I love the way they approached it. It was very different. It was very unlike a show you’d see here. It was almost like a stage play, and you just were really focused on Martin and Lena. And it showed me that you can tell smaller stories and focus on these two main characters and it’s not like, gee, what’s happening at work or what’s happening here.
You’re very invested in this core relationship. You’re rooting for them. The Danish creator based this show on her life. She came up to the writers’ room and everyone was like did you get back together with your husband? She was like no. She never intended to play with it as much as I wanted to in our show, and we do. We go in a way that their show doesn’t. We really feel like the chemistry between Martin and Lena is part of what makes you so invested.
And, again, we just wanted that optimism. And we always said that there were sort of two fundamental questions about divorce in general and the show, and it’s like can you go back. Once you divorce, can you go back? And then the second question is should you. And so if there’s the opportunity to do it, does it mean it’s right? And just because you want these two characters together, if she’s getting something from someone else who’s making her feel more valued, if he’s able to be who he is more fully — and that sort of complication is something we kinda delve into in the later episodes.
Splitting Up Together premiers tonight on ABC at 9:30|8:30c be sure to tune in, I’m sure it will be a show that you will love, especially if you’re married or have been married.