Posted on August 29, 2020 by Elisa   Interviews Press The Great TV

Few TV shows of 2020 have been as thrilling, funny, and heartbreaking as The Great. The Hulu series is a tonal tight-rope walk as it chronicles (and fictionalizes) the early days of Catherine the Great’s marriage to Peter III of Russia, with Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult playing off of one another like they’re having a fierce tennis match. It’s jubilant and harrowing and romantic and hilarious at equal turns, and the fact that it works so well is a testament to the performances and, of course, the writing.

Before showrunner Tony McNamara earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the 2018 film The Favourite, he wrote a play based on the life of Catherine the Great. He previously attempted to adapt the play into a feature film, before eventually deciding on a TV series format. Enter Hulu, Fanning, and Hoult, and you have one of the best TV shows of 2020.

The Great is Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for McNamara’s work on the pilot (and Matt Shakman for Best Director on the same episode), and while I’m still mad as heck that Hoult and Fanning weren’t recognized for their brilliant performances (and that the show itself wasn’t nominated for Best Comedy), I was more than happy to speak with McNamara by phone recently about his work on the series.

During our interview, he talked about the key casting of Fanning and Hoult, the purposeful pace of the show, and why he didn’t want to write all the episodes before they started filming. McNamara also shed some light on some specific plot points from the show’s first season, including why Marial betrayed Catherine and whether Leo’s death was always part of the plan. And with the show renewed for a second season by Hulu, he offered a tease of where The Great Season 2 might be going.

Check out the full interview below.

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