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Interview: Director Stephanie Laing on Season Two of ‘Physical’

The 1980s-set Apple TV+ comedy Physical follows Sheila (Rose Byrne), a woman struggling to stay positive against the demeaning voice in her head who finds unexpected purpose in aerobics. Now in its second season, the show is expanding Sheila’s world to show new problems to overcome, potential new allies and enemies, and a broadening of her overall potential.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with director Stephanie Laing, who we previously spoke with briefly about this show during a conversation last year about Made for Love. On the approach for season two, here’s what Laing had to say:

“The goal is to be deeper, to be more emotional and go deeper into the problems that Sheila, Rose’s character, faces, and also just to be bigger visually as a second season of a show. It makes my work more exciting…We just had so many places to go and it felt, for me, I directed eight of the ten episodes in season two, super collaborative.”

On the unique role of the camera in telling the story, Laing shared:

“We always describe the camera as its own character in the show, following along with the emotion that Sheila is feeling, because everything is really from her point of view. This season, we did branch out into other characters’ point of views, but we still worked with the DP, Spencer Combs, to develop that, if we’re in Greta’s point of view, okay, how is that different from Sheila’s? Also, it’s just very specific. It’s a very specific camera, it’s mostly single-camera…We’re really just trying to tell that emotion, knowing when to stop and let it settle, and let you feel what she’s feeling.”

Listen to the full conversation below!

New episodes of Physical premiere on Apple TV+ on Fridays through the season two finale on August 5th.

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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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