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Anna Kendrick, Paul Feig on LGBTQ Representation in ‘Love Life’: ‘We Definitely Want to Do That’

·3 min read

HBO Max’s anthology series “Love Life” examined the relationships of a young woman in the first season and now it focuses on a Black man in his 30s — but who will be featured in the spotlight next?

Kicking off with Anna Kendrick as the eccentric Darby Carter, each new season follows a different person on their own romantic pilgrimage to find ‘the one.’ When asked if the third season could feature a lead from the LGBTQ community, Kendrick said that the creative team has been discussing the idea since the early days of the show.

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“That was something we talked about when we were running around pitching the show from the jump, so obviously that’s something we would be really excited to do,” Kendrick told Variety on Sunday night at the Tribeca Fall Preview of “Love Life” season two in New York.

“Freaks and Geeks” creator Paul Feig, who serves as an executive producer on the series alongside Kendrick, backed up the “Pitch Perfect” star and said his team “definitely” wants to see an LGBTQ lead at some point.

Paul Feig - Credit: Marion Curtis / StarPix for HBOmax
Paul Feig - Credit: Marion Curtis / StarPix for HBOmax

Marion Curtis / StarPix for HBOmax

“We want to tell stories about people whose voices aren’t normally heard,” said Feig.

The second season of “Love Life” sees Kendrick hand off the baton to William Jackson Harper, who recently appeared in “The Underground Railroad.” Kendrick revealed that Harper was originally a candidate to be one of Darby’s lovers in the first season.

“[Creator] Sam Boyd and I talked about various iterations of who the next main character would be, whether it was a man or a woman wasn’t even decided yet,” Kendrick said. “When he mentioned William Jackson Harper, I couldn’t help it but be like, ‘well, he was on my list of people that I wanted to be one of the potential Darby suitors in season one. So you know I love him.’”

Harper plays Marcus Watkins, a recently divorced book editor making sense of his post-marriage life. The 10-episode season explores the concept of whether Marcus will be able to spark true love once again.

“Marcus gets into some stuff, he’s got range,” Harper said. “I understand what it’s like to be in your 30s and have things just completely turn on their head.”

Harper said that Kendrick, who he calls “an icon,” helped him adjust to the long days on set.

“As far as I’m concerned, Anna’s kind of an icon,” Harper told Variety. “She honestly gave me a lot of advice on how to take care of myself and stay standing upright while doing a job like this, which is really demanding. I think she understands how to conserve her energy and how to show up every day when the demands are high.”

Chris “Comedian CP” Powell plays Yogi, a married man with two kids who lives vicariously through Marcus’ dating experiences.

“It was very cool to play a character that is the best friend that’s not the negative influence,” Harper said. “They show two brothers that want to help each other and I really wanted him to be happy.”

Meanwhile, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Punkie Johnson depicts Marcus’ outspoken sister, Ida, who is seen in an openly gay relationship. While Ida represented her real-life personality in a lot of ways, Johnson said she found herself relating to Marcus’ love life the most.

“This entire show was very nostalgic for me,” Johnson said. “In my real life, I was what Marcus was going through. It really helped me to see that what I was doing, moving on and dating, was the right thing. Ultimately, it turns out to be nice.”

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