“These stories are successful when the person understands themselves better at the end, not when they get the person that they’re going after,” said The New York Times’ Daniel Jones, editor of the column and consulting producer of the series, speaking about the original column at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour on Saturday.
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The anthology, from John Carney (“Once,” “Sing Street’) “explores love in all of its complicated and beautiful forms as each standalone episode brings some of the most beloved stories to life with a stellar cast,” said the company. Amazon Studios, Storied Media Group and The New York Times produced the series.
Anne Hathaway, who also appeared on the TCA panel alongside Jones and series co-stars Cristin Milioti and Gary Carr, said that her story revolves around the Terri Cheney column, about a woman with bipolar disorder who is learning how to find love.
“Modern Love” felt “very new and fresh to me,” she said.
“The way we tell stories feels like it changes every single day,” said Hathaway. “And to me, this felt less like a television [series] and more like a short film. So I felt like I was showing up to an eight-day film shoot and that spoke to me because my work is primarily [in film]. …I was really happy, because of Amazon being a streaming platform, I knew people were going to see it.”
In Milioti’s episode, she plays a woman who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and alone, and forges a “beautiful” relationship and friendship with her doorman.
Jones, Carney and Amazon shortlisted their favorite columns to “really move a narrative forward for half an hour,” before figuring out which of those stories would be a part of the Amazon series.
Carney is the writer, director and executive producer on the series. Sharon Horgan, Tom Hall and Emmy Rossum also directed episodes of the series, with Horgan directing and writing the Tina Fey-John Slattery episode and Hall writing his episode of the anthology. Rossum will direct an episode written by the late Audrey Wells, known for penning “The Hate U Give,” “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “The Truth About Cats & Dogs.”
The cast also includes Sofia Boutella, Brandon Victor Dixon, Andy Garcia, Catherine Keener, Tina Fey, Dev Patel and John Slattery, among others.
Executive producing with Carney is Todd Hoffman. Trish Hoffmann is co-executive producer. The New York Times ]’ Sam Dolnick and Choire Sicha are listed as executive producers, while Modern Love column editor Daniel Jones serves as a consulting producer.
Here’s a look at a trailer for “Modern Love”: