When Shay Mitchell first appears onscreen in Hulu’s Dollface, fans may get a feeling of deja vu. Her character in the new comedy is dressed in gorgeous high fashion, enjoying the finer things in life and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even if her comments cut to the core. The similarities to Peach Salinger cannot be denied.
But the Pretty Little Liars alum promises that despite it all, Dollface‘s Stella is not just another version of her character from Netflix’s YOU.
“She is actually, when you see it, very different from Peach,” Mitchell said at the 2019 Television Critics Assn. press tour on Friday. “I was excited because it was a comedy role and it was a lot more lighthearted [than YOU]. They are very different characters. Aesthetically you can see a similarity but when you get to know Stella, she’s really a wild spirit and a complete 180 from Peach. It was fun to go from that to this.”
Aside from all the stalker drama, YOU centers on a group of female friends with a lot of issues stemming from poor communication and not trusting each other with the truth. And Mitchell explains that Dollface is the opposite, showcasing a group of female friends who have wonderful relationships with one another. But it doesn’t start out that way: Dollface actually begins when a young woman is dumped by her long-term boyfriend and realizes she let all her female friendships “expire” when she was in the relationship. The comedy is about her rekindling all the friendships she left behind and ends up being a beautiful showcase of the kinds of positive bonds women form.
“Truly that’s why I related so much to this show because of the relationships that the girls have with one another,” Mitchell says. “That’s very similar to my main friend circle outside of the show. If anything ever goes down I’m calling my friends first.”
Working with an all-female cast and showrunners (and a writers room full of millennial women) is still a rarity in the entertainment industry, even today, and that’s why Mitchell knows she’s lucky that this isn’t a new experience for her. “I don’t know any different,” she says with a smile. “This is my third show being on an ensemble with four leading ladies and I love it.”
One episode, in particular, subverts what fans may expect by dealing with a lot of gratuitous male nudity instead of female nudity when Stella lounges in a room of naked men acting as furniture.
“That was a full day [of shooting]. A lot of full moons,” Mitchell says with another smile. “I thought it was fun. I had fun flipping the switch a little bit. Usually, on other shows, I’ve been on it’s the opposite with women. I thought it was funny to see a bunch of men strip down holding tabletops, these big burly men walking around with these tiny towels on. I quite enjoyed it.”
Mitchell then laughs as she reveals that her co-star Kat Dennings “took her contacts out” to try to not focus on all the naked men walking around on set. “I was focused,” Mitchell adds. “I had laser vision.”
Dollface, executive produced by Stephanie Laing and Jordan Weiss, also stars Brenda Song and Esther Povitsky. All 10 episodes will premiere Friday, Nov. 15 on Hulu.