Oral History with 'Six Feet Under'
Two decades after the Fisher family welcomed us into their (funeral) home, we look back at Alan Ball’s enduring exploration of mortality, vulnerability, and the importance of seizing the day.
Six Feet Under has always been about reflection and mortality, so there was no better way to celebrate the groundbreaking HBO series than bringing the cast together over Zoom to do just that.
As showcased in our full 20th anniversary oral history, creator Alan Ball and much of the core cast (Peter Krause, Lauren Ambrose, Rachel Griffiths, Freddy Rodriguez, Michael C. Hall, and Frances Conroy) joined EW over Zoom to discuss the show's impact.
Ball revealed that the idea for the series came from then senior vice president of original programming at HBO, Carolyn Strauss, who had been mulling the notion of a show about a family-run funeral home. Ball immediately clicked with the idea, and off he went to write the pilot.
From there, it came down to finding the perfect cast to bring this effed-up family to life. Some had already worked with Ball before, but most were fresh discoveries for him with the cast being drawn from disparate backgrounds, including Michael C. Hall fresh off his Broadway debut in Cabaret.
The cast reminisced about everything from their casting process to how the show changed the way they think about mortality and loss to the historic series finale, which is still regularly cited as one of the best endings to a show ever.
EW is giving a fresh look to its oral histories and reunions, which is showcased in the video above. The new approach allows footage and photos of the pop culture property being featured to be showcased alongside interviews with cast and creators.
Watch the video above for more and read the full oral history here.