Director: Abe Forsythe
Writer(s): Abe Forsythe
Channel: Peacock (US), Stan (Aus) online streaming services
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Filming: Filmed in 2021 in Australia
Box Office: –
Runtime: 6 30 minute episodes
Everyone brings their own set of baggage to a new relationship. Gary (Josh Gad) and Mary (Isla Fisher) are no different. Gary is an emotional wreck and struggles to provide for his daughter since the death of his wife. Mary has a secret she can’t bring herself to share with anyone. The universe brought these two together for a reason, they just need to keep following the signs.
Josh Gad … as Gary
Ariel Donoghue … as Emma
Emma Lung … as Sarah
All 6 30 minute episodes will be released on online streaming services Peacock (US) and Stan (Australia) on January 13th 2022.
Isla describes her character Mary as “incredible damaged”, and that she’s “had a very hard, isolated few years” – “her scenario has caused her to make some choices, unconsciously, that have led to feed her shame and guilt, so in order for her to love someone else she has to love herself and accept herself”. Isla added “I think that’s very challenging for her particularly given the stakes in the scenario, Gary has a daughter Emma who she’s very connected to”. She said that Josh Gad’s character Gary “helps her to really open up for the first time and make herself vulnerable”. “At every moment in the story she peels away a layer until right at the end she’s able to be truly accepted by herself and her beloved [Gary]”. Isla explains her characters background saying that “she always wanted to have a family, and she’s living through her occupation vicariously as a relationship advice columnist”.
Isla said she took this role because of how original the show was, and it looked at love from a different angle. She said she thought “it was a great metaphor for the baggage that we bring into a relationship and how it’s really like jumping off a cliff falling in love, you literally pass on your happiness and hopes onto this other individual and their vision of how they perceive you and you perceive yourself in the relationship, and so I think it was less about the character as much as it was the circumstance [in relation to why she took the project]. I thought it was a really interesting way to explore a romantic love, I hadn’t really seen it, it was so unique, I’ve never read anything like that, where you actually go into the pain of it, rather than just focusing on the hormonal effects of it – the chemistry if you will – of romantic love”. Isla thought it was a “really brave way to mix genres”, adding that she watched a lot of content during lockdown and felt that this script was “really unique”.
• On the question of whether ‘happy endings’ exist, Isla said more important is the “self-acceptance piece, that you accept your own baggage. In doing that it releases some of the baggage and makes you more emotionally available for love.”
• When asked what drew him to the project Josh Gad said he loved the script, but also that he’d been “dying to work with Isla forever”. He mentioned that they were going to do another project together but then this came up, “and that to me was the clincher”.
• Isla describes her young co-star Ariel Donoghue as like a “magical unicorn”! Isla added that she is “present and grounded in every moment, she’s phenomenal”.
• Isla said that their director Abe Forsythe said that their director has a “specificity” about his vision, adding that “you couldn’t really play around with the language, everything was there for a reason”. She liked that he had a “strong idea of the characters in his head”, adding that she “loved all of his input” because she “loves being directed”.
• Isla and Josh said that they’ve had conversations with their creator/director/writer Abe Forsythe but they weren’t allowed to talk about it during their press! Isla said she’d feel “completely disappointed” if she didn’t get work on with Josh and Abe again.
– Isla Fisher: “I really enjoyed this – I enjoyed reading it, I enjoyed researching the director and what a wonderful storyteller he was, I’ve always wanted to work with Josh, and it’s a fantastic character for me, so all the boxes got ticked.”
– Isla Fisher: “”
– Isla Fisher: “”
– Isla Fisher: “Day one he arrived, and he just made me feel so comfortable. There’s nothing competitive about the way Josh works – he’s not trying to score in a scene, or get a laugh – he’s totally into equity in every moment of my experience working with him, so it was very reassuring”. [on Josh Gad]
– Josh Gad: “In a story that requires this many twists and turns from your character’s emotionally, you have to be able to trust the person sitting across from. Isla couldn’t have been a more incredible scene partner, in that there days were we were forced to do some very difficult things, and in between takes we would just make each other sob with laughter, and laugh non-stop, that it was such a cathartic experience.”
– Josh Gad: “It was such a weight off my shoulders when we started reading it [the script, in rehearsals], because you just never know what it’s going to be like when you have one-two scene partners and that’s it – that’s who you rely on, and if it doesn’t work it’s going to be a tough go. And immediately from the word go it was so easy, it was so natural, and it was so effortless, and I just knew that I was going on this insane journey but that she knew it was equally insane and that we were going to trust each other and help each other.” [on working with Isla]
– Josh Gad: “To have a scene partner like Isla, who – every time the camera’s on – she just goes 150% and you know you’re not going to fail, you’re know you’re not going to fall, you’re know you’re going to have something to play off of that’s going to bring out the best in you, so in that sense it was easy, it was fun, it was the kind of experience you hope everything would be”. [on working with Isla]
– Abe Forsythe (director): “Casting Josh and Isla was a big step in ultimately articulating one of the main themes of this show, which is don’t judge a book by its cover. This is not the usual way that I’ve seen them, which is what I’m asking the audience to do with the characters.”
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• The Wrap: “Fisher shines here as well. It’s been over a decade since her fabulous turn as Rebecca Bloomwood in “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” But Fisher’s always possessed the talent of a leading lady in projects like “The Great Gatsby” and “Arrested Development.” Here, she plays up a tender heart hiding behind wall of quick-witted jokes.”
• The AV Club: “The laughs, when they do come, tend to be in the blackest moments—not so much landing punchlines, but phenomenally dark statements delivered with such wide-eyed sincerity that they elicit shocked giggles. What works even better is the chemistry between the two leads: Gad and Fisher are entirely convincing as broken people, willing to look past even the largest of red flags to carve out a little happiness together. Their portrayal of trauma feels lived-in and weary, the spark between them feeling authentically rare and thrilling to them both.”
• Yahoo! Lifestyle: “The undisputed star of the show, however, is Isla Fisher. Usually relegated to smaller comedic roles, Wolf gives the Aussie actress the chance to fully embrace a leading pozzie, even if her American accent sounds a little non-specific. Mary is at turns witty, seductive, wounded and wracked with guilt (about some seriously messed up stuff, just quietly) and Fisher rises to the challenge at every moment. Hopefully this will lead to more main roles because she absolutely has the chops.”
• Collider: “Apart from its curious, feature-feeling structure, however, Wolf Like Me is a series that works because of its casting — Gad and Fisher know how to navigate the tightrope between scenes of escalating comedy and poignant emotion, and do both expertly — and it also deals in much heavier themes than might be obvious from the outside looking in.”
• The Hollywood Reporter: “Fisher is especially strong, playing Mary’s deeply wounded psyche and the comic side of her dark secret with equal sincerity. Whether you want to find Wolf Like Me utterly serious or likably silly, it’s all there in her performance, which made me laugh and tear up in equal measure. Fisher has made choices that haven’t always put her in position to achieve mega-stardom, but this is a reminder of how versatile an actress she is. She’s so good that I very quickly stopped being confused by why, in a story set in Australia, she’s doing a transitory American accent.”
• Decider: “But Gad and Fisher sell it via their excellent individual performances and the chemistry they have in scenes together. But as the secret becomes clearer, Fisher becomes the more dominant presence. And Gad plays off that very well.”
• Stuff.co.nz: “Fisher (Blithe Spirit, Arrested Development) is a comedic tour-de-force and revelation as the accident-prone and on-edge Mary. Whether it’s displaying some serious sprinting skills, or making increasingly bizarre excuses for a quick getaway, she’s a compelling and charismatic presence.”
• Isla Fisher Web‘s Press page (related: 2022 interviews)
Isla Fisher Web‘s 20 Appearances Gallery
Isla Fisher Web‘s 20 Magazine Scans Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 20 video interviews (coming soon)