Anna Kendrick has “absolutely no guilt in the guilty pleasure” of her new HBO Max series “Love Life,” which marks her first dive into episodic TV.
“[Series creator] Sam Boyd and I are both fans of romantic comedies and we both love [‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ screenwriter] Richard Curtis,” Kendrick tells The Post. “We wanted [‘Love Life’] to be a romantic show and we felt like we could do that without … compromising in any way.
“You get a little sense of when people say ‘romantic comedy’ it’s in a pejorative way — but I feel that romantic comedy is an inspiration. It’s really transcendent. Not all the time, but sometimes life is pretty damn romantic and that should be onscreen.”
Kendrick stars as Darby Carter who, when “Love Life” begins in 2012, is a young single woman living with two roommates (Zoe Chao, Sasha Compere) in Manhattan. She meets and falls in love with journalist Augie Jeong (Jin Ha); the rest of the 10-episode series, premiering May 27, tracks Darby’s twisty journey through romance over the course of a decade. Co-stars include Scoot McNairy (“Narcos: Mexico,” “True Detective”), Peter Vack and Maureen Sebastian.
“It’s funny, because when we were filming [‘Love Life’] I did a few interviews about the show and started to feel really insecure about the fact that I couldn’t describe Darby and felt maybe I hadn’t fleshed her out enough,” Kendrick says. “I didn’t really know her. How do you describe a really grounded, three-dimensional woman who changes so much over the course of 10 years?
“We had the beautiful opportunity, and I think the best thing we came up with, was that when we meet Darby, I was really pushing myself to not shy away from the natural elements of being young and insecure — how we embarrass ourselves and let ourselves down. I was playing her as the woman she hopes to become — having her priorities straight, knowing her boundaries, people she wants to allow into her life … and doing her best.”
Kendrick, who was involved in pitching the show to different outlets, says there’s a reason she decided on “Love Life” as her entree into the TV world.
“I just felt immediately sucked in and drawn to it,” she says. “There are so many relatable elements — ‘relatable’ is kind of a dirty word at this point because of overuse — but I had such an uncanny sense that, ‘Oh my God, they’ve captured this feeling so perfectly, I know exactly what [Darby] is going through.’ And as the episodes started coming together I was adding a lot of stuff that came from my real life, from something that happened to people I know, and we put it in the show.
“Everything felt so specific and universal,” she says. “It’s so honest and just almost eerie how relatable it is. That was a big draw for me.”
Each episode of the series, roughly 30 minutes long (give or take), is narrated by Oscar-nominated British actress Lesley Manville.
“We did that because Brits always sound more intelligent, and [the narrator] is like an omnipotent scientist who’s doing research on Darby,” Kendrick says. “More importantly, we wanted to make it clear that the narrator wasn’t the future Darby or wasn’t Darby’s future love.”
Kendrick says that, at this point, there’s no clear narrative path for a second season should “Love Life” be renewed.
“Originally Darby would be a feature character in future seasons, but as this season went along it changed for the better so many times,” she says.
“I really have no idea.”
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