Should you’ve ever watched Jason Segel on display — and in case you’re a comedy-lover, likelihood is you have got — you already know simply how no-holds-barred his fashion of performing is. Although as we discovered throughout a round-table interview with the actor, that’s not only for his characters, it’s the way in which he lives his life as properly.
“I’ve never worn life lightly,” the artistic mentioned whereas answering questions for his newest endeavor, “Shrinking,” which premieres on Apple TV+ Jan. 27.
This new comedy series, which was co-created by Segel and “Ted Lasso‘s” Brett Goldstein and Invoice Lawrence, follows him as therapist Jimmy Laird, who breaks the intangible guidelines of remedy by telling his shoppers what he actually thinks about them and their conditions with out holding again — and the brutal honesty finally ends up impacting his personal life as a lot as his sufferers.
It’s a refreshing exploration into the world of psychological well being, which for some folks has been layered with stigmas and social cues. However as Segel says, his life has been peppered with nervousness and despair, and he has all the time sought assist when it will get to be an excessive amount of. And his character actually has to take care of the much less savory themes of life along with his spouse just lately dying and his relationship along with his daughter just about coming to a halt whereas he spirals after the very fact.
However, even with these darker themes, as a therapist, Segel’s Jimmy is looking for solutions along with his sufferers by having them give life a attempt, however another way. Whether or not it’s serving to somebody with anger issues discover a more healthy avenue of exhibiting their points by means of a boxing ring or lastly telling a affected person to break up along with her abusive companion, the road between humorous and dramatic is mixed fantastically.
“It was one of our big… concerns is not the right word, but one of our big focuses was calibrating tone,” Segel explains. “One, you want to be really respectful that mental health issues are real — this isn’t a satire. There is a real therapist, [and] I’m sure many who are taking this approach [which is] a little unorthodox but trying to facilitate change quicker. Rather than this is going to take you ten years of you talking about your problems to feel any different. But, we also want it to be hilarious.”
And hilarious it’s. However that’s not a shock when it comes to seeing who’s solid beside Segel. “Shrinking” additionally stars Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Christa Miller, Michael Urie, Luke Tennie and Lukita Maxwell.
“It’s a comedy, it’s filled with funny people, and we wanted to use humor to deal with these issues. So, I would say calibrating tone from writing to performing all the way to editing has actually been kind of the main focus,” finishes Segel.
The solid and crew of comedy execs additionally offers some alternative for these typical humorous actors to dive headfirst into dramatics. Take Miller for instance. As Segel says, this position offers her the prospect to tackle a extra critical tone than we’ve seen previously. Within the present, she performs Jimmy’s neighbor who’s concerned along with his life much more after his spouse handed and he wants assist along with his daughter (performed by Maxwell).
However in fact, even with the extra poignant scenes between Segel and Miller, there’s additionally loads of backwards and forwards, or as Segel referred to as it, “set and spike” between the 2 that brings out a few of the extra comedic scenes within the series. As for Harrison Ford, the way in which he works into this comedic symphony of a solid is thru his stoicism. It’s a foil to Segel’s extra over-the-top nature, as Ford performs his co-worker and fellow therapist at their observe.
And the way did they get Han Solo/Indiana Jones on the solid? Segel has no concept, however he compares him asking Ford to do the present to the sensation of asking the prettiest lady to promenade after which freaking out when she (or he on this case) says sure. Fortunately, we as viewers members get to see the dynamics work out on display — no awkward promenade poses wanted.
“Shrinking” gives quite a bit when it comes to relationships. We see Jimmy working with a lot of the similar sufferers all through the series, exhibiting it’s not simply a straightforward repair when it comes to psychological well being. However as he’s engaged on his personal points continually, we see the wrestle that he has in his personal life, particularly when it comes to his daughter within the series.
“The most tender experience for me on the show is Jimmy’s relationship with his daughter. You’ve got the beginnings of it now where this father-daughter relationship is completely on its head where she is essentially parenting her father,” explains Segel.
He continued: “I think no one has a super simple relationship with their parents, because as a kid you’re like why are they doing it wrong? You’re really screwed if you’re a parent because you’re damned if you make them take piano lessons or you’re damned because you didn’t get them piano lessons — you really can’t win, and I think watching this guy struggle to try and right end that dynamic to become a good parent to her and a father figure, it was a really special journey for me to go on.”
“Shrinking” achieves the lighthearted escape we’d like, that solely Segel and the “Ted Lasso” creators can concoct. It’s a actuality examine that comes from the earnestness of the writing and the steadiness of comedy that comes from this proficient solid.
Segel himself phrases it greatest when relating life to present: He writes from the assumption that we’re all having a tough time determining what the purpose of any of that is, and possibly there may be some enjoyable in figuring it out collectively.
Catch “Shrinking” when it premieres on Apple TV+ Jan. 27.