Cristin Milioti on the ultimate toxic relationship in ‘Made For Love’ – Deadline

Armed with the comedic punch and slam This girl is Marlo Thomas and the aplomb of Audrey Hepburn, Cristin Milioti has built a flourishing career by deconstructing the romantic heroine.

The characters in the repertoire may come across as a sweet girlfriend, but they have a lot more baggage than any protagonist in Hepburn, from Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Regina Lampert in Charade, could endure.

And besides, it’s not the girl in Milioti’s world that has problems, it’s the guy.

Whether it was an obsessed software developer boss who trapped her in a Star Trek-as a virtual game (the 2017 Black mirror episode “USS Callister) or a bossy paternal doorman who hinders his promising love life (the 2019 Amazon anthology series Modern love), Milioti’s alter egos have complicated lives.

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In the HBO Max comedy series Made for love the actress plays Hazel Green, the wife of tech billionaire Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen). From the outside, her life looks perfect, relaxed and comfortable in a modern, state-of-the-art home (“The Hub”) against what appears to be a Northern California landscape. However, Byron made Hazel a prisoner in her own home, a virtual home no less, and even inserted spyware into her head to monitor her emotions, sexual feelings, and whereabouts. Hazel escapes the only living person she knows who might be able to save her: Herbert, her single deadbeat father (Ray Romano) who lives in the wilderness with his synthetic sex doll, Diane.

In many ways, Hazel feels like the soul mate of Nanette Cole, your Black mirror character. The two try to flee and are determined to outsmart the domineering men. When you read Made for love for the first time, did it mark you?

John P. Johnson / HBO Max

Not even from a distance it crossed my mind. This was brought to my attention later when I started to press for Made for love, when people brought up the parallel that the two stories are about a woman trying to escape a man and the reality he imposed on her. But, to me, Hazel and Nanette are so different people, and that’s all I could see.

When I’m trying to decide if I should do something, I weigh a lot of factors, such as the material, who I’m working with, but I’m also always trying to find the people I’m going to play with. I want them to be really different. Nanette has always felt very attached to me, whereas with Hazel there is the fact that she has no idea how she feels and that she doesn’t think before acting. With Nanette, I always felt like she was such a giant brain and was able to outsmart this guy completely. Hazel is, I don’t know, Hazel is cut off from herself. There’s something about rediscovering yourself, and I also think so because I was really drawn to the relationship between her and her estranged father. It was also a big centerpiece for me where I was like, oh, wow, I haven’t seen this: two people who look so alike trying to navigate their fractured parent-child relationship.

Made for love EP Christina Lee mentioned that there is a video interview between Elon Musk and his then-wife Talulah Riley who served as an influence in the set-up between Hazel and Byron. Essentially, this interview shows how two people, sitting next to each other, experience two different realities. What were your takeaways after watching it?

Ray Romano and Cristin Milioti in

John P. Johnson / HBO Max

I certainly saw this one in particular, and then I also watched a lot of footage of – I don’t mean who because they’re still in the world – but couples in the public eye where I felt that they were in two realities. I tried to study their body language.

One of my favorite things we had to do on the show was when Dateline came to interview us as a couple. We were really able to show, even if we can’t put our finger on it when we look, that these two people are in such harsh realities. She’s completely cut off from herself, and he thinks it’s okay, and she smiles and puts up with him, and certainly this video of Elon Musk and his wife has been very helpful in that regard.

Did you know in advance how season 1 would end?

From the moment I signed on, I always knew that the eventual plan for the end of Season 1 was for her to come back, and it was also that this was going to be something to do with her father Herbert, and that it literally ended with her. come home [the marital home] The Hub. I just didn’t know how we were going to get there, but it always intrigued me because it’s devastating and also very human. There was something about this continuous cycle of imprisonment without her consent.

Cristin Milioti and Billy Magnussen in

Elizabeth Morris / HBO Max

I understand you made a smart and impromptu decision to take Byron’s hand in the last shot.

I remember we tried a bunch of different things, but there was something we all agreed on. I think we did a few takes of him taking my hand, and then we were like, “Oh, that smells like a nose too.” There’s something even more devastating about her falling back into it, right? And it’s devastating, and it’s also complex because you’re like, “Well, she’s the one holding out her hand. It’s not like we’re bringing her back like a dog on a leash or anything like that. She’s also an accomplice to this comeback, and it was a little out of her reach, and it’s like there is so much color out there, and I’m really, for lack of a better term, enlivened by ambiguous moments like that.

Landing a role in a Martin Scorsese film is an important step in the career of a young actor …the wolf of Wall Street. Looking back, what were your most memorable takeaways?

When I got that part, it was like one of those nagging phone calls. It’s a crazy phone call to receive. I tested with Leonardo DiCaprio and [Scorsese] in a downtown room, and it had been such an out-of-body experience.

Cristin Milioti in

John P. Johnson / HBO Max

Something I learned on this shoot is that Scorsese creates such an environment of freedom, and in fact, if I have one regret about this experience, it is that I did not understand it. earlier. I think I was so afraid of failing everyone because I had never been a part of such an important movie. The first two things I took, I’m looking back now and I’m like, “Oh, I wish I had known I was in such a safe space to experiment,” then I figured that out, and then it was amazing because he’s really there to get the scene. And this is also, when you work with someone like that, that the studios give him time. I have not known that since, the time that we could take with a scene to find it together in a group of actors with this brilliant director. It’s a dream, I miss it.

We would try it all over the place. This scene when I find them in the car outside our apartment, we filmed this scene for 16 hours. A single scene, never seen before. We did it all night, and we did it 50 times, from all these different angles. We really explored it and took it apart. It is also not valuable for dialogue. He’s like, “Go with your gut.”

Sometimes in front of the camera it can feel a bit compartmentalized because of the way things are put together. We just need this angle, then this angle, and then just this action sequence is actually six different setups of things that last 20 seconds. It might seem a bit disjointed, and this experience made me feel like I had the right to let go. It was great, it was an honor, and I hope I can work with him again.

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