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Paul Feig on How Anna Kendrick’s Love Life Helped Shape HBO Max’s ‘Love Life’

Executive producer also tells TheWrap what he and creator Sam Boyd ”don’t“ want to do with Season 2

(Warning: This post contains spoilers through Episode 3 of HBO Max’s “Love Life.”)

HBO Max’s flagship original series “Love Life” is a show about, as its simple title lays out very clearly, someone’s love life. In the case of the comedy anthology’s first season, that love life belongs to Darby Carter, played by Anna Kendrick, an adorable New Yorker who dreams of her perfect match and — as the flash-forward at the end of the premiere shows us — has a ways to go to find them.

Darby’s 10-episode tale was crafted by “Love Life” creator Sam Boyd, with help from his co-showrunner Bridget Bedard, executive producer Paul Feig and even Kendrick herself. Yes, the “Pitch Perfect” alum stars on the show, but she also snagged an EP credit that Feig says was well-earned due to how many of her own romantic experiences the Oscar-nominated actress offered up as inspiration.

“I had just done ‘A Simple Favor’ with Anna and was desperate to work with her again,” Feig told TheWrap. “And so when Sam had turned in the script for this, I remember just thinking, gosh, this is perfect for Anna. I didn’t know if she would ever do it, because she’s a movie star and I didn’t know if she would do TV, even though it’s a limited series. But she really responded to the script and wanted to meet with Sam and when they got talking, she had so many ideas and things she wanted to do and things she had experienced — both in her relationships and the relationships of her friends and the people she knew — that that’s one of the reasons we brought her on as a producer. It’s not just a vanity title for her at all. She was really involved with pitching ideas, working with Sam, working with Bridget, having input and bringing us a lot of great material.”

While HBO Max subscribers currently only have access to the first three episodes of “Love Life,” the WarnerMedia-owned streaming service announced Friday it is accelerating its planned release schedule for the show, with four episodes set to drop next Thursday and the final three going up a week later.

If that’s not exciting enough for you, Feig says that the anthology’s producers have got a plan in place for Season 2 of “Love Life.”

“We’ve already pitched the second season and HBO Max really responded very, very well to it,” he told us. “Here’s what we don’t want to do: We don’t want to just suddenly go, ‘And now it’s the 1800s!’ It’s always gonna have some ties to our previous season so that we can keep that continuity but in very surprising ways. In ways that you wouldn’t expect, but in ways that will be very satisfying to the audience. So we’re very excited to get going on Season 2, just waiting for the official word from HBO Max.”

Now, does that mean Feig is saying Darby will show up again, seeing as Kendrick signed on as the star of Season 1, but each season is meant to follow a new character’s journey to love?

“I could be saying that.”

Hm, OK back to Darby’s love story, which, in the final moments of the series premiere, we find out will end with her pregnant at some point in the future. And though we’re far from knowing who the father is right now, Feig promises the answer will make you “happy.”

“It’s one of the great advantages of being able to have a show where we set the expectation of people that we can jump around chronologically,” Feig said. “So episodes don’t necessarily have to be a cliffhanger, then we pick up five minutes later next week. So, not wanting to give anything away, I’ll say that it’s done in a very, very satisfying way that you and anybody who likes the show will be very happy with.”

With the conclusion of Episode 3, which is where HBO Max subscribers will be waiting until next week, we know that Darby’s first love Augie Jeong (Jin Ha) may be out of her love life but is still very interested in her, given the time he spent scrolling through her Instagram while standing next to his new girlfriend. Feig says there’s a good reason for showing you Augie is still into Darby — but he of course won’t say what that reason is.

“You know, we have a lot of fun playing with expectations on the show. I’ll just say that,” Feig said. “We like Augie, too. We like Augie, too. He’s a favorite.”

Overall, Feig wants you to just enjoy the ride with Darby for now and the fact that it is not going to be a simple, linear path.

“I love that we don’t have to go in chronological order, we can jump around in time,” he said. “We can meet her in her 20s and we can jump to her 30s, then we can go back to when she’s in her teens. It really does make it a bit of a whodunit with who is she going to end up with? That’s also why I love it being in New York because New York is one of those places where you run into the same people by chance all the time. So you’re never away from people unless they physically leave. It all ended up being a really fun way of creating a jigsaw puzzle that will make up the story of who somebody becomes.”

The first three episodes of “Love Life” are streaming now on HBO Max.

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