Maya Rudolph Says Building Up ‘Loot’ Ensemble Elevated Season 2: ‘I Can’t Stomach Working Any Other Way Anymore’

TheWrap magazine: The “SNL” alum talks about getting to the “fun part” of leading the Apple TV+ comedy series

Maya Rudolph and Joel Kim Booster in Season 2 of "Loot" (Apple TV+)

If you ask Maya Rudolph, the key to a successful workplace is developing an open environment where all ensemble members can find their time to shine. She worked hard to foster that on “Loot,” her Apple TV+ comedy created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard that is, somehow, the first series to ever feature her in the leading role.

“I didn’t know when it would be my time to do what I naturally like to do,” she told TheWrap. “But it’s coming at a good time in my life where I can really appreciate it. I can create an environment where people are looking forward to coming to work. I can’t stomach working any other way anymore.”

The “group sport” comedian (as she put it) headlines and executive produces “Loot,” starring as billionaire Molly Wells, who landed a colossal divorce settlement from her corporate magnate ex. In Season 1, Molly developed her charitable foundation alongside her trusted assistant Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster) and director Sofia (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez). Season 2 picks up with Molly making good on her pledge to invest her billions into making the world a better place.

And if the first season served as a stepping stone for the cast to find its footing as a group while Molly went on a journey of self-discovery, the new season gets to what Rudolph considers the “fun part”: Molly interacting with the assortment of characters around her. They include her cousin Howard (Ron Funches), the foundation’s accountant and her potential love interest Arthur (Nat Faxon) and employees Rhonda (Meagen Fay) and Ainsley (Stephanie Styles).

Joel Kim Booster, Ron Funches, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Meagen Fay, Nat Faxon and Stephanie Styles in “Loot” (Credit: Apple TV+)

“It’s something that came naturally and is such a great way to showcase the group and give life to the show,” Rudolph said. Her favorite scenes are the work meetings that bring all the characters together. In those moments, the characters discuss everything from the homeless crisis in the United States to bad texting etiquette to Taylor Swift mania. They allow all the characters to showcase their personalities, which Booster also appreciates.

“Maya is a very generous scene partner, I think the entire cast would cop to that,” he said. “She’s not somebody who is concerned with making sure she gets the best joke or the biggest moment. Once we all discovered that, it made (the set) a fun, free environment where we all feel like we’re on the same level. There are no walls up.”

That supportive environment further helped Rudolph find the heart inside Molly’s out-of-touch billionaire who is trying hard to become a more caring and compassionate person. It also allows for the “SNL” alum to showcase her incomparable comedic chops. There is an episode, for instance, where an unusually vulnerable Molly has a meltdown while walking in a fashion show, the result of excessive exercising and mixing champagne and drugs. It’s a perfect Rudolph moment: Stumbling down the runway, she whispers to herself, “I’m killing this,” before collapsing spectacularly in front of the crowd.

The joy came from putting everything she had into the scene. “After all the years of working, if you finally get the floor, you have to do it all,” she said. “I don’t think any stone was unturned.”

All episodes of “Loot” are now streaming on Apple TV+.

This story first appeared in the Comedy Series issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine. Read more from the Comedy Series issue here.

Larry David photographed by Mary Ellen Matthews
Larry David photographed by Mary Ellen Matthews


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