Not looking to empathize with the brokenhearted woes of a billionaire? Well, we don’t blame you. But in Apple TV+’s upcoming Loot (the first three episodes premiere Friday, June 24), Maya Rudolph‘s well-intentioned divorcée might just win you over.
In the comedy created by Matt Hubbard (30 Rock) and Alan Yang (Master of None), Rudolph plays Molly Novak, a filthy-rich wife living the high life until she finds out her tech exec husband (Severance‘s Adam Scott) has been cheating on her with a much younger woman. From there, Molly must start anew — with an $87 billion settlement, of course. But when she learns she’s the founder of her own charity organization she never knew about (let that sink in for a second), she decides to try and put her new fortune to good use. (Read our review here.)
Despite the show’s lofty absurdities (of which there are many!), Rudolph manages to craft the character into someone we can all relate to, despite Molly’s initial cluelessness over how the world actually works.
“Molly is someone who never anticipated her life changing, and she’s going through a change publicly and very rapidly,” Rudolph tells TVLine. “She’s someone who shows herself to be a substantial person because of having to answer tough questions she wasn’t anticipating having to answer about her own life. I think it’s really interesting to examine a woman who’s my age going through a divorce and seeing what life can be if it’s not what you expected it to be.”
But while her money may help Molly provide the tools and exposure her foundation needs, it can’t buy her happiness, which is evident in her struggle to define her new normal and carve a path forward for herself.
“Because we give her a vulnerability, we’re able to side with her and examine this time in this woman’s life where she feels like, ‘Am I all done? Am I washed up? Is this it, or do I have a new chapter ahead of me?’” Rudolph adds.
Understandably, Molly’s in for some pushback from the foundation’s director Sofia Salinas, who resents the fact that Molly hasn’t been around and wasn’t even aware of the organization’s existence. (Typical billionaire.)
“Sofia is this no-nonsense character,” says her portrayer Michaela Jaé Rodriguez. “She’s a very stern, very assured, very to the point character. When she first sees Molly come into the space she’s like, ‘Who is this? Where has she been? We wanted her here!’ But slowly and surely she breaks out of her shell, breaks down her walls and figures out that they have more in common than they actually think.”
Co-starring in Loot are Ron Funches, as Howard, Molly’s distant relative who works at the foundation, and Joel Kim Booster, Molly’s overeager personal assistant. The two kickstart an unlikely surface-level friendship that soon blossoms into something more meaningful for the both of them. But it won’t be entirely smooth sailing for the new buds.
“At the start of the season, Howard sees another alpha male out there on the prairie,” jokes Funches, tongue fully in cheek. “Someone who’s as hot as him, who works out just as much as he does, who is smart and funny. I think Nicholas just doesn’t see that right away. He’s blind to the charisma, the beauty and everything that Howard possesses, but just like anyone else would, eventually he falls under Howard’s spell. They become best of friends forever, but then some issues happen just like any friendship.”
“For Nicholas, he’s used to navigating a social world that’s about competition, that’s about one-upmanship,” adds Booster on a more serious note. “Howard is the first person to take interest in Nicholas in a real, genuine way, and even though he’s initially resistant to the relationship, it’s hard to resist when someone like Howard comes into your life and is genuinely rooting for you.”
Rounding out the cast is Nat Faxon as divorced accountant Arthur, who winds up brewing a heartwarming will-they-won’t-they connection with the show’s leading lady. But just because the wickedly funny Rudolph is front and center doesn’t mean the show’s ensemble fades into the background.
“I enjoyed [shooting] the group scenes because everybody stood their ground and worked together as an ensemble,” says Faxon. “The characters are so well-defined and individual that all the jokes land because they’re coming from character. Any time there was any kind of improvisation, it all worked because it was, again, coming from character. It didn’t just feel tangential. There’s something really fun about the snappiness of the comedy.”
Are you sold on Loot? Let us know if you’ll be watching by dropping some comments below.