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Write On: Apple's Physical showrunner Annie Weisman

August 8, 2023
2 min read time

The Apple TV+ series Physical, starring Rose Byrne, is set to launch its third and final season on August 2. Set in the idyllic but fragile beach paradise of sunny 1980s San Diego, Physical is a half-hour dark comedy following Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne) as she navigates her personal demons, most of which come in the form of noxious self-talk and an eating disorder.  

I talked with series creator and showrunner Annie Weisman about writing this highly personal show that explores the dark undercurrents of the feminine experience. “I think about things like beauty culture and diet culture and it’s easy to dismiss them as something women are locked in, are trapped in,” says Annie, “but in many ways, for a lot of women, that’s all the control they have is their appearance. One of the goals of the show is to show a woman who feels really trapped in that way, really torturing herself, and have her go on this journey of discovering a way – this opening a door – into a new way to be in her body, a new way to be in the world, and a sense of empowerment. But I wanted to be honest about the struggle of it, it’s not easy! It takes three seasons of this show for her to get somewhere!”  

We also discuss her beginnings as a playwright and her journey to making the transition from stage to television. “I didn’t necessarily know a lot about visual storytelling – that was what I had to learn,” says Annie. “My first television scripts were filled with dialogue, I didn’t really understand how the camera worked, I had characters entering and exiting in every scene. I had to learn about the way time works in television and film.”   

Annie also shares her advice for writing original TV pilots and using your own authentic voice. Take a listen. 

 

 

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