Goldberg said her series about conflicted couple (Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan) who get swept up in a cult with an ambitious leader (Hugh Dancy) “was not based on Scientology. They’re not the only movement; there are over 4,000 in the world.” Goldberg spawned the series after going through a divorce and suffering the loss of a parent. “I was interested in how people deal with these types of crisis,” said the creator.
“Those who are in a cult take their beliefs very seriously, no one cynically lures you in,” said Dancy. Paul mentioned that Goldberg literally created a bible for the show’s cult, down to “incredible details” that were laid out in pamphlets on the set. Paul quipped how it’s often under a pop guise that a cult will spring up; that anyone could take the show’s cult, the Meyerist Movement, seriously if they wanted. Paul came to the show soon after Breaking Bad. “There were two scripts on my desk; Michelle was attached to one of them,” he said. “I breezed through the first two episodes on my cell phone.”
The three-time Emmy-winning actor added: “I grew up in a very religious household. By father was a Southern Baptist minister. I was always fascinated by religious movements and how they provide answers.”
Later during the Hulu panel, Reitman said it his attraction to the comedy Casual was Lehmann’s script, which centers on a bachelor living with his newly divorced sister. “Casual feels like a Sundance film,” explained Reitman, “like the types of films that made me want to be a filmmaker in the first place.” As for the difference between film and TV, Reitman said simply: “A film has an ending. TV doesn’t. When I think about a movie, it’s what is the last thing that is going to happen before the audience leaves. With TV, you continually have to think what’s going to happen five or 10 episodes next.”
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