Stars Jim Parsons and Patti LuPone, along with directors Janet Mock and Jessica Yu joined Deadline’s Contenders Television virtual event to discuss the Netflix limited series Hollywood, a seven-part show set in the Tinseltown of the ’40s but that puts a revisionist spin on things — a kind of wishful look at the town and the industry.
“It was always going to be surrounding these outsiders who were looking in and wanting to be a part of the inside,“ Mock, who is also a writer and executive producer, said of the idea that there were no barriers to being gay, a woman or a person of color in getting ahead at the studios.
Parsons, who plays legendary agent, and a villain of sorts here, Henry Wilson — the man who discovered Rock Hudson (another character in the show) among others — said it was “a freeing and liberating experience doing the series. It was the most transportive in costumes and sets of anything I have ever worked on. It’s seductive.”
For LuPone, who plays the wife of a studio mogul and who gets to run the studio after he has a heart attack, welcomed the opportunity. “It was wonderful to play a character like that knowing back then and even now it doesn’t really exist,” she said.
Yu, an Oscar winner herself, got to direct the episode that re-created the 1948 Oscar show, one that offered a different and more hopeful outcome than what actually took place back then. “When we shot it was really emotional,” she said. “I always thought of this show as kind of a beautiful ‘what if?’ that you realize is really a ‘why not?’ ”
Check out the panel video above.