Reese Witherspoon, Julianna Margulies on Season 2 – The Hollywood Reporter

[This story contains spoilers from the third episode of Apple’s The Morning Show season two, “Laura.”]

Transfer over Alex and Bradley, there’s a brand new anchor on the town.

Within the third episode of the Apple TV+ drama’s second season, Julianna Margulies jumps into the fray as veteran broadcast journalist Laura Peterson. An icon at UBA, the community residence to The Morning Present, Laura is requested to advertise Alex Levy’s (Jennifer Aniston) return to the fictional morning present’s desk with a closely publicized primetime particular. First, the information anchor sits down with Alex to pepper her with some arduous questions — together with the implication that Alex had a sexual relationship with disgraced former anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) — after which she interviews her co-anchor, Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon), on the 2020 marketing campaign path about Bradley’s meteoric Morning Present rise.

“You are taking these two sturdy, lead characters — performed by Jen and Reese — and as a substitute of bringing a person in to upset that steadiness, you usher in a girl. I discovered that to be so incredible and such a pleasant breath of contemporary air,” says Margulies when chatting with The Hollywood Reporter about her entrance on The Morning Present.

Laura’s arrival certainly units Alex on edge, because the latter continues to run from her personal complicity in Mitch’s story. Alex even warns Bradley to not belief Laura, pitching her co-anchor on the significance of being a staff and having one another’s backs. However Bradley’s time with Laura goes so properly that one thing surprising occurs to shut out the episode.

Laura asks Bradley an off-the-record query: “Did you really get vetted for this job?” As a substitute of answering her, Bradley kisses Laura. When Bradley pulls again and begins to apologize, Laura leans in and kisses her once more.

In separate conversations with THR, Witherspoon and Margulies word that, in that scene, there’s a lot to unpack.

“That first kiss comes as a result of Bradley doesn’t wish to reply the query that I’m asking her off document, as a result of she’s ashamed of the truth that she was by no means vetted and is aware of deep down inside that Alex threw her underneath the bus to screw with the community and to screw with Cory [Ellison, played by Billy Crudup], and that she wasn’t actually valued by Alex,” Margulies explains, referencing how Alex, in a self-serving stunt, introduced Bradley’s promotion at an A-list media occasion throughout season one.

She continues, “However simply earlier than the kiss, when Laura says to Bradley, ‘You have been actually good on the market immediately, I don’t suppose the community is utilizing you in the fitting manner,’ she says it with such honesty and care a few fellow human being, and with no agenda, that I believe it type of rocks Bradley’s world. That is the primary time you’ve really seen Bradley being talked to respectfully and, additionally, heralded by her icon. Laura to Bradley is what Diane Sawyer is to all of us.”

Laura is overtly homosexual — she “places the L in LGBTQ,” as Cory put it. However, previous to this second with Laura, Bradley’s relationship life has not been a subject. The primary season explored doable sexual stress between Bradley and Cory, and noticed Bradley, who’s from a conservative upbringing, reveal on-air that she had an abortion in highschool. Witherspoon says the thought to discover her character’s sexuality was impressed partly by tales from pals in her personal life, which led to a dialog between her and showrunner Kerry Ehrin throughout the pandemic rewrite for season two.

“It was a dialog about a couple of pricey buddy of mine being in her 40s and at last feeling free sufficient to essentially determine who she was and discover her sexuality with out understanding actually what her path was going to be,” says Witherspoon, including, “and simply being just a little open-minded about loving folks; and the way it doesn’t matter who you fall in love with, it might probably come up out of nowhere in your life. And that’s what Julianna’s character actually represented.”

Behind the scenes, a lot care was put into the scene of Bradley and Laura’s first kiss. On a present that has closely explored consent, portraying a romance between the 2 community colleagues as an applicable office relationship was high of thoughts, says Witherspoon.

“The entire present is about office harassment,” notes the star and govt producer, who co-produces by way of her Hey Sunshine banner. “Additionally, I didn’t wish to gender the conversations about consent. Consent is consent. It doesn’t matter if it’s two girls; a girl and a person. We had to have a look at the scene from the attitude you can’t simply kiss any person with out consent. So we, very barely contained in the scene, discovered methods for us to have this consensual connection, which was actually stunning and nonetheless romantic and attractive and spontaneous — however simply, accountable.”

Capturing each Bradley’s persona in addition to a consensual spark was Witherspoon’s aim, provides Margulies of their work on the second.

“Bradley doesn’t reply [Laura’s question], as a substitute she leans ahead and kisses Laura on this impulsive Bradley method, proper? That’s what Bradley does. However then Reese abruptly went: Wait a minute, our entire present is about sexual harassment within the office and right here I’m doing that, in order that doesn’t really feel proper to what we’re doing. She was one hundred pc proper and that is why she’s a very good producer,” says Margulies. “We labored it out that if she leaned ahead to kiss me and apologized, however then I reciprocated and introduced her again into me, then it could be a sensual, stunning factor after which we didn’t have to enter that territory, which I believe it really wasn’t about.”

She continues, “I believe that Laura is one hundred pc on board with understanding that Bradley doesn’t wish to reply that query, however Laura can be tickled by Bradley. She’s by no means seen this creature earlier than. That is an anomaly! In that second, I don’t suppose she thinks it’s going to go a lot additional.”

The place it goes will play out because the 10-episode season continues to launch weekly. However the thought of getting Witherspoon as a scene companion was one thing that attracted the Emmy winner to the season two function from the get-go.

“After I watched Bradley that first season as a viewer, she’s simply such a sizzling, moist mess. A sensible, decided, courageous and sizzling, moist mess all the identical. She’s spiraling uncontrolled,” says the Good Spouse star, who most lately appeared on the small display in Showtime’s Billions. “You watch her with the characters round her and also you understand that nobody actually has her again. Possibly Cory is looking, however he has ulterior motives. And Alex’s character is completely solely in it for herself.”

Margulies provides, “After which right here is, Laura, who’s so snug and calm, that you really want Bradley to search out refuge on this girl.”

The primary three episodes of season two of The Morning Present are actually streaming on Apple TV+.

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