This past week, Netflix released a new eight-episode series from Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer/creator Timothy Greenberg titled Living with Yourself. The show stars Paull Rudd and Aisling Bea as Miles and Kate Elliot, a couple drifting towards divorce until Miles makes a drastic decision to shake things up in his life that leads to reality shattering consequences. The show was motivated by a recurring childhood dream of Greenberg’s and he was influenced to write the series because of his very real experiences while aging and getting married. It’s a sweet, funny, and thought-provoking series that works on numerous levels as Miles confronts a younger, more perfect version of himself and decides to take back his life and his marriage from this self-created competition.
On the heels of the show’s debut, I sat down with Greenberg to ask him about what motivated him to write and create this show at this time in his life. We also discuss how long he had Paul Rudd in mind to play the Miles character and how the chemistry between Rudd and Bea was essential to the success of the show. Greenberg also discusses some of the themes, symbolism, and statements he wanted to make in the show about confronting yourself in a relationship. Look below to see what questions I asked him about the show and click on the video above to see his answers. All eight episodes of Living with Yourself were directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and it also stars Alia Shawkat, Desmin Borges, Karen Pittman, Zoe Chao, James Seol and Rob Yang.
- How did Paul Rudd get involved with this project?
- What impressed Greenberg the most about how Rudd was able to create two distinctly different characters?
- Did Greenberg write the show to work out some inner explorations he had had as he got older in life?
- What are some of the movies that influenced Greenberg subconsciously when he was writing the series?
- Why he felt the “pain of life” was essential to show in the series?
- How did he go about discovering the talents of Aisling Bea and casting her?
- How much of the show explored the mental health aspects of the Miles character? Was there a therapist character in earlier drafts of the show?
- What are some of the themes that you explore on the show?
- Will there be a second season? And what he thinks about seasons for a show in this changing landscape of TV and entertainment?
- What is the meaning of some of the symbolism that we see in the show?
- Where do you see the show going in the second season if there is a second season?
- Was there an alternate ending to the show?
- How important was the Super Freak dance when it appears in the show and who choreographed the scene?
- What were you trying to say about the importance of fighting for your relationship?
- What did you learn about yourself after making the show?
Here’s the official synopsis for Living With Yourself:
The Netflix original series LIVING WITH YOURSELF is an inventive existential comedy that asks: do we really want to be better? Miles (Paul Rudd) is a man struggling in life. When he undergoes a novel spa treatment that promises to make him a better person, he finds he’s been replaced by a new and improved version of himself. As he deals with the unintended consequences of his actions, Miles finds he must fight for his wife (Aisling Bea), his career, and his very identity.
Told from multiple perspectives, the eight-episode series was created and written by Emmy® Award winner Timothy Greenberg (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (The Battle of the Sexes, Little Miss Sunshine) and stars Paul Rudd and…Paul Rudd. Greenberg executive produces with Anthony Bregman and Jeff Stern for Likely Story, Tony Hernandez for Jax Media, Dayton, Faris, Rudd, and Jeff Blitz.