Barry Sonnenfeld might be best known for his films Men in the Black and The Addams Family, but the director of the new Apple TV+ series Schmigadoon!, admits his newest project was something very different for him. While musicals aren't something Sonnenfeld is an expert in, directing Schmigadoon! was not one bit a challenging experience. In an exclusive with PopCulture.com, Sonnenfeld explained why directing Schmigadoon! was "easy."
"It was pretty easy because the secret to directing is having really good scripts and then casting it properly," Sonnenfeld said to PopCulture. "So, we had great scripts, and we casted properly. For me, it was pretty easy. You would think that the song and dance numbers would be challenging, but we did so many rehearsals and pre-production that we would photograph on.
"The choreographer would photograph on his iPhone. We'd get the results. I'd make some suggestions. He'd re-choreograph it. I'd make new suggestions. So by the time we got on the set, every single angle was planned out, and with lenses and the angle, it's very easy to shoot those scenes. It was harder to actually shooting some of the dialogue things."
The cast of Schmigadoon! includes Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth. With the mixture of film, TV and theatre experience, the cast was able to make the filming process enjoyable for Sonnenfeld. "I had no idea of people could be so talented that they could act and sing and dance, and sing and act and dance in the same shot," Sonnenfeld stated. "Keegan was great. Cecily was fantastic. I had no idea he'd be that good. Keegan plays me. He plays the guy who hates musical theater, and he's lovely to work with and so real. What's great about all these other actors like Kristin, Alan Cumming, Aaron [Tveit] is that they're all theater-based. So, they can be both theatrical in performance, yet still very real at the same time."
When it comes to directing, Sonnenfeld has worked on notable films such as The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, and the first three Men in Black films. As for the television side, he has directed two episodes of Pushing Daisies and 10 episodes of A Series of Unfortunate Events. While Schimigadoon! is very different from previous projects, it does remind him of Pushing Daisies for one big reason. "Pushing Daisies and Schmigadoon! are similar in that they were both shot mainly on stage, are both very saturated and super real in its color palette," Sonnenfeld revealed. "It's very precise and pristine. So, I think they have a lot in common. In addition, Chenoweth is involved."
For the full interview with the cast, head to our YouTube. Schmigadoon! is now streaming on Apple TV+ with an episode dropping weekly. Head to Apple TV+ for your free 3-month trial. For more on this show and more, stick to PopCulture.com for the latest!