The Starling is Netflix's newest drama and actor Chris O'Dowd — who appears in the film alongside Melissa McCarthy — recently shared an "incredible" behind-the-scenes detail about the opening scene. In the film, O'Dowd and McCarthy play Jack and Lily Maynard, a married couple who have lived through a terrible tragedy and have each gone about processing their grief in different ways. The film opens with the couple joking around while painting a nursery and O'Dowd shared exclusively with PopCulture.com a very "interesting detail" about just how they filmed the heartwarming scene amid the pandemic last year.
"Most of the movie we shot beforehand, but there wasn't an extra scene at the start. It was just kind of doing something I suppose, habitual or normal before anything kind of goes to s—. But Melissa was in Australia, and I was in California," he explained. "So, we shot it that way — so they shot her half. They split the screen up. We're not actually in the same room. [...] I think we both shot it with somebody else there. And then they just somehow managed to put it together, which is wild."
THE STARLING is a heart wrenching (and heartwarming) story about grief, loss, forgiveness... and getting attacked by a deranged bird. Now streaming on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/s951FGtGn5— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) September 24, 2021
Adding how the moment was evidence to the progress in filmmaking and talent of all those involved, O'Dowd says he is glad the scene came off like he and McCarthy were "riffing" with one another. Further praising the film's director, Theodore Melfi, and production crew, O'Dowd called it a "testament to the technology and the talent of the director" because nothing could have felt "more riff-y" between the two stars. He also addressed the notion that they may have ad-libbed lines along the way. "We would've played with the dialogue, I suppose, here and there, but it was a strong script." O'Dowd added, "You don't want to mess with it too much."
"We would come up with details, I suppose, towards the end," O'Dowd recalled, then noting " that very last scene" where his character gives McCarthy's "a light cover that I fashioned." He explained that they "kind of made that up on the day, a lot of it, in terms of, 'I hope this makes everything okay,' as that kind of trying to laugh through the tragedy.," He concluded by saying that working opposite McCarthy again was a great experience because "she's so quick on her feet." The Starling is now streaming on Netflix.