After months of anticipation, Apple TV+'s new series Physical starring Rose Byrne and Rory Scovel, debuted Friday on the streaming service. The cast recently sat down with PopCulture.com and other media to discuss the show, including some of the greatest challenges of filming. Physical is a dark comedy series created by Annie Weisman (The Path, Desperate Housewives). It follows Sheila Rubin (Byrne), a former academic and ballet dancer whose unfulfilling housewife life is turned upside when her disreputable husband, Danny (Scovel), is fired from his college teaching job and decides to run for local political office.
During a pair of roundtable interviews, Byrne and Scovel told PopCulture.com what they found most difficult about shooting the new series. For Byrne, it was the actual filming, which was done amid the Covid-19 pandemic. "We came back to work when the numbers were pretty high and in Los Angeles, but we all wanted to come back. I mean, we wanted to work," Byrne said.
She continued, "And there were 200 people employed, but every day was not without its challenges and risks. And we were kept safe with the protocols and all that stuff, but it was a new experience doing that, I must say. So that alone was kind of the first thing to process in a way, with the difficulty of scenes."
Scovel shared that, for him, having to be naked on-screen was certainly in the Top 10 list of things that challenged him. "This was definitely the most nudity I've ever put out there in terms of shooting something and knowing like, "Oh, here is my butt for the world to see,'" the comedian quipped. "That was very new to me, to act in a scene with another actor knowing that I would be basically naked as soon as they would take the robe off and they say, 'Action.' Having to get to that place of, 'All right. Here we go. I'm here, and this is what I have to do.'"
He went on to explain, while "not giving too much away," that his character's opportunistic behavior was something that proved to be a challenge, as his own personal outlook could not be farther from Danny's. "I have to say, as someone who, in my reality, is not at all like that and doesn't treat people like that, that was a first for me as an actor," Scovel said, "to try to get into that space and make sure when people see this they fully believe it, and the suspension of disbelief is there, and they fully say, 'Okay. This is real and this actor has truly sold me on this scene.'"
While it was a new direction for him, Scovel said that "it was a welcomed challenge, for sure." The first three episodes of Physical are now streaming on Apple TV+. New episodes will air every Friday for the remainder of the first season.