*Season two of Apple TV Plus’ “The Morning Show,” arrives Friday!
Picking up the aftermath of the explosive events of season one – the future of team Alex (Jennifer Aniston) and Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) hangs in the balance due to their on-air actions. A new UBA identity has to come together, where identity is everything and the chasm between who we present as and who we really are comes into play.
Aniston and Witherspoon return alongside; Steve Carell, Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Karen Pittman, Bel Powley, Desean Terry, Janina Gavankar, Tom Irwin, and Marcia Gay Harden.
Crudup’s performance as Corey Ellison earned him a Primetime Emmy Award and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. We talked with him about expectations for Ellison and themes covered in season two.
Jill Munroe: Corey is an interesting character to portray, what situations did you want to see him in this season?
Billy Crudup: One of the key features I loved about Corey is that he liked every which way the cookie crumbled. So, it didn’t matter if he got his way or didn’t get his way. If he was fired, if he was promoted. If somebody quit, if somebody bi*ched him out, he loved being a part of the game.
What I was excited about in season two is how the writers might change his appetite. One of the ways they did that was by giving him more power. What happens to the person who is really an agent of disruption when they become an agent of the power hierarchy. That aspect was unexpected for Corey and for me. It was quite a challenge to play.
Jill Munroe: One of the things I love about Corey and all of the characters are their layers and nuance – we explore his backstory and darker elements. What was it like bringing out that side of his character and incorporating it into the larger theme?
Billy Crudup: It was agonizing in some ways because I relished the attitude he had in season one. The writers did a shrewd thing by introducing his emotional life into the character. They did it by his attachment to the show and Bradley and Alex. And in him genuinely wanting them to experience the future he had promised. When confronted with the future that actually is, for him, as someone who felt capable of promising the world, it became agonizing because he genuinely cared about these people and the show. That was not a feeling I experienced last year in playing Corey. I had to come to terms with letting go of some of his generalized enjoyment of living. Which gets to the place that most of us are is that life is hard. We have good days and bad days. We’ve got obstacles, and every once in a while, we see a beautiful sunset. And that’s a day to mark on the calendar. Corey typically didn’t live like that.
Jill Munroe: The show is very much in step with current events, with so much happening in the world – including having to take a pause during filming – did that change the story line?
Billy Crudup: Yeah, definitely. They were immediately invested in how the pandemic would shape some of the plot lines; the calls for racial justice and the study of power inequities became the forefront of the social conversation. So, because “The Morning Show” is interested in the social conversation as it’s fed through morning news, they had to get involved with those themes as well. So, reading those scripts was much like the first season, like they were taking it right off of the headlines. That was a great thing to be a part of because I can’t imagine a better career where you get to work on projects trying to be part of the cultural discussion.
New this season is Greta Lee as Stella Bak, a tech world wunderkind who has joined the UBA executive team; Hasan Minhaj as Eric Nomani, a new anchor on “The Morning Show”; Emmy Award-winner Holland Taylor as Cybil Richards, a savvy chairwoman of the UBA board; Valeria Golino as Paola Lambruschini, a documentary filmmaker; and Emmy and SAG Award winner Julianna Margulies as Laura Peterson, a UBA news anchor.
Episode one of the 10-episode season premieres September 17, with new episodes airing weekly on Fridays exclusively on Apple TV+.