There have been many interviews that I have done in my life, but never have I been so excited that I accidentally let it out that I hadn’t watched the movie or television show prior to a short time prior. It was the strike that led me to Wolf Like Me and then shortly after that, was approached about the second season and interviewing the creator, Abe Forsythe.
Being a new person in the Wolf Like Me fandom, I was thrilled. Interview what I consider to be a master creative genius? You don’t have to ask me twice. Writers are so intriguing because of all the things that their minds can imagine. To be cliche, writers are our rockstars, and we would have it no other way.
Sitting down with Abe was quite interesting. Distracted by his interior design (in a good way – just look at the exposed brick), his genius, and his Australian accent, initially, I admit I forgot to press record. I had to be reminded. So there’s that.
Fangirlish: I was really intrigued by the second season because it felt like it upped the stakes, not only because of the pregnancy but just the way that you wrote the show. I’m so intrigued by the fact that you write and direct everything and this comes from your mind. Your mind just must be like this– I don’t know, but it’s just genius. It’s so genius to me. One thing I wanted to ask because really, this season, we get to see a deeper dive into the characters. Mary, for instance, watching her journey, her being pregnant, all that kind of stuff. How is it that you decided what characters to up the stakes for? What you’re going to explore? Quite frankly, how do you write really, such compelling dialogue?
Abe: I think season one and season two are very different. I was leaning into when these characters committed to being together. Obviously, they’re going to have a baby at the end of season one. We know that. That means that the next stage of their life is going to be very different to how it was in the first season. They are cohabitating. They’re still trying to keep Mary’s secret, but at the same time, Mary, for the first time in a very long time, is having to step out into the world and properly interact with the world.
Therefore, a lot more complications came with that. A lot more of the comedy came from that. The absurdity of what she must deal with revealed itself and kept revealing itself. That meant that season two leans into more of it, more of the comedy than season one did. I think in regard to the dialogue, the gift of this show is having two or three characters that are trying to keep this secret, which is literally life or death.
It was just Mary doing that before, but now Gary and Emma, in turn, are having to keep the secret as much. They have just as much to lose as Mary does. That naturally in pretty much every scene you find yourself writing these characters in, brings a really interesting dynamic of what they’re not saying. Therefore, it’s really fun to explore what’s not said through the dialogue and the interactions that they’re having with people.
It’s been like this gift that there was something core in the idea when I had the idea for the first time that was like, I could see the direction this show could go like three seasons is what I originally thought, and how the arc could work. The most entertaining thing for me working on the show is it constantly just keeps offering up new situations that are absurd, are funny, are scary, like heartfelt. Any time they appear I just lean into them 100%. By doing that, that’s the thing that makes it weird, funny, and unique.
Fangirlish: I think the show is like a great escape, especially in today’s times. It just watching it made me feel like I could escape life. I absolutely loved that. They say write what you know, but I am assuming you’re not a werewolf, so I’m just curious how much of your personal life plays into what you write and how much does your life and other people’s life inspire what you write, but also seeing how it’s played out on set that inspires you? Where do you know where to go?
Abe: The answer to that is it does primarily come from my life and different experiences I’ve had. There was a situation that kicked off the idea. That situation and the idea then gave me an opportunity to explore a whole bunch of things that I’ve been living through the couple of years before. I have a son. I don’t obviously have a daughter, but I have a 12-year-old son. I was a single parent when this show started.
I’m now in a relationship. The good thing about this show is and the decision for me to spend so much time working on something like this is it does give me the opportunity to work through experiences that I’ve had and find ways of articulating them in a way, which is relatable to anyone, but then becomes less specific to me.
When you work on something and this has literally been three years, just over three years of my life on these two seasons where it’s been non-stop working on this show. If you’re going to give up that much of your time to working on something like this you want it to still be teaching you things about your life as well too and giving you those opportunities. I just feel very lucky that I had the idea when I had it because it ended up shaping so much of where my life is going as well.
Fangirlish: That being said, what’s the biggest lesson that the show has taught you and what’s the biggest change that it’s made in your life besides being famous and known?
Abe: I think the biggest change that it’s made for me is it’s definitely given me a confidence in what I do now. I really feel like I love season one, absolutely love season one, but with season two, I just felt a lot more confident in what I was saying and how we were saying it. In turn, I’m at a place, at the moment in my life, which for the first time where I am actually in a settled committed, and loving relationship as well too, and there are a lot of lovely similarities that happened when I met this person. I don’t know if I would have met this person if I hadn’t have made this show. I may have met her, but I probably wouldn’t have been in the right place in my life to be in the relationship that I’m in now. It’s been a lovely grounding thing, and I don’t know which came before, which needed to happen before the other one could.
Fangirlish: Josh and Isla, they bring these characters to life in such a specific way that really invites you into the characters. I know that has to do with your writing too but it also has to do with the way they play them. With that being said, in this season I felt like you maybe had to push them a little bit more. It just felt like you were pushing more out of them. Did you and how difficult was it to frame the complexity of Gary and Mary’s relationship, especially this season?
Abe: That’s not easy and that is something which it shouldn’t be easy because more complicated something is and the more things there are to navigate within those complications, it’s a much more interesting way of showing drama like that and character conflict. Without giving any way any spoilers, but the scene in episode five at the beginning of five, we’ve never seen them at each other the way they are in that scene.
There was a lot of me really needing to be sure in how to communicate all the little bits and pieces to the two of them. They’re incredibly skilled. We know they’re incredibly skilled comedic actors but I think the really great thing for people to discover watching the two of them in this show is how amazing dramatically they are as well too. That’s why I think they are so good at comedy because they play from a place of truth.
Now, that scene is a perfect example. That’s a very ugly scene what those two characters are saying to each other, and the way Josh’s character is reacting to what he’s had to see which kicks it all off. Everything makes sense in that argument; everything makes sense from that character’s point of view. As long as something makes sense from that character’s point of view, then you can get away with a lot. It was just making sure that the two of them knew exactly where they were at that point in the story, and then getting them to just basically scream it at each other 100% and not listen to what the other person was saying.
As long as you can believe where the character’s coming from, then you don’t at least get turned off their point of view at that point of time. I still really feel for Josh’s character in that scene even though he’s saying and acting in a way which is it makes sense why he’s acting that way and why he’s acting that way. Although he’s going to go to a big journey of making peace with all of that stuff by the end of the episode, which they both do independently, which means you’ve earned them coming back together because they’ve come to the place of knowing they need to be with, stay with this person as opposed to– They needed to sort it out for themselves to feel really strongly uniting again.
Fangirlish: I’ve seen the episode. I’m actually going to go back and watch it now that I’ve got your insight on it and see if I watch it differently because I think that’s amazing. Thank you so much for your time. I will be very honest with you. I didn’t find this show until about a month ago and now I’m addicted to it.
Abe: That’s amazing. I’m interested in that too. Something my girlfriend has said, it’s going to be so much more satisfying for people to just discover the whole thing and just blaze through two seasons as opposed to waiting for a year and a half which is what a lot of people have done.
Do you guys watch Wolf Like Me? What did you think of the second season of the show?