Modern Love‘s unique tales may come from the New York Times column of the same name, but the Amazon Prime Video anthology wouldn’t be what it is without showrunner, writer, and director John Carney.
Best known for films such as Once, Begin Again, and Sing Street, the Dublin, Ireland native is bringing a taste of his hometown to the romantic series as stories venture outside of New York City and the United States in Season 2. “We had talked about the idea of setting some episodes elsewhere,” Carney shares. “The COVID thing forced our hand a little bit on that one, and got us to put our money where our mouth is. But I liked the idea of doing episodes in different parts of the globe and it not just being a show that has to happen in any specific city.”
While New York City is still its own character in the series, Ireland-based episodes bring in the skillful talents of stars like Minnie Driver, Tobias Menzies, Kit Harington, Sophie Okonedo, and Lucy Boynton. “We got all the actors pretty much that we wanted to get,” says Carney, a task that wasn’t eased by the COVID safety restrictions.
But “it doesn’t really matter that everybody else is wearing a mask off-camera,” notes Carney. “What we see at the end of the day is what you put in the frame. It’s kind of amazing in a way that these restrictions were in place, but then it feels like regular TV.”
Carney can’t help but be struck by the resiliency and talents of the Season 2 cast. “When I look at the poster and at everybody, it’s like, ‘Gosh, how did we do that?’ I still cannot believe we got such a diverse, beautiful bunch of people bringing so much to the table,” he marvels.
One particular Season 2 delight is the inclusion of Andrew Rannells‘ own story. The Black Monday actor directs an episode based on his Modern Love column. “When something interesting presents itself to you in life, and it’s rare like that, you should grab it,” Carney says. “How many times are we going to have an amazing talent like Andrew Rannells pitch an episode that happened to him, that he’s saying, ‘I’d actually like to rewrite it for TV. Can I be a director for my first time on your show?’”
The answer is almost never. “How Do You Remember Me?” finds two young men recollecting their versions of their first and only date together when passing one another on the street. Marquis Rodriguez and Zane Pais bring the episode to life in what Carney describes as a “very heartfelt” installment.
“I think it could move a lot of people,” the showrunner says. But we’ve come to expect nothing less from this warm and fuzzy comfort show. “It’s such a pleasure to make,” adds Carney. “Everybody comes away from it feeling better at the end.” Don’t miss all of the feelings and emotions when Modern Love returns.
Modern Love, Season 2 Premiere, Friday, August 13, Amazon Prime Video