Apr 17
2021

For his new Amazon anthology series Solos, which explores the depths of human connection through the lens of eight remote characters, “a lot of the inspiration for [it] came from things I’m not allowed to do as a writer,” creator David Weil tells Entertainment Weekly. “In film and television, you’re really not allowed to have a 30-minute monologue, though I would love to in every episode of something I write.” In fact, the writer/director/executive producer of the new show, who also created the series Hunters for Amazon, explains “I remember films by their monologues, I remember TV series by those great epic speeches, and so I’ve always been yearning to do a piece that was one person in one room.” The question though becomes, “How do you engage an audience for that long of a time, and take them on a journey when you don’t have explosions and act breaks?” Weil’s answer is “It’s really on you, the writer, to create a story that’s compelling, that’s narratively thrilling, and that’s emotionally deep.” To achieve those goals, it’s of immense help having Anne Hathaway, Nicole Beharie, Helen Mirren, Uzo Aduba, Anthony Mackie, Constance Wu, Dan Stevens, and Morgan Freeman anchoring these stories. “These are some of the most masterful actors [to] have been on screen ever,” states the creator. “And I think that what’s so exciting and consistent about each of them is that they always want to challenge themselves. They always want to do something different, and Solos, I think, presented an opportunity for them that was unlike anything they’ve done before.” With its seven episodes mixing in elements of science fiction and classical theater, Weil describes Solos as “something special for a world that really needs material that can feel cathartic, that can feel hopeful, that can feel joyous, and terrifying, and really take you through the gamut of emotions in this short 30-minute piece.” EW got the exclusive first look at Amazon’s Solos below, along with input from Weil on things he loves about each episode.

Helen Mirren as Peg: Alone on a space shuttle headed toward the farthest reaches of the universe, Mirren’s character has a lot of time—too much?—to think about how exactly she got to this moment. The piece is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, “who is not only a brilliant filmmaker but also really an observationalist, she’s a photographer, she’s an artist, she’s someone who has such deep empathy,” according to Weil. “What Helen did in her performance with the bat of an eye, or look off to the side, or emotion welling in her eyes, or picking at her fingernails—there are all these little, almost mosaic tiles that created this grand beautiful performance. And I think it requires a director like Sam, who is such an observationalist, to come in and be able to see those beautiful nuances and to help realize it.”

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