A new series arrives today on Apple TV+, the police comedy The Afterparty. AlloCiné was able to meet its creators, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, as well as some of the actors.
The duo behind the films 21 Jump Street and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, are now at the helm of a new Apple TV+ series, The Afterparty, which the two men spoke to our microphone in company of some of their actors: Sam Richardson (Amiq), Ben Schwartz (Yasper), Dave Franco (Xavier), Ike Barinholtz (Brett), Zoë Chao (Zoe), Ilana Glazer (Chelsea) and Jamie Demetriou (Walt) .
A detective comedy, the series tells the afterparty of a reunion of former students that goes wrong. After the events that occurred during the evening, the same night is told from the point of view of the different actors present, each with their own way of understanding life…
AlloCiné: Where did you get the idea for this extraordinary series?
Christopher Miller: No doubt some of the best and worst memories of our high school reunion nights. In fact, the idea of a detective series with a murder at its center came to me about a dozen years ago. I had the idea that this investigation would be seen through various characters recounting their version of the same murder.
That it happened during the reunion night between old high school friends seemed to me like the perfect playground for such a plot. It is in such an evening that we see adults become children again. This leads to gags and incredible situations. We were super popular in high school so we don’t have bad memories, haha!
Phil Lord: We wanted to do a series for all the young people who have been there, at a crazy reunion party. It was interesting for us to explore all these characters who have a specific secret. Drop the masks!
There are parallels with the Lego movies.
Was working on the Lego movies helpful to you?
Christopher Miller: Indeed, there are parallels with the Lego films since in this series, we also go to different places or periods of history such as the old American West, or Space. There’s even an episode set on a pirate ship. So the spirit of these multi-universes is present in this series where we experimented with what we had created with the Lego films. It’s always fun to find new ways to tell a story.
What is unique about this series, in your opinion?
Sam Richardson: I don’t think we’ve ever seen a detective series told in this way, with characters recounting the same event in a different way and with a different cinematic genre.
Ben Schwartz: I’ve always wanted to be part of a detective story. Who is the killer? I love this kind of show. For me it’s also fantastic to be part of, depending on the episode, an action film, or a musical, or even a romantic comedy. Not to mention that I’m a huge fan of Chris and Phil. It was truly a pleasure to be part of The Afterparty.
Dave Franco: For me, it was scary at first to find my place in this ensemble of such funny actors. But I think I did well… What’s unique is also the presence of Chris and Phil behind this show. They are so smart and fun. And they have a knack for finding actors who are also unique and complementary. They also give you so much freedom in your interpretation of the character you are playing.
Zoe Chao: It’s a series that shows that we all see people through different eyes. I think it’s fresh and innovative. We also all have a hidden side of our character. It was interesting for me to really reveal myself during this season.
Ike Barinholtz: I’ve never seen a comedy detective series where every episode is a genre film: action, adventure, romantic comedy, etc. It’s hilarious to see such a show rocking the Fast and Furious 10 in one episode. Chris also brings a unique vision to this show. He was fabulous during the filming which took place at the height of the Covid crisis and in the midst of a political crisis with the American election. We always managed to laugh despite the explosive context in which we were.
Jamie Demetriou: The comedic aspect thanks to the geniuses of Chris and Phil is fantastic for a thriller like this, especially in series mode.
Ilana Glazer: It is obvious that the format of this series, described by my colleagues, was a unique experience that made my head spin.
It’s a series about regret.
What do you think this series is really about? Beyond the suspense, what are the topics covered?
Phil Lord: For me, it’s really a series about empathy. How people look at each other and what relationships they maintain. I think it’s important to understand that we are all complex beings and with a unique narrative of our own. I think if we look at each other with more compassion and understanding, together we can overcome everything.
Sam Richardson: For me, it’s a series about regret, about living in the past. It is also the challenge for everyone to live in the present bearing the weight of this past.
Ben Schwartz: Also, it is an invitation not to judge the other by what he looks like and who he seems to be. Especially since you never know what life each other had in the past.
Jamie Demetriou: Everyone in this series tries to show that their version of the truth is THE truth. The moral of this show is that all truth belongs to those who believe in it.
Ilana Glazer: For me, this shows that reality is really relative. Depending on who you are, you see life in a totally different way.
Now, tell us the truth about your best and worst alumni reunion night moments?
Christopher Miller: It’s always fun to find old acquaintances but at the same time it can be scary to dive back into your past. Especially since people usually want to see you from a certain angle, especially with people like us. In general everyone wears a mask of who he or she really is and it’s not easy to see who is really hiding behind the mask.
Phil Lord: Recently I went to the 25th anniversary of my high school alumni. I was never super popular in my youth, but now, with the success of our films, I think people look at me differently. I became a “success story”. And while I felt better about myself, at this evening, I had the misfortune to lean too hard on a table with lots of glasses and bottles of alcohol. Of course, I knocked it all over in an instant. What a humiliation! And I saw myself, in a flash, 25 years back when no one really liked me.
Ilana Glazer: For me it was almost frightening to see how time passes and how our vision, our perspective of who we were changes with this passing time.
It was the craziest moment of my life.
Jamie Demetriou: Coming from England, I’ve never really been to a high school reunion, it’s not something that’s done in my country. But I think that with the explosion of social networks, it’s not really relevant anymore because we are still in touch with our old relationships, whether we sometimes want it or not. Every day is a reunion of former students.
Zoe Chao: I will always remember my 10 year old school reunion where we rented a party bus. It was the craziest moment of my life. It was so funny to see all these people that I had lost track of. Like the first person I kissed or the one who teased me cruelly. It makes your head spin!
Ike Barinholtz: I’m from Chicago and everything is going well at these meetings, especially when you open several bottles and the alcohol is flowing.