Over the past decade or so, I’ve become convinced that Rose Byrne is one of the most underrated talents of her generation. But she might be about to receive the attention she deserves, because the frequent supporting player is about to step into the spotlight in the lead role of a new AppleTV+ show called Physical, which is set in the world of 1980s aerobics. Cue up some Olivia Newton-John and read on to learn the details.
According to Variety, the Neighbors and Bridesmaids star is set to play the lead role in the AppleTV+ dramedy Physical, which is described like this:
“The series is set in a 1980s Southern California beach community. It follows a woman (Byrne) struggling in her life as a quietly tortured housewife who finds an unconventional path to power through an unlikely source: the world of aerobics.”
With the ’80s setting and “self-discovery through an unconventional way of working out” premise, I can’t help but be reminded of Netflix’s Glow. That series, which ostensibly starred Alison Brie, quickly morphed into an ensemble piece similar to Orange is the New Black, introducing major characters and filling them out to the point where many of them were more interesting than the official series lead. Byrne has always worked wonderfully in ensembles, whether it’s with the ladies of Bridesmaids, the mutants in X-Men: First Class, or the “family vs. frats and sororities” approach of the Neighbors movies, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this show uses as a Trojan horse to smuggle in a story about a memorable aerobics ensemble of its own.
Physical, which technically doesn’t have an official order yet but is reportedly close to receiving one, is the brainchild of Annie Weisman (Desperate Housewives, Suburgatory, About a Boy, The Path), who will serve as writer, executive producer, and showrunner. Alex Cunningham is also on board as an executive producer, as are Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements from Tomorrow Studios. Tomorrow Studios, which is producing Netflix’s live-action anime adaptations of One Piece and Cowboy Bebop, is producing this series for AppleTV+.
Byrne earned two Emmy nominations for her work on the FX series Damages back in the day, and she’ll soon be seen in the FX on Hulu series Mrs. America, in which she plays feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
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