More than 23 episodes and more than three months of filming of the fourth season of In treatment, Uzo Aduba acted in front of movie stars and Tony winners; he learned his lines diligently and painstakingly, day by day. She screamed “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Livin ‘on a Prayer” around the set to keep her spirits up. He found his rhythm. Then he got some news. Three weeks before the end of production, the three-time Emmy winner learned that she would end this grueling and exhilarating experience by taking on her most intimidating stage partner yet: herself.
As Dr. Brooke Taylor, the Los Angeles therapist who struggles with personal issues while seeing a collection of weekly patients, says, Aduba (Orange is the new black, Lady america) took on his first starring role, one in which he had to be on screen almost every second. The task of listening simply and actively in 30-minute episodes, which often take place in a single room, required an enormous emotional presence. And each week ended with a Brooke-centric installment, putting her on the couch, if you will, either in front of her mentor-sponsor (Liza Colon-Zayas) or her boyfriend (Joel kinnaman). In these episodes, Aduba became the talker, with rich and dense monologues to begin with.
Directed by Karyn kusama and written by co-showrunner Jennifer schuur, “Brooke: Week 5” is not the end of the season – it follows a final week of episodes – but it is the last that the show filmed. Of his star cast, only Aduba was left on set; In a concept gimmick, the episode would set Brooke, the patient, opposite Brooke, the therapist, as she finally faces her demons from the entire season. The result finds Aduba at the height of his powers, simmering on one side and subtly dominating on the other. It’s the kind of acting feat the awards are made for, a good thing, as Aduba is nominated for an Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama this year for In treatment, her first leading actress nomination.
Aduba admits that she went into the making of the sequence a bit insecure: “I’ve never acted with myself, so I thought, what does that mean?” At that time, she was also exhausted. But then came a change of mind. Aduba uses his favorite metaphor, the track (he ran in college), to explain the turn: “It’s like that feeling when you go down the straight: you didn’t even know you had another jet, but you found it, to kick that team across. the finish line “.
The scene begins quite simply, with Brooke standing in front of her huge living room window, overlooking the buildings that light up the Los Angeles night sky. In the silence, it is time for him to reckon with the season’s central conflicts: his resurgent addiction struggles, as well as the impending discovery of the identity of the son he gave up as a teenager. She hears herself speaking, from the nearby chair, and when she turns from the window, she sees herself sitting there, waiting like a ghost. She takes a seat on the couch.
A wide composite shot sets the dynamic: Brooke in professional attire, sitting up straight and legs crossed, facing Brooke in sweat, leaning forward and nervously rubbing her knees. “Obviously, she is the same person, but we have our self facing the public and our self facing private,” as Aduba explains the scene. “It’s really about diving into how honest she is prepared to be with herself about what’s happening to her internally.”
In the next back and forth, what runs the risk of feeling deceptive, instead, carries a touching and tender lack of effort. Aduba filmed the entire half to begin – he chose to work through the “Brooke patient” first and the corresponding heavy psychological lift – and then did the exchange. He didn’t think much about how their appearances contrasted with each other, instead focusing closely on the dialogue.
Your scene partner on the set of something Maydelle clarice, the line coach Aduba had become intimately familiar with In treatmentproduction of. “We had spent so many hours together executing lines,” explains Aduba. “She took me out of the book to learn all of them. We work together on weekends, four hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday, after work and during lunch. “In a fitting culmination of their collaboration, they got back on track one last time, only now, with the cameras moving. .