[INTERVIEW] ABC’s Splitting Up Together A Co-Parenting Comedy: Chatting with Stars Oliver Hudson and Lindsay Price Tuesday 27 March, 2018

So on a recent Disney press trip, I had the pleasure to visit the ABC Building to pre-screen a few new shows on the network. One of them was ABC’s Splitting Up Together, and it was one of my favorites to watch. I was cracking up, I love the unique storyline and I enjoyed the comedic approach to co-parenting in an unconventional way.

SPLITTING UP TOGETHER – ABC’s “Splitting Up Together” stars Jenna Fischer as Lena, Van Crosby as Mason, Sander Thomas as Milo, Olivia Keville as Mae, and Oliver Hudson as Martin. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Splitting Up Together Synopsis: Based on the Danish series, “Splitting Up Together” is the story of a couple (Jenna Fischer, “The Office,” Oliver Hudson, “Scream Queens”) whose marriage is reignited by their divorce.

Lena (Jennifer Fischer) and Martin (Oliver Hudson) were once madly in love. But, like many marriages, time and circumstance eventually took their toll. Lena, the perfectionist, fell into the role of caretaker for everyone, including Martin. Martin felt he could never do anything right and gave up making the effort. This created a romantic rift between them.

Finding themselves in a platonic marriage and acting more like a pair of camp counselors wrangling their kids than a couple hopelessly in love, they decide that everyone’s lives would be better served if they got a divorce.

SPLITTING UP TOGETHER – ABC’s “Splitting Up Together” stars Oliver Hudson as Martin, Van Crosby as Mason, Olivia Keville as Mae, Sander Thomas as Milo, and Jenna Fischer as Lena. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Still wanting the best for their three kids and facing a daunting real estate market, the couple decides not to sell their house and to “Birds Nest” instead. One parent will live in the house as the “on-duty” parent taking care of the kids, while the “off-duty” parent will live in the detached garage, doing whatever he or she pleases. They will switch off every other week.

The series stars Jenna Fischer as Lena, Oliver Hudson as Martin, Bobby Lee as Arthur, Diane Farr as Maya, Lindsay Price as Camille, Olivia Keville as Mae, Van Crosby as Mason and Sander Thomas as Milo. After the screening of a few episodes, we got an opportunity to interview some of the stars of Splitting Up Together with Oliver Hudson and Lindsay Price, executive producer/creator Emily Kapnek, and executive producer Dean Holland.

Splitting Up Together Cast and Crew Interview

Photo Credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

Asking on how will the show Splitting Up Together portray divorce in real life?

Dean Holland (executive producer) :  Historically it’s always been kinda negative that divorce is such a bad thing. And while we were shooting it, numerous people came up to us and told us we’re doing this. My friends are doing this. So many people were kind of — it’s like, hey, it’s — let’s kind of both still raise our kids and somehow manage to make it work.

Emily Kapnek (creator/producer): Yeah, I know a lotta couples that have good relationships, even if they didn’t reconcile just good relationships with their exes and they’re co-parenting happily, and I just don’t think you see a lot of that represented.

Oliver Hudson (Martin on Splitting Up Together): I’m product of divorce still hoping for my parents to get back together [this is a joke!].

Photo Credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

What made Lindsay and Oliver excited to star in this family co-parenting comedy

Lindsay Price (Camille in Splitting Up Together: I mean this script in and of itself captivated me, and I loved the characters ’cause they’re real. They’re real people. But I do think it’s interesting she probably immediately seemed selfish that she, you know, doesn’t want them to get divorced. But I think what ends up happening is when people close to you go through it, you start checking your own life and, you know, looking under the bed and seeing what’s under there. And I think it’s challenging, you know. But typically I think she knows that they love each other and that they should be together. Sometimes people can see it better than you can.

Oliver Hudson :  I like this. This is my favorite job I’ve ever done in my 20 plus years. And I mean that. I mean I’m supposed to say that, of course, [LAUGHS] but I actually mean that. 

It’s fun, but this is, for me, the most connected that I’ve been to a project just because I live this life. And when I red for Emily, you know — she was sitting way back in the, right, like way up there, and I was like, okay, I want this job so bad, ’cause I’m so bad at — and I did the reading, and I was like, f***, that wasn’t that great but — and I did a whole spiel. Like, listen, okay [CHUCKLES], that was fine, but I need to have this job, because I live this. This is my life. I know how to do this. And she listened to me.

Photo Credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

Oliver exclaims how his character on the show is very similar to his real life at home

Oliver: What’s great — what I love too is that I guess you would say it’s a show about divorce, but at the end of the day there’s so much you can find in this show from every walk of life, especially if you have children. You don’t have to be divorced to relate to this thing, because it’s about co-parenting. As individuals coming from different backgrounds and families, we have different ideas on how we wanna raise our kids. My wife has an idea and I have an idea. Now there is a meet in the middle, but what I found actually, which was amazing casting, is Jenna is very much like who she is on this show, and I am very much like who I am on this show, you know.

And my wife [CHUCKLES] is pretty much like Jenna, you know. So, she’s very organized. She’s very this. She’s very that. She wants plans. I hate plans. I despise plans, because then I have to flake and I don’t wanna do that. [LAUGHS] I would rather not make a plan and, you know, do it in the last minute. But it’s great for that, you know, and it’s about these two people sort of discovering how they can not only live together but how they can, you know, be equal parents.

Photo Credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

On how Emily P. took a slightly different direction from the original Danish version of Splitting Up Together

Emily:  We took a lot of the elements that I thought were the most compelling from those eight [episodes]. They had almost — they had zero storylines about the kids in the Danish format. The kids were very peripheral. They never went to their workplaces. I love the way they approached it. It was very different. It was very unlike a show you’d see here. It was almost like a stage play, and you just were really focused on Martin and Lena. And it showed me that you can tell smaller stories and focus on these two main characters and it’s not — you’re like, gee, what’s happening at work or what’s happening with — no.

You’re very invested — if you’re doing it right, you’re very invested in this core relationship. You’re rooting for them. The Danish creator based this show on her life. She came up to the writers’ room and we — everyone was like did you get back together with your husband? [CHUCKLES] She was like no. [LAUGHS] She never intended to play with it as much as I wanted to in our show, and we do. We go in a way that their show doesn’t. We really feel like, you know, the chemistry between Martin and Lena is part of what makes you so invested.

And, again, we just wanted that optimism. And we always said that there were sort of two fundamental questions about divorce in general and the show, and it’s like can you go back. Once you divorce, can you go back? And then the second question is should you. And so, you know, if there’s the opportunity to do it, does it mean it’s right? And just because you want these two characters together, if she’s getting something from someone else who’s making her feel more valued, if he’s able to be who he is more fully — and that sort of complication is something we kinda delve into in the later episodes.

Photo Credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

On working with the kids, especially the boys on the set of Splitting Up Together

Oliver Hudson It was great. It was honestly great. The kids were amazing. The bigger ones were professional and it was — they were just spot on. Sander, who is an amazing little actor, he’s a kid. [He’s a little one.] He’s seven. So, I had to parent 24 hours a day, because I was on set working with the kids and I sorta took to him and I became, you know…[be his] Wrangler.

And then, of course, I’d go home and have to deal with my own children. [LAUGHS] It was nonstop. But they were great. Sander was actually — turned out to — I mean you see him. He’s such a sweet boy. He is a very sweet boy, but he’s eight years old. Sometimes I’d have to take him aside and be like, okay, bud, let’s get it together now, you know [LAUGHS].

Emily :    And I think one of the things that is so great about Oliver in the show is that Oliver has three kids in his real life. And watching him deal with these kids, it’s so authentic. Do you know how I kept saying over and over again, it’s like you can tell he’s dad. You can tell how he deals with these kids, how he delivers the kids, and also just not the — you know, no kid-glove thing where he’s like — sometimes he says stuff that’s really harsh to the kids. You know, there’s a couple episodes in where he gives it to them pretty bluntly, and it just feels really authentic. So, we love his [OVERLAP] performance.

Photo Credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

Lindsay doesn’t play a parent on the show, but she express how she enjoys the comedy aspect of it as she is a mom in real life

Lindsay:  I think when you have kids — I have two little boys at home — it’s so nice to go to work and just be light and not carry anything home that’s like heavy or exhausting. Like, I get to go to work and it’s fun and it’s also a topic that is relatable. So, it’s kind of a sweet spot. This job it keeps you feeling hopeful and happy.

Photo Credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

I got to pre-screen the first four show of Splitting Up Together, and I am telling you I couldn’t stop laughing. Each episode getting funnier and funnier. This is like the family version of the classic show The Office, and yes I am making that reference because I love Jennifer Fischer in this show and its like Pam came back reincarnated in another universe.

I don’t think I have seen a show about co-parenting in this matter. I am glad Splitting Up Together can make light about divorce separation but showing the importance of being a family and even living together. There are people who are separated and living together, its more common than we think! This is a show I am going to keep watching, trust me by the end of episode 4, you will get emotionally invested and want to know what will really happen to this family next! I will just spill a little that the love story in this show goes all the way to the left, and I am torn whether to cheer or be sad…its that good! Check out the trailer below to get into the feel of this awesome co-parenting comedy!


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SPLITTING UP TOGETHER WEBSITE http://abc.go.com/shows/splitting-up-together

SPLITTING UP TOGETHER series premiere tonight Tuesday, March 27 at 9:30|8:30c!

What do you think of a co-parenting comedy?

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty

Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty

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