Each year, when “Casual” executive producers Zander Lehmann and Helen Estabrook brainstorm who should direct the new season, it starts with two very simple requirements:
“We sit down and make our list of who we most want to work with, and which good indie movies we’ve seen lately,” said Lehmann, who created the Hulu comedy.
“We’ve always really wanted to match the indie filmmaking aesthetic and perspective with a television show, so a lot of it comes from us sitting down and thinking about, ‘Who are the directors working in this space that we’re really excited about?’” Estabrook said.
READ MORE: ‘Casual’ Season 3 Review: 10 Reasons You Have to Watch Hulu’s Excellent Comedy Series
Their Season 3 session saw a stronger push than ever into the indie film world, and the results are nothing short of a veritable all-star team.
Thanks in large part to Reitman, the series’ first director (and ongoing executive producer), “Casual” has felt genuinely cinematic throughout. The man behind the camera for “Juno” and “Thank You for Smoking” set the “indie” tone for future episodes with his two-part debut, and set up future seasons to attract better and better talent.
Come 2017, it was time for “Casual” to reap what they’d sowed.
“We all just want great directors,” showrunner Liz Tigelaar said. “What’s exciting is when you look out at the landscape for strong, creative, indie, outside-of-the-box voices, so many of those voices are women. It’s hugely satisfying, being a woman, but even more than that they’re just the best [directors] right now.”
Star Tommy Dewey elegantly echoed this feminist thought.
“I don’t know how the hell we did this, but it’s people who are not necessarily leaping to do TV because they do their own cool movies,” Tommy Dewey, who stars as Alex, said. “We had a lot of female directors this year, but we had the best directors, period.”
Continue reading for how “Casual” snagged Lake Bell and Carrie Brownstein — with a little help from some friends.