Space Force is ready for liftoff. The Netflix series, which hit the streaming service Friday, sees star Steve Carell reunite with The Office creator Greg Daniels for another satirical show.
Season one of the half-hour comedy — which also stars Lisa Kudrow, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Jimmy O. Yang, Tawny Newsome and Diana Silvers, among others — follows Carell’s Gen. Mark Naird as he’s tapped by the White House to lead a new branch of the armed forces and tasked with putting American “boots on the moon” by 2024.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with the show’s stars, as well as Daniels, who co-created the series with Carell, about why fans of The Office will love Space Force and what makes their new Netflix show different from the former NBC comedy.
“You have The Office DNA of it being very funny, yet with a lot of heart and exploration of character relationships,” says Jimmy O. Yang, who plays Dr. Chan Kaifang. “Yet now it’s in this very high-stakes kind of crazy world that’s actually visually stunning also. Imagine if this is The Office that’s shot like a $100 million Marvel [movie].”
Says Daniels, “The character of Mark Naird is pretty different from Michael Scott, and it doesn’t look at all the same. This is a much more cinematic, big-scope show, but you know I think that they will recognize the sense of humor that’s behind things. And maybe the sort of spirit of an approach to human beings.”
Speaking of Mark Naird, Malkovich opened up about the “contentious” relationship viewers see play out onscreen between his character, head scientist Dr. Adrian Mallory, and Carell’s character.
“General Naird, Steve Carell’s character, has this relationship with or this amount of contention with most of the things in his life, meaning he has that with his social media person F. Tony who Ben [Schwartz] plays,” says Malkovich. “He has as that with his wife; he has that with his daughter.”
Says Silvers, who plays Carell’s onscreen daughter Erin Naird, “I think at one point they had a very strong father-daughter relationship, and I think the massive life changes have put pressure on that and have kind of shaken things up. But I do think underneath all of the ups and down there’s definitely a solid foundation between them.”
As many Americans continue to spend more time at home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the series’ stars say this is the perfect show to watch “with or without the quarantine.”
“I mean, just for the cast I want to watch it,” says Lisa Kudrow, who portrays Maggie Naird, the wife of Carell’s character.
Adds Schwartz, who plays the military branch’s resident social media manager, “In terms of quarantine and in terms of where we are right now, I found that just the idea of making people laugh is a great release of anxiety; is a way to just get joy. I think that this show is going to be able to really make people laugh, outside of [that] you’re going to see great acting with Steve [Carell] and John [Malkovich], you’re going to see good actors, good writing.”
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