Emmys 2020: How Mark Duplass and Bradley Whitford Swapped Bodies

Emmys 2020: How Mark Duplass and Bradley Whitford Swapped Bodies


WHITFORD Everybody had a moment when they realized how serious this was. This was in the beginning of March, and I was sitting on set and we were laughing because [Elisabeth Moss] had a horrible cold. None of us were taking [the pandemic] seriously. I’m sitting in a makeup chair reading about it on my cellphone for the first time, and it said, “Whatever you do, don’t touch your face.” Of course, while I was reading that, three different people were touching my face.

We’re about to go back to set and we’ve had safety meetings, and I do feel safer. It’s the traveling that is scary. They told us about the quarantine, and I thought, “How did I end up with more house arrest than Roger Stone?” [Laughs.] They want me to go up [and stay] — usually I would just go back and forth. Nobody can come and visit. It’s tricky, but they’re being very safe about it.

DUPLASS They’re trying to figure out the “Morning Show” situation right now. We shoot in L.A., where the incidence rate is much higher, so it’s a totally different beast. I feel like we’re going to look back in a couple of years and be like, “What were we doing, putting people back to work in the middle of the potential rise of the second wave?” I understand that it is relatively safe. But I have this deep gut feeling that we are putting ourselves at risk to increase profitability for a massive corporation, and I’m not sure that it’s totally worth it. The biggest reason to do it is job creation.

WHITFORD Olympia Dukakis’s husband, Louis Zorich, was an actor’s actor. I’ll never forget, I was telling him a story about being sick when I had to be naked in a play [“Curse of the Starving Class”]. I had salmonella poisoning. Louis said, “Why didn’t you let your understudy do it?” And I was like, “The show must go on.” He turned to me and said, “Listen, if there is anything that does not have to go on, it’s the [expletive] show.”

DUPLASS When you mentioned that you had to go onstage naked while you were sick, my first thought was, “Might a person’s genitals appear different when they are sick?” [Laughs.]

Bradley, people tend to associate you with a Sorkin-style verbal torrent. But on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” so much of what you do is sparse dialogue and silences, and now Mark is the one doing walk-and-talks. You’ve swapped places.



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