20 Questions On Deadline Podcast: Mark Duplass On ‘The Morning Show’ Season 4 Shooting Next Month & How The Election Might Be Handled

This week’s 20 Questions on Deadline guest is Mark Duplass.

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Fans of The Morning Show will be delighted to hear Duplass confirm his return “in some shape or form” for the upcoming Season 4, as put-upon producer Chip Black. Duplass also reveals that Season 4 will begin shooting a month from now.

With Season 3 showrunner Charlotte Stoudt in place once again for Season 4, how the upcoming election will be worked into the show remains to be seen. Previous seasons included rewrites to incorporate the pandemic and the #MeToo movement. Shooting this summer, Season 4 is slated to air sometime next year.

“My assumption is that we’re going to airing the show well after that election has happened,” Duplass said. “So my instinct is that while The Morning Show does chase current events, and we have historically, in the past, with the #MeToo movement and Covid, and everything that happened with women’s rights in Season 3, I don’t know that the election is even possible to chase, just with the logistical timeline of it.”

Chip was last seen performing a shock live on-air takedown of Paul Marks (Jon Hamm), the tech billionaire vulture circling their broadcasting company. As Chip declares to camera that Marks, who plans to dismantle the UBA network, is devolving the vital fourth estate, he also points out that Marks’ space rockets “look like giant metal d***s”.

Unfortunately, although Chip’s truth bombs impress his colleagues, it appears to be too late for his relationship with news anchor Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), who has fired him after 20 years of working closely together.

“That firing scene was so exciting,” Duplass said. “I sort of liken it to, for those who have spouses, partners, siblings that they’re close with, roommates, those moments where you’re arguing about how someone loads the dishwasher but it’s clearly not about how someone loads the dishwasher… really what’s at the core of that, Chip is just screaming, ‘I love you and I’m obsessed with you and how dare you choose the man who makes the giant metal d***s.'”

Duplass, who was Emmy-nominated for the role in 2020, explained that initially, Chip and Alex were not designed as such closely intertwined characters. “What happened is that Jen and I just have a really special chemistry with each other. I don’t know, she feels like my sister,” he said. “When it came time to designing Season 2, we started building more for them and a lot of that energy, the way Chip feels about her, that codependency is stuff that I just brought.”

The characters’ dynamic evolved out of how deeply Duplass connected to, and admired Aniston right out of the gate. “Chip is obsessed with Alex Levy, because I really became obsessed with Jen when I met her and got to know her,” he said. “That this person could be an international icon, everybody wants something from Jen. She should be the most closed human being there is on the planet, and yet she is still this open, childlike, vulnerable, creative whirlwind when we’re working together.”

In an interview with Deadline around the Season 3 finale last November, executive producer Kristin Hahn called Chip and Alex, “our favorite codependent work relationship” and said, “I think there’s going to be also some exploration of Alex’s backstory, of where she comes from, more origin story.” And with 20 years’ of working relationship behind them, Chip surely will be a part of that backstory?

“We haven’t decided on that mythology yet,” Duplass said. “It’s never been discussed… I would be so happy to look into that. Not so much that it would be an actual flashblack of 20 years ago and I wear a terrible wig. I do believe there is some kind of pathology that has developed between these two and the way that their dynamic exists, that’s not just a workplace-ingrained behavior. I think there’s something there.”

It was also recently announced that Marion Cotillard would be joining the show as Celine Dumont, a savvy operator from a storied European family.

Duplass is a multi-hyphenate who operates Duplass Brothers Productions with his actor-director-producer brother Jay Duplass. Their credits include the Emmy-winning documentary series Wild, Wild Country, HBO series Togetherness and the films The Puffy Chair and Jeff, Who Lives at Home, among many others. The brothers have recently finished production on The Creep Tapes, their series adaptation of the films Creep and Creep 2.

Mark Duplass will also star alongside Sylvia Hoeks and Holly Hunter in the upcoming Francesca Gregorini-directed film Hurricanna, which will follow the final days of Anna Nicole Smith.

As with every episode of 20 Questions on Deadline, we also dig into the past, Duplass’s hopes and dreams and his favorite memories of his life and work so far.

To hear the full interview with Mark Duplass, click above, or listen and subscribe on Spotify, iHeart or Apple podcasts.

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