Maya Rudolph Unpacks ‘Loot’ Single Woman Journey in Season 2

[This story contains spoilers from season two, episode three of Loot, “Vengeance Falls.”]

In the final minutes of the season one finale of Loot, the show’s protagonist, Molly Novak (played by Maya Rudolph), wakes up with a multi-layered hangover after a night of drinking one too many and welcoming her ex-husband, John Novak (Adam Scott), back into her bed. Yet despite the shocking cliffhanger audiences were left with, the scene in no way foreshadows a future reunion between the couple who divorced after John’s infidelity. Just minutes into the first episode of the second season of the Apple TV+ series, Molly tells John the only thing she wants from him going forward is “space.”

“Listen, there’s no Team Molly-John here, except for John,” Rudolph tells The Hollywood Reporter in the conversation below. “John’s the only one voting for that and he is completely outnumbered, let’s be honest.”

An air of unfinished business does continue to linger between Molly and Arthur (Nat Faxon), her employee at The Wells Foundation, who remain afraid to confess their feelings for one another. But what Molly’s most focused on in season two — besides giving away the billion-dollar fortune she received in her divorce from John — is learning more about herself. Acting out that experience, says Rudolph, who’s also an executive producer of the series, has been just as satisfying as playing into the potential office romance.

“I think anybody would vote for Molly-Arthur. He’s the nice guy in front of you, which is why we rarely go for that guy,” she says. “But I do enjoy Molly’s journey this season because I think she’s really voting for herself as a single Molly and she tries really hard. She’s terrible at it,” Rudolph quips,” but she tries really hard.”

Below, the lead of Loot chats with THR about playing and dressing the part of a billionaire, what the series has taught her about being a producer, and working with longtime friend Ana Gasteyer in season two.


What were you expecting coming into season two of Loot, with the premise of Molly giving away all of her money?

What’s fun about that amount of money on this show is that it always feels like the sky’s the limit, so you never know what that’s gonna look like. Like, how’s she gonna give it away? And then throughout the course of season two, you really see that it isn’t as simple as it sounds; nothing’s that easy. But I do think she falls into a great place with the idea of how to spend that money.

You and Kirston Mann work together very closely on Molly’s wardrobe. What has that process entailed?

Kirston and I have worked together for so long now, and it’s so lucky to have that short hand with someone. She has such a great sense of humor and understands humor in costumes, and the costumes are such a great Molly reflection of how to present herself in the world. Sometimes Molly will dress the part of what she thinks she’s supposed to be. Like, “if I’m the boss then I would dress like Beyoncé,” which is exactly what we did when we got the outfit from the “APESHIT” video. We have so much fun with all of it all the time. She brings in incredible things that have matching hats and coats and bags and boots, and I just feel like there’s no end to the costumes. I thought she did a brilliant job on the fashion show episode [“Women Who Rule,” episode six].

Ron Funches said shooting episode six was his favorite day on set, and that he told you he imagined this must be what it was like to work with Lucille Ball.

And I was like, “It’s not. Don’t worry, it’s not.” (Laughs)

What was shooting that episode like for you?

It was a joy. I really felt like I got to be so loose. Claire Scanlon, our director for that episode, just completely encouraged me to go, go, go, and I did. You rarely get to do that, but at a certain point, it felt very self-indulgent. I was like, “Okay, I’m the only one here now. This needs to shift because my entire cast is sitting there watching me,” and I felt like, “uhh it’s time for me to sit down.” But it was fun. You never get the chance to play like that, or at least for that long. I was spent. I was very tired.

Do you have a favorite episode or scene from this season?

That was one of them for sure. I loved getting to do the episode where Joel is a bad actor in a play [“Vengeance Falls,” episode three]. I loved the beginning of the season, getting to do the 73 questions. That was so much fun, just that game of like turning and answering one word and then walking away.

We see Molly grappling with her newfound singleness this season. Are you team Molly-Arthur? Molly-John? Are you rooting for single, independent Molly?

Listen, there’s no team Molly-John here, except for John. John’s the only one voting for that and he is completely outnumbered, let’s be honest. I think just like anything, after a breakup it’s hard not to go back to that thing that feels safe, but she knows she made a mistake. I think anybody would vote for Molly-Arthur. He’s the nice guy in front of you, which is why we rarely go for that guy. I think it takes a lot of work for her to work up to that. But I do enjoy Molly’s journey this season because I think she’s really voting for herself as just a single Molly and she tries really hard. She’s terrible at it, but she tries really hard.

Benjamin Bratt plays a short-lived love interest of Molly’s, and Ana Gasteyer also guest stars as one of her old friends. What was it like working with each of them for season two?

We were so lucky to have them. I feel like now that we’ve established a foundation with the first season of the show; now we get to play. So adding great people makes it so much more enjoyable. It’s also nice to have that confidence of knowing who your character is, so you know how they’re going to interact out in the world. Ana’s one of my oldest friends, and it’s such a rare luxury to get someone who knows you so well, and you know so well, and who makes you laugh so hard. We never stopped. Like, driving in the car to get to work, we were laughing. She’s one of those people in my life that continues to inspire me. I feel funnier around her just because I feel like I’m trying to make her laugh and she makes me laugh and that’s just a rare thing to get to be able to have. I feel incredibly lucky.

I had never worked with Benjamin Bratt before and the fact that he wanted to come do our show was what was so cool. It’s so nice when you invite someone to come play and they want to be there and be a part of the fun. He was totally all in and we were just goofing and laughing at the stupidity of all of it.

The strike interrupted production on season two. What was it like coming back to set to finish your last few days?

I had six days left when we got shut down for the writer’s strike, and the thing that surprised me the most was that almost every single person came back. It was such a testament to the show, to the crew, to this cast. Everybody was happy to come back and reconnect, and that was really nice because that doesn’t always happen. I didn’t think it would be six months. I thought it would be maybe six weeks. It was a long time and now everybody’s like, “It’s been so long since the first season aired.” We didn’t intend for it to be that way, but it all worked out.

Additionally, you and Natasha Lyonne decided to part ways with your production company, Animal Pictures, this past October, which produces this series. Did that change anything for season two?

No. We have so much more room to continue and to do, and we’re doing so much. It’s been a blessing to have been able to start this company together, and there’s a lot of projects on the table. So we’re trying to find the time for both of us to get to do them. This really showed me what kind of ways I want to work and what kind of producer I want to be, and I feel like I’ve been really lucky to get to produce this show. It’s one of my favorites.

Loot releases new episodes Wednesdays on Apple TV+.

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