How The Shrink Next Door Found Humor in an "Unbelievable" Story of Deceit

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Kathryn Hahn and Casey Wilson explained why The Shrink Next Door makes sense as a comedy.

By Cydney Contreras Nov 12, 2021 8:00 PMTags
Watch: "The Shrink Next Door" Star Kathryn Hahn Talks Mixing Comedy & Drama

Knock, knock! Your next TV obsession has just arrived.

True crime fanatics were first introduced to Martin "Marty" Markowitz and Dr. Isaac "Ike" Herschkopf in the 2019 podcast The Shrink Next Door. The 10-episode series was a factual account of Marty's exploitative 30-year friendship with his therapist Ike, drawing interest from thousands of listeners.

Now, the podcast has been brought to life for Apple TV+ by Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd, who are arguably two of the funniest people on planet earth, begging the question of whether this story is being handled with the delicacy and sympathy it deserves. After all, Marty, portrayed by Ferrell, was allegedly conned into giving Ike thousands of dollars, a beachfront home and more.

But The Shrink Next Door actresses Casey Wilson and Kathryn Hahn told E! News that the humor the cast brings to the show is what makes it feel so real because what is comedy if not a coping mechanism?

"I think getting to see Will Ferrell play this vulnerable, heartbreaking character is so wonderful," Casey explained. "But he is also funny because he can't not be."

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"And same with Paul," she says of the Ant-Man hero playing a role unlike any he's held before. "To see him play kind of an angrier character, I think it's going to be interesting and cool for everyone to see."

Kathryn chimed in to share that writer Georgia Pritchett strikes a "perfect tone" with the eight episode series, saying that it still honors the "unbelievable" and "heavy" nature of the original story.

"It hits that perfect spot between wanting to cry and wanting to laugh," Hahn said, "which I think is the experience of everyone involved in our fictional telling of it, to some degree."

Apple TV+

Casey added that the comedic aspect is what makes the show so great, saying, "I think it's really going to be a fun watch only because tonally it is a bit of a departure in some ways for everyone."

At the same time, Casey acknowledged that her role as Bonnie Herschkopf, Ike's wife, isn't that much of a departure from her real life as a mother of two. She said of starring opposite Paul, "We were playing familiar dynamics in terms of like a couple with new kids and you're just exhausted. So I'm quite close to those experiences."

To prepare for her role, Kathryn turned to the actual Phyllis Markowitz for insight on how Ike impacted her relationship with her sibling. Kathryn remembered, "When I first read this, I was like, 'How does she let him back in?' I just didn't understand, so she was really able to shine a light on that."

Apple TV+

The WandaVision actress added that she has a lot of "sympathy" for Phyllis, who "was a single mom with three children, a messy divorce and no access to her own money."

Fans can see Casey and Kathryn in action when The Shrink Next Door premieres Friday, Nov. 12 on Apple TV+. 

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