Yes, Merritt Wever Acted Opposite a Duck in Roar: Here's How It Worked

Merritt Wever spoke to E! News about portraying serious subjects through a fantastical lens—and dating a duck!—in the new Apple TV+ series Roar, executive produced by Nicole Kidman.

By Cydney Contreras Apr 20, 2022 12:00 PMTags
Watch: Roar Star Merritt Wever Talks Acting With a REAL DUCK!

Acting opposite a duck is for the birds—take it from Merritt Wever.

The actress says the waterfowl are incredibly unpredictable, a fact she learned firsthand after costarring alongside a duck for an episode of the fantastical new Apple TV+ series Roar. In "The Woman Fed by a Duck," Merritt plays Elise, a woman who is dating a duck named Larry.  

"I don't know if the animal is going to start squawking, I don't know if the animal is going to walk away, if it's going to say I don't want to do this anymore," Merritt shared in an interview with E! News. "So it did feel like having a scene partner that was very alive and that's always helpful as an actor."

Also helpful: Justin Kirk, the actor who voices the duck, was standing just out of the camera's view, giving Merritt and actual human being to play off of. The actress said this method was necessary for her to be able to portray the complexities of the story, in which the duck becomes increasingly abusive and manipulative.

Although the beginning of the episode has a "romantic comedy sheen," Merritt said she didn't want to lose the "seriousness" of the story, adding, "It was important to me that it be treated with respect and care and the responsibility that I think the actual situation warrants." 

2022 TV Premiere Dates

"The Woman Fed By a Duck" also confronts the societal expectations women face, with Elisa being pushed to date by her sister Lili (Riki Lindhome), who thinks that she'd be happier in a traditional relationship. 

Amid the pressure from Lili and Larry, Elisa is forced to assess what she actually desires in life. Merritt remembers acting out this moment in which Elisa tells Lili, "I don't want the thing that you want. The thing that you want and that makes you happy, isn't the thing that I want and that I think will make me happy—and that's okay."

Apple TV+

This declaration allows Elisa to "trust herself," said Merritt, who added this was her "favorite scene" in the episode. 

Merritt's turn on Roar isn't the only odd one. But it's supposed to be that way, with Apple TV+ describing the anthology series as "an insightful, poignant and sometimes hilarious portrait of what it means to be a woman today." So while, in another episode, it's weird to see Nicole Kidman eating photos, just know that it all represents a bigger lesson. 

All eight episodes are streaming now on Apple TV+.

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