Brie Larson, an Academy Award winner, has appeared in romantic comedies such as Trainwreck and The Spectacular Now in supporting parts. She does, however, get to share her own love story in Lessons in Chemistry.
“Part of my initial interest in this story is that love depictions are so sacred and so important, and how they come to you and why they come to you is part of the magic of this life,” says Larson, who stars in the lead role of Elizabeth Zott in the Apple TV+ series. “It also means it’s very hard to grapple with.”
Working closely as an executive producer with showrunner Lee Eisenberg, who devised the series, Larson determined how best to depict that effort in adapting the story from Bonnie Garmus’ novel to television.
It was a struggle for Larson to play Zott, a chemist who can no longer rely on the predictable after suffering an unfathomable tragedy and falling in love with research chemist Calvin Evans (Lewis Pullman) at Hastings Laboratory.
“I’m just far more emotional than she is,” Larson would do takes where she cried to release her emotions, then got back into character, she tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“Elizabeth’s just not a crier. She doesn’t have access to that.”
It was satisfying, though, to figure out how to portray a woman who need only learn to be receptive to love rather than having to give up her thoughts for it.
“It was so nice for me to be able to do something that’s loving and sweet, and not always talking about the darkest things that are happening in the world,” adds Larson, who is presently starring in The Marvels, her most recent movie, as Captain Marvel.
“I think it’s a very sweet depiction of how to work with someone you love and the fact that their minds and their uniqueness and specificity and their love of science is what brings them together, I think, is very sweet.”