The Morning Show already had an expansive ensemble in season 1. Season 2 adds even more new characters. Greta Lee joins the Apple TV+ series as Stella Bak, a new president at the UBA network to whom Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) and Alex (Jennifer Aniston) answer. Lee told Showbiz Cheat Sheet about Stella in a Webex interview on Sept. 10.
“She is the youngest and first female news president of UBA in its entire history as a corporation,” Lee said. “She is incredibly strong-willed, opinionated, stubborn and is sort of like a self-proclaimed changemaker.”
The Morning Show viewers will meet Stella when they tune into Season 2. Throughout the season, they’ll get hints about Stella’s previous job, which informs how she relates to UBA talent.
“Her old job was mostly catering to millennials and a Gen Z audience,” Lee said. “So she’s bringing all of that past experience to UBA where she is really wanting to bring about these efficacious changes in terms of fixing this environment of toxicity, these systems of misogyny and racism. She takes it on and it is not a smooth ride.”
Season 1 of The Morning Show dealt with a toxic boys club at UBA. In that environment Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) was able to coerce fellow employees into sexual relationships. Season 2 is dealing with the aftermath and Stella is not afraid to speak up about behind the scenes or on-air policies.
“She is not self-conscious in any way about being the boss, of being an outsider which I thought was such a fascinating and great choice to make about her,” Lee said. “I think she really is trying to teach an old dog new tricks and is going to do whatever it takes to make sure it’s a new environment and it’s more diverse. It’s fresher but she’s not always right.”
Stella still reports to Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup). Since they have a lot of scenes together, Crudup was involved in Lee’s audition for the Morning Show role.
“I flew in to read with Billy,” Lee said. “That was intense and amazing and so fun. I think he would say this too, that it was very clear that there was something about the two of these minds, these characters together that was so fascinating to see that they are on the one hand so different on paper. They could not be more different in a lot of ways. In spirit, there’s something that is kismet and very uncannily similar too. But anyways, I was such a fan of Billy’s for so long, it was a dream come true to come in and do this with him.”
The scene they read together did not end up in The Morning Show.
“It was a made up scene where he and I are meeting for the first time,” Lee said. “It was really fun just to try to step up to the plate and go toe to toe with Billy Crudup.”
As tensions heat up on The Morning Show, Stella and Cory face off many times.
“They definitely butt heads in terms of how to execute how to run the business and what they’re willing and not willing to compromise in order to do it effectively,” Lee said. “There are moments on the show when our characters have words for each other.”
As fans of The Morning Show have come to expect, Cory exercises his authority without yelling at Stella.
“The way it’s done, I think that’s the ultimate signal of power, right?” Lee said. “Not to have to raise your voice.”
New episodes of The Morning Show premiere Fridays on Apple TV+. We’ll have more with the cast of The Morning Show on Showbiz Cheat Sheet throughout the season.
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