An exclusive first look at “Quiz Lady,” a forthcoming comedy directed by Jessica Yu, known for her work on “Billions” and “This is Us.” The film, set to premiere on Hulu on November 3, features Awkwafina and Sandra Oh as estranged sisters who become hopeful champions on a game show.
Written by Jen D’Angelo, the story revolves around Anne (played by Awkwafina), a highly intelligent yet uptight game show enthusiast, and her chaotic sister Jenny (portrayed by Sandra Oh). The sisters unite to settle their mother’s gambling debts, but when Anne’s beloved dog is kidnapped, they embark on an eventful cross-country journey to generate money by turning Anne into a game show winner.
This unconventional approach might just be the key to bringing their dysfunctional family closer. Awkwafina and Oh are also producers on the film, along with Jessica Elbaum, Maggie Haskins, Itay Reiss, Jen D’Angelo, and Will Ferrell, who also stars in the comedy. The impressive ensemble cast also includes Jason Schwartzman, Holland Taylor, and Tony Hale.
Challenging Expectations and Finding Creative Freedom
In a Zoom conversation with EW, Awkwafina and Sandra Oh discuss their roles in the film “Quiz Lady” and express their excitement about playing against their usual on-screen personas. Awkwafina reveals that the opportunity to portray Sandra Oh’s sister was a major factor in her decision to take on the project.
Both actresses acknowledge that some people had doubts about their unconventional characters during the development process but found it to be a pleasant surprise. Oh emphasizes the joy of exploring different aspects of their characters that audiences haven’t seen them play before. While “Quiz Lady” is rated R, Oh clarifies that it is more of a mild R-rating compared to other comedies like “Joy Ride” or “No Hard Feelings.”
Awkwafina jokingly mentions a lengthy sex scene, quickly followed by Oh’s interjection clarifying that it’s just a joke and not part of the film. As producers, Awkwafina and Oh were involved in developing the script and bringing their own touches to the project.
Awkwafina mentions that the final product turned out differently from what she initially envisioned, describing it as a comedy that feels both grand and intimate—a rare combination in today’s comedy landscape.
The Power of Natural Chemistry and Shared Experiences in Quiz Lady
The natural chemistry between Awkwafina and Sandra Oh helped them effortlessly develop the sisterly dynamic in “Quiz Lady.” Awkwafina, who grew up as an only child, finds that certain people, including Sandra Oh, feel like built-in siblings to her. They embraced their individual quirks to portray the dysfunctional aspects of their sisterhood convincingly.
However, they also took the time to bond and build rapport during a trip to London, where they shared meals and stories about their own family dysfunctions. These personal experiences heavily influenced the script, adding depth to the characters and their relationships.
At its core, the heartfelt comedy explores the closeness and togetherness that can be found within family dysfunction, touching on universal themes about families and sisters. When it comes to game shows and games in general, Oh admits she is not particularly skilled and often gets overexcited and anxious.
On the other hand, Awkwafina jokingly mentions her limited prowess, suggesting that she’s more inclined toward simple crosswords with easily accessible answers. “Quiz Lady” is set to premiere on November 3 on Hulu.