Broadway stars are hitting the screen in Spectrum’s new pandemic-themed series The Bite.
The Bite brings a light-hearted feel to the pandemic – mixing Covid-19 with a zombie apocalypse for a comedy series about people just trying to navigate unprecedented times in New York City.
We sat down with the stars of the show and found out what it was like to shoot a show about a pandemic….while in a pandemic.
“It was interesting, honestly,” Audra McDonald, who plays Dr. Rachel Boutella, said. “Life and art are very close and the Kings see what’s happening in the world and sometimes I wonder if they have a little crystal ball because a lot of things that happen on The Good Fight will then happen a few months later.
“For me filming a show about a pandemic during a pandemic with the Kings actually made perfect sense. And as we were living it, we were acting it, but of course, this takes on a whole new life of its own.”
The series is created and written by Robert & Michelle King and also features actress Taylor Schilling.
Will Swenson, who plays Brian in the series and also happens to be married to Audra McDonald, said, “The challenge was not to completely annoy my wife because we were together 24 hours a day forever.”
“This job gave us the opportunity to convert at least part of our day into another energy or another focus. So we had our home time and our work time and it was nice to sort of shift gears and just to be able to work in general was a blessing!” Will said.
“Absolutely, I think you nailed it, babe!” Audra said to Will. “We were able to go off and pretend to be other people who still had eyes for each other and get paid to do so.”
Leslie Uggams plays the mother of Audra’s character and shot much of the series from the comfort of her own living room.
“It was wild and crazy, plus the fact that I was filming it in my living room, with all this equipment coming into the living room like we were on a regular TV set, and it worked!” Leslie said. “Wardrobe and hair were done through the screen. We’d pick out what to wear and what the makeup and hair should look like. But of course, I can’t take credit because my daughter Danielle, if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t know what I was doing. She did the lighting, the set decorating, she put the audio together, she did everything, you name it. She’s a one-woman band.”
Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo plays the character of Cyndi, a White House liaison. She and her husband Steven Pasquale star in the show together. Pasquale plays Dr. Zach.
“We had a great time working together,” Pasquale said. “And it was a testament to how well we get along because we were sort of tension-free throughout. It was really lovely.”
“It was ultimately really fun!” Phillipa said. “We’d go to work with our little sack lunches and get in the car and I’d just think to myself, ‘When is the next time I’m going to be able to do this in this way with my husband?’ And I ultimately just felt so lucky.”
And now that Broadway is planning to open up in the fall in New York City, Philippa said she will be running to see her husband’s show – a revival of Assassins.
All six-episodes of THE BITE are available NOW exclusively on Spectrum’s On Demand platform.