Cupid has found Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson. The mid-season premiere stars Cannavale and Paulson as Cupid and therapist – the dreamer and the realist.
Cupid is the brainchild of producer Rob Thomas. Thomas is one of the major creative hands on the production of Veronica Mars, 90210 and Dawson’s Creek. Thomas also crafted a version of Cupid with Jeremy Piven in the ’90s.
It is 2009, and Cannavale plays Trevor Pierce, who to his core believes that he is Cupid. Cannavale’s Trevor insists that as the Roman God of Love, he has been sent to New York City to unite 100 couples in lifelong romance. Zeus has Pierce’s Cupidon a labor of love modern day New York. Good luck! That is exactly what could produce magical television.
Paulson plays Dr. Claire McCrae, a mental professional who must watch Trevor after he is arrested for changing the New Year’s ball in Times Square’s greeting from “Happy New Year” to “Holly I’m Here” for one of his 100 love missions. ABC’s Cupid airs every Tuesday at 10 p.m. after Dancing with the Stars. We spoke to Paulson and Cannavale about the finer points of finding love amid the insanity of the modern world.
Cupid has a spirited chat
SheKnows: Hello you two, actually Sarah, you and I spoke in December for The Spirit.
Sarah Paulson: I remember SheKnows! That movie did really well.
Bobby Cannavale: Are you serious?
Sarah Paulson: I’m joking.
SheKnows: But, it was nice to see your face on the side of a bus.
Sarah Paulson: Yes it was.
SheKnows: Now, we’re in the land of Cupid.
Sarah Paulson: We are in the land of Cupid.
SheKnows: How are you two feeling here on the eve of a new show premiering?
Sarah Paulson: We’re excited.
Bobby Cannavale: We started this thing in June last year? July?
Sarah Paulson: We started the pilot last July and then we got picked up in August and started shooting in October.
Bobby Cannavale: So, we started shooting in July and nothing’s come on yet. I’m pretty psyched for it to finally come on and do what it’s going to do. Just, sort of get rid of all the tension of waiting. We’re proud of the show. We had a nice time making it and I would love to go back and do it some more. I hope the people watch it.
SheKnows: That’s the thing with you two working together, first of all, what was the initial thought of working with the other?
Paulson and Cannavale’s mutual admiration
Sarah Paulson: That was one of the real motivating factors wanting to do the show. I read the script – I liked the script. When I knew it was going to be Bobby it took it to a new place. I’ve always thought he was a wonderful actor and it made me really want to do it. That was the main reason for me, it’s not like the script wasn’t enticing, it was – I was interested in the character and exploring the dynamic between this man who may or may not be crazy and this woman who believes so much about passion and heat. I’m interested in telling a story of two such opposing views on love. Working with Bobby and being in New York City was something I couldn’t pass up.
Bobby Cannavale: Ditto – and not because I’m lazy (laughs). The most interest part of me the pilot of the storytelling was these two opposing camps and how they come together and how they forge this relationship that becomes like a friendship. It might become something else. I thought ‘that’s the most interesting way of telling a story.’ We are telling a different story every week with the different couples, the one kept coming back to is this Trevor-Claire relationship. I wouldn’t want anyone other than Sarah Paulson playing that part.
SheKnows: It’s a fascinating concept for these times. Having a show that’s exploring love on a week-to-week basis joining couples is such a unique idea. That’s something that struck you about the pilot? Week-to-week you have a new palate?
Bobby Cannavale: I think it’s brilliant. If you go to the source of this 100 couples thing with Trevor, the source is a crazy idea to begin with. Trevor went on trial by his other gods and was sentence to connecting 100 couples – that was really funny. It gives him active and high stakes, is a fun idea to me. That is if you go on the idea that Trevor is who he says he is and the idea he has to match up 100 couples.
SheKnows: Bobby is that a challenge to let that information about Trevor’s truth out a little bit at a time.
Bobby Cannavale: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think the writing obviously will do that and Rob (Thomas) does a great job of parsing out little bits. He’s really taking his time with that relationship. The different couples we match up each week will be as diverse as they can be so they give us a template to bounce ideas of off for Trevor and Claire to go through these adventures together.
SheKnows: For you Sarah, the more appealing aspects of Claire?
Sarah Paulson: It’s interesting that you ask that. I think the only way I could approach it actually – because I did think on the page Rob did a good job of making her flesh and blood – there is something to be said for the purpose my character serves. The conceit of the show can only survive if at the beginning you are setting up he is the free-wheeling, free-loving spirit and I’m not. The truth is, as the show goes on, I think you do see moments where Trevor does get to Claire and she does question what she believes. The only way I could do it was if she was a character who believes in love and believes in love at first sight and has fallen victim to it and has decided to take action in another way. She wants to help others cope in a new way too because the alternative can be painful.