Ella was photographed by Maarten de Boer at the Starz Network’s Sweetbitter during the 2018 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 12, 2018 in Pasadena.
The star and creators of Starz’ new half-hour drama series Sweetbitter came to TCA today, where they took some uncharacteristically tough questions. The series is based on Stephanie Danler’s national best-selling novel of the same name about 22-year-old Tess who, shortly after arriving in New York City in 2006, lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant, where she’s introduced to drugs, alcohol, love, lust, dive bars, and fine dining.
TV critics, however, had #MeToo on their minds. It’s a show about “strong women,” insisted book author and series EP Stephanie Danler.
TV critics weren’t necessarily buying it, some seeming to think it played more like a Harvey Weinstein dream, and said so, in so many words.
It’s about who Tess will become, turning from an inarticulate young woman into a strong woman who does not apologize, who knows how to say ‘no’ and is self-possessed, Danler insisted.
“Sex is a part of life, as is food,” chimed in actress Ella Purnell, who plays Tess.
The first season takes place across just two weeks as Tess goes through waitress training and getting to know her co workers, Danler said.
We see her doing a lot more than “getting to know” them, snickered a TV critic.
There is a lot of kissing, acknowledged Purnell.
They’re doing a lot more than kissing, one reporter snarked, noting he’s French.
The conversation starting to resemble too closely a Groucho Marx routine, Sweetbitter EP Stu Zicherman stepped in to explain that the series is about “complete sensory awakening.” Danler, meanwhile, described the series, visually, as a “sensory assault.”
One critic wondered whether the series was out of step with our #MeToo age. Danler did not think that takes any of the fun out of the series, adding, “I don’t think sexual harassment in the workplace is fun.” The current conversation about workplace sexual harassment has not changed “the way we are telling our story,” she said, when asked.
Zicherman said he did not want everything that’s going on in our culture to “squash what’s beautiful about romance,” pulling out that statistic about 50% of relationships beginning in the workplace.
Sweetbitter Premiere is set for May 6th 2018.
After the fairly crazy few days that come with being romantically linked to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Ella Purnell is back to the day job like nothing ever happened. The British actress was thrown into the spotlight last week after it was reported that she was secretly dating Brad Pitt. But, after a rep for the A-list actor has now insisted that the pair are definitely not dating, 21-year-old Ella was seen working as normal on her new series Sweetbitter on Thursday in NYC.
Following InTouch’s claims last week that Ella and Brad were an item, a source apparently close to Brad has since confirmed to The Sun: ‘Brad Pitt is absolutely not dating – or in a relationship – with Ella Purnell.’ Well that couldn’t be much clearer. The young British actress looked stylish and casual in a denim jacket as she filmed scenes for the show, which is to be produced by Plan B, Brad’s production company. Upcoming Sweetbitter sees Ella taking the lead role in the drama series adaptation of Stephanie Danler’s best-selling 2016 book, which follows 22-year-old Tess who, shortly after arriving in New York, lands a job at a celebrated restaurant and swiftly falls into a world of drugs, alcohol, lust and chaos.
We have added x photos of Ella on set, to the gallery…
British actress Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) is set for the lead role of Tess in Starz’s half-hour drama Sweetbitter, based on Stephanie Danler’s best-selling 2016 book. In addition, Emmy winning writer/director Richard Shepard (Girls) has joined as executive producer and will direct the series premiere episode.
Sweetbitter follows 22-year-old Tess (Purnell) who, shortly after arriving in New York City, lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant. Swiftly introduced to the world of drugs, alcohol, love, lust, dive bars, and fine dining, she learns to navigate the chaotically alluring, yet punishing life she has stumbled upon. This is the story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the rich and grimy backdrop of exclusive restaurants, conjuring a nonstop and high-adrenaline world evoking the possibility, beauty, and fragility of being young and adrift.
“Ella’s portfolio of work and the array of her characters and performances in her young career are truly remarkable. We are excited for fans of the book and audiences to meet Tess,” said Starz President of Programming Carmi Zlotnik. “We are also excited by Richard’s vision to bring the book’s richly written sensory experiences from the page to the screen.”
Sweetbitter is Purnell’s first major television role. Her film work includes the role of Emma in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Other credits include Never Let Me Go, Kick-Ass 2 and Maleficent.
Danler, who wrote the pilot script, and Stu Zicherman (The Americans, The Affair) executive producer along with Plan B Entertainment and Shepard. Donna Bloom will serve as producer on the six-episode freshman season. Laura Rosenthal is leading the ongoing casting search.