Script to Scene: ‘Girls5Eva’ Creator Breaks Down Creating a Character’s Not-So-Glamorous Lifestyle

Script to Scene: ‘Girls5Eva’ Creator Breaks Down Creating a Character’s Not-So-Glamorous Lifestyle

In this scene from Peacock’s Girls5eva pilot, Renée Elise Goldsberry’s Wickie reveals that she isn’t living the luxurious lifestyle that her former bandmates (including Sara Bareilles’ Dawn) see on her Instagram. “Wickie has been posturing all of these years that she’s this big shot,” explains creator and showrunner Meredith Scardino. When Girls5eva is invited to perform on The Tonight Show with rapper Lil Stinker, whose latest track samples one of their late ’90s pop hits, Wickie thinks it’s her second chance at superstardom. “She thinks Fallon will be the open door that brings her back to the place where she believes she should be.”

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Scardino brainstormed various jobs for Wickie that would allow her to fake her international jet-set lifestyle. “I thought maybe she could be a flight attendant or work on a yacht, somewhere deep below deck — all in service of having her in luxurious places,” Scardino explains.
“I knew very early on that Wickie would be faking her lifestyle. It’s easy to do that nowadays with social media, and it felt like the right thing for the character,” Scardino says. Before deciding that Wickie would work at the airport, Scardino imagined another comic moment to expose Wickie’s duplicitous Instagram presence: “I originally had Wickie in a very opulent bathroom, wearing a towel and lingerie, looking like a Kardashian. And then a hotel employee burst into what turned out to be the lobby bathroom and is like, ‘You can’t be in here anymore!’ “

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Sully Sullenberger put geese on the map,” Scardino says with a laugh. She admits she knew this job existed; airport employees use many tactics to scare away geese — which can be dangerous obstacles for a departing plane — including dogs, sound machines and, yes, the occasional firearm. “We shot at a little airport in New York, and there was a guy with a shotgun on the runway,” she says. “I doubt he’s getting paid by the goose.”

“Wickie believed she was the Beyoncé of the group and always looked at the rest as dead weight,” Scardino says of Goldsberry’s character, who is trying her hardest to perform for social media the life she believes she deserves. “She’s claimed that her real passion was being this international mogul, when in truth it’s always been music. She’s not Beyoncé, or Mariah Carey or Lady Gaga, so she’s frustrated. This is really the moment when her cool veneer melts away.”

Scardino says that lines of dialogue often would evolve on set. “The line was scripted as, ‘Because of the voice that comes out of my mouth,’ ” she reveals. “On the day we shot this, we moved it forward so that Renée started singing on ‘voice,’ which felt a little more unexpected.” Scardino also found room to improvise on set: “I had our AD go bang on the wall like you’re the neighbor in the next room and yell, ‘Shut up!!!’ “

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COURTESY OF PEACOCK

“I want to give a shout-out to Tina Nigro, who designed the most beautiful costume that works both as the Dalai Lama’s robe and a hot dog costume,” Scardino says, the perfect example of Girls5eva‘s absurdist humor. “We had a lot of meetings about it. ‘It this too much like a hot dog? Because it needs to walk the line between a buyable Dalai Lama and a guy who just stands outside advertising a hot dog shop.’ This show was a tightrope walk of weirdness.”

Girls5eva Script

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