A billionairess loses her dignity but finds herself in Apple's 'Loot'
Molly Novak is a woman in a downward spiral.
As played by Maya Rudolph ("Saturday Night Live," "Bridesmaids") in the Apple TV+ comedy "Loot," which drops the first three of its 10 episodes Friday, June 24, she's a spoiled billionairess living a life of excess, complete with a private jet, an enormous yacht and a sprawling mansion in Bel Air that has its own nightclub, bowling alley and movie theater. She's so rich that she has David Chang as her personal chef.
But when she's betrayed by her husband of 20 years, she goes on a drug- and alcohol-fueled bender and winds up falling in the pool at a swank party, a scene that winds up going viral.
She's publicly humiliated and at rock bottom, but at the same time there's also hope. Molly learns she has a charity foundation run by the no-nonsense Sofia (Michael Jae Rodriguez), who pleads with her to stop generating bad press.
So she cleans up her act and gets down to work, helped by her loyal assistant Nicholas (Plainfield native Joel Kim Booster), mild-mannered accountant Arthur (Nat Faxon) and her pop-culture-loving cousin Howard (Ron Funches). Soon, she finds purpose in her life as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
The series is the brainchild of Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, who had previously worked with Rudolph on the 2018 Prime Video comedy "Forever" and wanted to create a vehicle that takes advantage of her versatility.
"She can kind of do it all," Hubbard explains. "She has extraordinary range. She's obviously one of the funniest people alive -- you can see her stint on 'SNL' as proof of that. But she's also one of the rare comedic actors who can really execute subtle dramatic moments and convey so much emotion with her facial acting.
"And that allowed us to at some point take huge comedic swings and write big set pieces for her," he continues. "And, at the same time, she can turn around and do dramatic scenes with anyone else in the cast."
One of the funniest scenes comes in an early episode when Molly appears on the YouTube foodie show "Hot Wings" and dines on the scorching comestibles with the show's host, Sean Evans. Soon, her mouth is on fire and she's swearing like a trooper, demanding beer to put out the flames. And as she keeps eating, she gets drunker and more profane. On camera.
So much for not making a spectacle of herself.
"We really wanted a public meltdown for her, so we had a lot of different talk shows in mind," Yang explains. "And we talked it over with Maya and she's like, 'Well, there's a performance piece I could do.' ... So we were really excited about having her do that with Sean. And Sean was really cool to play ball with us as well."