How Julia will rekindle your passion for cooking and your interest in childhood

When you tune in to HBO Max’s new comedy Julia, make sure you have enough eggs and butter on hand. The series, which follows Julia Child’s journey from Boston retiree to beloved TV cooking pioneer, will have you craving a French omelet by the end of the first three episodes.

the Master the art of French cuisine the author brought traditional French specialties to the masses with his first cookbook in the 1960s, then with his public television series The French cook. In Julia, the dishes are lovingly staged by food stylist Christine Tobin. But the most impressive screen translation is Julia Child herself, played by happy valley Star Sarah Lancashire.

Rotten Tomatoes explained to the cast of the series, as well as showrunners Chris Keyser and Daniel Goldfarb, why their historical comedy is so delicious. Read on for five things to know about Julia.

1. Sarah Lancashire makes an amazing transformation.

(Photo by Seacia Pavao/HBO Max)

There’s a lot of Julia Child footage out there, which is how Lancashire began her search for the role. The actress told reporters during a virtual Television Critics Association press panel in 2022 that she dug deep into the chef’s archives. “But it’s not a test. She is a joy to watch,” admitted Lancashire. “You kind of want to be around her, and yes, she makes you feel better about the world. She is toned.

Her castmates, including Francois Kranzwho plays producer Russ, and Brittany Bradford, who plays producer Alice (a fictional amalgamation of several different real-life people), said watching the actress transform into Julia Child in front of them was nothing short of magical; in fact, Kranz said, “I saw her more like Julia than Sarah, so I would meet her in the elevator and I was shocked by, Who is this person?

2. It will make you hungry.

(Photo by Seacia Pavao/HBO Max)

Amazingly twisted food has always been a central facet of the show, executive producer Goldfarb said. “It was always part of the show that there would be beautiful, tantalizing, sensual and delicious food wherever we could show it, and not just when it’s on the set of The French cook cook and teach.

The on-screen delicacies were created by food stylist Tobin, who has served tables in French restaurants for decades, but “my skills were never really in French cooking,” she said. at Rotten Tomatoes. “I find it as intimidating as anyone else. But to really sit down and give the book, its recipes and its words the respect it deserves, and really understand the magnitude of it, really calmed me down.

Every bite of food on the show was not only completely edible, but served at the perfect temperature, the cast confirmed. In fact, while many movie sets use a bucket for actors to spit food out after each take, the cast of Julia rarely made use of one. David Hyde Pierce, who plays Child’s loving husband Paul, said that during a scene set in a Chinese restaurant, he ate more than a meal’s worth. “I found out I had eaten 60 dumplings by the time we finished shooting the scene, which I didn’t know at the time. I’m not sick of the food, but it can kill me “, he joked.

Tobin had her own prop kitchen on set where she sometimes made 20 versions of a cake or burger, all edible. A communal fridge housed leftovers to take home, and she even modified recipes to suit cast or crew members’ dietary restrictions. Some actors had their favorites, however; Baby Neuwirthwho plays Child’s best friend, Avis DeVoto, said, “It’s a good day when they make a chocolate soufflé on set, because everything smells like chocolate.”

3. It also tackles big problems.

(Photo by Seacia Pavao/HBO Max)

Sure, it’s a show about one woman in particular – but it’s also about the rise of modern television, and about racism and sexism in the 1960s, and about the prototypical ideal of femininity, and feminism, and the sophistication of the American palate. You know, little things.

“It’s a really fascinating time in American history,” Goldfarb explained, “and we felt like we could use Julia to explore so many cultural shifts going on. [and] show a mirror of the society we live in today.

But it’s not like Child is a paradigm of political correctness. In one episode, Keyser noted, Child has dinner with his best friend James Beard, who later comes out as gay, and then returns home and has a chat with her husband about the “fairies of San Francisco”.

There was always a contradiction: “Part of what makes Julia such an exciting character to dramatize is all the contradictions,” Goldfarb said, “on the one hand she was really forward-thinking, and on the other in a way, a feminist icon in terms of what she did and how she did it out of sheer force of will, but she did it playing a 1950s housewife standing behind a kitchen, cooking meals for his family. All of these contradictions are part of what makes her a truly interesting, complicated, and exciting person.

4. Julia Child is still loved in Boston.

(Photo by Seacia Pavao/HBO Max)

Boston was Child’s home. “She loved Boston, and Boston loved her,” Keyser said.

Proof of Child’s continued popularity there: the production wanted to film a scene on Boston Common, a location for which filming permits are notoriously difficult to obtain. But as soon as the directors found out the requested show was about Julia Child – “They said, ‘What’s going on? And we’re like, ‘Julia Child is having some ice cream,’” Goldfarb said – they immediately granted permission. “’The Common is yours. Use it for as long as you want!”

Fiona Glascottwho plays Judith Jones, cookbook editor for Child, said: “Every person I met said, ‘Oh, I knew her,’ or ‘She used to bring her meat here.’ or “My father was his friend” or someone was his butcher. It’s extraordinary.”

5. You – or someone you love – will definitely be inspired in the kitchen.

(Photo by Seacia Pavao/HBO Max)

In the first episode, Child makes an omelet on a griddle while appearing on a book talk show. Later episodes will see her do some of her most famous episodes, including Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin, and many more.

Although Tobin has professional cooking experience, she encourages viewers to pick up a copy of Master the art of French cuisine and try some of Child’s recipes: “Everyone at home should make the recipe from their cookbook, because they are really simple recipes.”

While some of the show’s stars just don’t have the culinary touch – Glascott burned their attempt at beef bourguignon – others were inspired by Child. Neuwirth’s husband has tried a few French recipes, although the actress hasn’t.

Bradford also started (and failed) with beef bourguignon during quarantine. “It wasn’t for me either,” she said, “but I had to make a lot of French omelettes in one of the last episodes. So [now] I make a lot of omelets. The omelettes are very big now at my place.


Julia: Season 1
new episodes are launched every Thursday on HBO Max.

Episode 1 is now available to stream for free on YouTube.

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