According to Jordan Weiss, the completely charming, adorable 26-year-old creator of Hulu’s new show Dollface, her creation “breakup toast” – the delicious food the two of us sat over, that Weiss made for me – consists of four ingredients: Toast, butter, honey and salt. The salt is meant to signify the “bittersweet” part of breakups; a theme her new show is all about.
“Food and heartbreak are two very important things to me. They’re two topics that I am well-versed in. If I am up all night writing an episode, give me Taco Bell to feed a small country. But if I am truly heartbroken I have no appetite…something that has happened to my friends.”
Breakup toast is a winner when it comes to getting heartbroken female friends to eat, but more importantly it signifies females being there for one another and those relationships being just as important as romantic ones; a theme that is central to the new series.
Like all great stories, Dollface is a very personal one for Weiss, who – in her early 20’s – wrote the script as a writing sample fresh out of USC, working as a comedy assistant. She never expected the script to be shared. It was when a friend of hers was working as a producer on I Tonya, the “sample” got into the hands of Margot Robbie (Robbie’s company LuckyChap Entertainment produced the show), and Weiss unknowingly had a new series on her hands.
“I was more than shocked, and was like ‘where are the hidden cameras?'” Weiss said about getting the call from Robbie and her team.
“That call was in a bathroom stall because I was working in an assistant job and didn’t like taking personal phone calls in front of my boss. I’m pretty sure my first call with Margot and her team there was a toilet flush in the background.”
During our meeting, Weiss immediately commented on our sister relationship at The New Potato; “I don’t have a sister and I feel like that defines my entire life, seeking a sister in my girlfriends. If you’re not born with that partner in crime you have to go out in the world and find your own.”
The statement is very much tied to the show, where a young woman Jules (played by Kate Dennings) is dumped by her longtime boyfriend and must re-enter the world of women and rekindle the friendships she left behind. Dennings stars alongside Shay Mitchell and Brenda Song, and the core of this show truly is female relationships:
“The show really focuses on the girls’ relationships with each other. So any topic we cover is going to be presented in the show through the lens of these girls and their friendship with each other.” Weiss said.
Both the people behind and in front of the camera also reflects that female world, something Weiss takes pride in (and should):
“I’m really proud of how many women star in the show, produce the show, write the show, direct the show. The first eight names on our call sheet are women. We have an almost entirely female writer’s room. Even down to the small characters. I alway notice on TV if you see someone playing a bit part; a police office or a lawyer or a paramedic or a judge that has one or two lines in an episode, I feel like those are often men. I tried to make a conscious effort to make all of those small characters women. I wanted it to permeate the world: This is a a character existing in the world of women.”
When I asked her if this was solely a woman’s show, Weiss replied “One of the most fun parts of the screenings that we’ve done so far is how many men will come up to me after and say ‘I don’t know if this was for me, but I really relate to it. Audience wise I think it’s for everybody.”
One of the best parts about my breakup toast date with Weiss, was that it very much reflected those lunches with your girlfriends. We found it hard to stay on the topic of the interview, bonding over things like a love for Christopher Guest (and the bumble bee scene in Best in Show), or when I accidentally put an ex-boyfriend’s name as my status on Facebook in college.
“Oh I have 100% done that!” Weiss exclaimed.
I was grateful for the camaraderie.
When I began to move on to the next question, Weiss wanted more details;
“Ok so did you immediately delete it?”
I told her it took me about seven minutes to realize what I had done.
Weiss nodded, “Yes, and you always know the amount of minutes too. It’s a scarring thing.”
We both continued to eat our toast which, hot or cold, was completely delicious and definitely helped the sting of that memory. All in all, Weiss is definitely on to something, both in toast and in TV.
Dollface is now streaming on Hulu