RADAR Kindred spirits, the Anne ofGreenGables remake is here; a truly life-affirming cat doc; soul singer Valerie June drops by; a conversation with the furniture designer making us want to toss everything we own and buy everything she makes; getting tea
The two women behind the new Anne of Green Gables miniseries on how they’re really better together.
it’s a few days after the production of CBC-TV’s new Anne of Green Gables adaptation wrapped and a few weeks before the series goes out to the more than 190 countries who’ll be watching it via Netflix, but showrunner/writer Moira Walley-Beckett and executive producer Miranda de Pencier haven’t quite made it off the show’s Toronto set. In fact, our chat with the duo takes place at Matthew and Marilla’s farmhouse in front of the kitchen h
table and a stairway that onscreen leads up to Canada’s most beloved orphan’s bedroom. This adaptation of L. M. Montgomery’s classic story is the fruit of Walley-Beckett and de Pencier’s shared labour, so, naturally, we had to get the secret to their successful partnership, starting with their dynamic.... Moira Walley-Beckett “I’m a nightmare!” Miranda de Pencier “Moira is a Scotch-drinking, ball-busting, demanding showrunner—and that makes it way easier to do my job. We’re very collaborative, but Moira has a very clear vision of what she wants, and when you have that, it means I can relax a little. It’s also exhausting because she’s relentless and won’t stop. Like she’ll call me at two in the morning—” MWB “I’ve never called at two in the morning!” MDP “Okay, midnight or six in the morning. She’ll say ‘Hey, I think we can do better with this scene’ or ‘How about this costume?’ or ‘How about that one character?’ It’s always living in her. When you’re working with Moira, you don’t get weekends.” MWB “I don’t get them. I have a policy: I don’t ask people to do anything that I won’t do.” MDP “And the truth is, I’m the same way. I am super-demanding.” MWB “You are. And invested.” MDP “I’m super-invested, and I want it to be excellent. We’re similar in that way.” MWB “We have super-high standards.” MDP “We don’t stop until it’s the best it can be. We care deeply. That’s what has kept us such a strong partnership: In the end, we share a passion for the work.” MWB “No matter how wrecked or exhausted I am, when I step onto the set, it’s awesome.” MDP “Television is not for the faint of heart. We are not surgeons saving lives; we are making a television series. But within that, there are so many parts—it’s a train, and once it’s rolling, you cannot stop it.” MWB “It’s just the nature of the biz. And then you get to be on-set and you’re watching a scene where Anne and Marilla are having a conversation and something really beautiful and simple is happening and you just go ‘That’s why we’re here.’”
Moira Walley-Beckett and Miranda de Pencier with their Anne, Amybeth McNulty