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Elizabeth Olsen on 3-year process to get ‘Sorry For Your Loss’ to Facebook Watch



Sorry For Your Loss 2 Facebook Beck Media
“Sorry for Your


  • “Sorry for Your Loss” is the latest series to hit Facebook
    Watch, and one of its most acclaimed with Elizabeth Olsen in the
    lead as a grieving widow.
  • Olsen, who is also an executive producer on the show, talked
    to Business Insider about the three-year process to get it made
    and why going with Facebook was the right choice.


Tuesday marks a major leap for Facebook Watch as it debuts one of
its most high-profile TV series yet.

Starring Elizabeth Olsen, “Sorry for Your Loss” takes a look at one woman
dealing with grief after her husband’s shocking death. Also
starring Kelly Marie Tran (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) and
Mamoudou Athie (“Patti Cake$”), the 10-episode half-hour series
was able to get some incredible talent behind the camera as well
with James Ponsoldt (“The Circle”), Allison Anders (“Sex and the
City,” “The L Word”), Jamie Babbit (“But I’m a Cheerleader”), and
Azazel Jacobs (“Mozart in the Jungle”) all directing

But in many ways Olsen is the face of the project. Along with
playing the grieving widow, Leigh, she jumped on as an executive
producer after being given the script to the pilot three years
ago. She said she was involved in every facet of production, from
sitting in on the edits to going over to the composer’s house to
check in on the show’s score. 

“I am a micromanager, so it’s really hard for me to be so
involved with something for it not to be [completely] my own
creation, because it’s not,” due to its collaborative nature,
Olsen told Business Insider over the phone. “It was draining
because you’re exhausted being on set and then go home for the
weekend and give notes on past edits and future episodes. It was
really an intense amount of time.”

The work paid off, however. “Sorry for Your Loss” is as
well-crafted a show as anything the major networks put out, and
Olsen delivers a performance that is raw and at times shockingly
comedic that keeps you sucked in. 

It was toeing that line between drama and dark comedy that drew
Olsen in, as well as the challenge of being involved as a
producer for the first time in her career (on her first-ever
series). And she certainly learned a lot. 

Sorry For Your Loss Facebook Beck Media copy
Elizabeth Olsen in “Sorry
for Your Loss.”


Olsen was involved with the pitch of the show around Hollywood,
and was deep in the development process with the show’s creator,
playwright Kit Steinkellner, and Big Beach, the production
company behind it, when it was at Showtime for a brief period.

The big revelation Olsen found in the pitch process was how much
they had to explain the cycle of grief beyond just the story they
wanted to tell on the show. She said reading multiple times Joan
Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking,” an account of the year
following the death of the author’s husband, helped in making
executives understand what they wanted to do with the show.

“Sorry for Your Loss” finally found a home at Facebook Watch in
January, leading to a breakneck production with post wrapping
just a week and a half before it had its world premiere at the
Toronto International Film Festival.

Looking back, Olsen couldn’t be happier with the show being on
Facebook, she said. The social community aspect makes it easier
for people to instantly continue the conversation on topics
like grief and loss after watching episodes (though Olsen admits,
for her own good, she will not be reading the comments section).

And Olsen said she’s definitely caught the producing bug after
doing this.

In many ways she sees the business right now as “the Wild West,”
as she put it, because with streaming there are now so many
avenues to get content out. But she said it still comes down to
finding projects that have the right stories and great

But in regards to the nuts-and-bolts of being a producer, Olsen
said doing the show cemented the importance of being on set.

“This really was a learning process,” Olsen said. “Doing TV and
having rotating writers and directors, it was really nice to be
the most consistent person on the set. You really need a leader,
and that to me is the most important thing going forward.”

See “Sorry For Your Loss” episodes every
Tuesday at 6PM and 9PM ET.

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