Steve Carell, who shouldn’t be Jewish, performs Jewish therapist within the FX sequence The Patient, and the present’s creators shared the story behind the casting.

This month, the psychological thriller sequence The Patient will premiere on FX on Hulu. The restricted sequence stars The Office favourite Steve Carell in a way more severe function as a therapist who’s held captive by a harmful serial killer (Domhnall Gleeson) who got here to him searching for assist for psychiatric points. Unlike Carell in actual life, his character, Alexander Strauss, additionally simply so occurs to be Jewish.

In an period with increased scrutiny over representation relating to casting selections, there was some criticism over casting non-Jewish actors in Jewish roles. Perhaps in anticipation of potential flak over Carell’s casting as a Jewish character in The Patient, the present’s creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg addressed the casting in a brand new interview with Variety. Weisberg defined that the character wasn’t initially written as Jewish, however as he and Fields each come from Jewish backgrounds, that aspect ultimately made its approach into the script.


“When we got here up with the unique concept, the character wasn’t initially Jewish. And then you definately begin, as you at all times do, on the lookout for methods so as to add specificity and depth. And we got here up with that concept fairly rapidly. But it allowed us to faucet into issues from our personal lives … [it] added simply sure dimensions and it turned actually much more enjoyable to put in writing in a sure approach after that. I’d say that was primary.”

As far as placing Carell within the function, it was defined that the actor’s real-life background was not necessary to them from a casting standpoint.

“And casting Steve, who shouldn’t be Jewish, I believe our feeling has at all times been, as tv writers, that we’re type of in an space the place persons are pretending to be different individuals. That’s what everybody does on a regular basis. And that’s simply our principal outlook on it. But we perceive some individuals really feel in another way about it and that’s additionally effective, too. But that’s the place we have been coming from.”

Related: Steve Carell: His Best Dramatic Roles, Ranked

Steve Carell Is “Brilliant” within the Role

As somebody who was additionally born to a Jewish household, Fields agreed with Weisberg. They each have been ready to attract upon their actual lives for inspiration with the Jewish parts of The Patient, and that facet of the story was not particular to the actor who’d be chosen for the function. According to Fields, Carell had been forged within the function as a result of they knew he’d be “brilliant” in the part, and their hope is that viewers might be extra centered on the actors’ performances.

“The Jewish themes are very personal and important to each of us. My dad was a rabbi, so I grew up in that world. Joe grew up with a Jewish family, as well. So we were able to tap into something very personal for us. And, ultimately, I think a big part of our belief as storytellers is that what we’re doing is trying to amplify our common humanity. And that’s something Steve does brilliantly in this part and Domhnall does brilliantly in his part. And we hope that’s ultimately what people take away from the specifics that are in the show.”

The Patient is ready to premiere its first two episodes on Aug. 30 on FX on Hulu.

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