Gloria Calderón Kellett has made herself known as the executive producer, co-creator, co-showrunner, director, and actor on the critically acclaimed reboot of “One Day at a Time.” The Emmy-nominee sat down on a recent Zoom webinar to speak with Backstage about what actors should be doing right now, and how she anticipates a post-COVID-19 production world may look like.
Kellett says the environmental impact of the current and post-coronavirus world will be huge. Before quarantine, she says she used to get ready for an hour, drive an hour out to attend meetings, and then drive an hour back home. Now, with everything on Zoom, she says she only has to spend an hour on what would typically take over three hours. “I don’t think we’re going to do business in the same way. I think this is going to impact how things shift,” she says. “I think that it would be a huge mistake for this to end and for us to be the same that we were before. This is an opportunity for personal growth and for moments of reflection on gratitude…to look at society, to look at what types of storytellers and artists we want to be, what impact we want to have.”
She says she wishes someone would develop a plan to return to work in a safe manner that doesn’t put her crew or cast in jeopardy but hasn’t yet. The minimum amount of people it takes to make her show is 65, so without the means for rapid testing, even a show now produced by Pop TV can’t make it work right now.
“This will return to normal. We will get to all go back to work. I think it’s going to be a moment. So what do we do with that moment? How do we maximize the time that we have in quarantine so that we can leave this evolved in some way?” Kellett poses.
Currently, the multi-hyphenate is working on four different projects in partnerships, which she says means she’s accountable to someone else but is also grateful to have that camaraderie every day. “That’s the beauty with writing, is that you can take a reprieve and jump into the world of these characters and give your mind and soul a break,” she says.
“One Day at a Time” has been airing during quarantine, which Kellett says has been a breath of fresh air. Instead of the entire season dropping at once as it did while on Netflix, it now airs one episode every Tuesday on Pop, so she and the cast and crew are able to watch together, live-tweet, and answer audience questions. “We get to engage which the fans, and that’s really nice. That lets me know, ‘Oh, it’s Tuesday!’—otherwise I don’t know what day of the week it is.”
While they were only able to shoot about half the season before the pandemic hit, Kellett says the team is hopeful to shoot the rest of the season once things are back up and running.
For more from Kellett, watch her full Zoom webinar session below, and keep tabs on who’s coming up on The Slate with our list of programming right here!
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