Rose Byrne is getting Physical. Apple TV+ revealed a first look at the actress in her new series during their Television Critics Association winter press tour on Friday.
Byrne stars in the dramedy as Sheila Rubin, a quietly tortured, seemingly dutiful housewife supporting her smart but controversial husband’s bid for state assembly. But behind closed doors, Sheila has her own darkly funny take on life she rarely lets the world see. She’s also battling a complex set of personal demons relating to her self-image…. that is, until she finds release through the unlikeliest source: the world of aerobics.
At first hooked on the exercise itself, Sheila’s real road to empowerment comes when she discovers a way to merge this newfound passion with the burgeoning technology of videotape to start a revolutionary business. The series tracks her epic journey from a stifled, overlooked enabler to a powerful, confident economic force, as Sheila transforms into someone we take for granted today (but was entirely radical at the time) -- the female lifestyle guru.
While Byrne has never followed any lifestyle gurus herself (“I’m Australian so I think we have a healthy skepticism [of people like that].”), she told journalists she can see why women were so attracted to aerobics at the time. “It’s so addictive and so empowering.”
The actress added that “Physical felt like such a great companion piece” to her work on FX on Hulu’s Mrs. America. “This is really following a feminist at that time,” she said, while clarifying “it was still a challenging time for women to find that independence.”
“A lot of what we’re exploring in the show is the divide between the external and internal for so many women,” creator Annie Weisman later said of the series, adding, “No matter how polished the external there’s so much turmoil underneath the surface… That’s a lot of what we’re exploring in the show, is that divide.”
The 10-episode series is set in 1980s San Diego and gives off big '80s vibes -- so naturally Byrne rocks big '80s hair.In addition to Byrne, it also stars Rory Scovel, Dierdre Friel, Della Saba, Lou Taylor Pucci, Paul Sparks and Ashley Liao.