WandaVision Director Matt Shakman Talks Classic TV, Working In The MCU, And More – Exclusive Interview – Looper


Hi, Matt. I have to start quickly by telling you that my son and I talked with Danny DeVito a couple of years ago for Dumbo, but we neglected to bring up the fact that my adult children, when they were teens, actually named our chinchilla "Frank." So thank you to you guys for having such an influence on us.

[Laughs] That's great. I'm glad, I've seen people honor It's Always Sunnyin more permanent ways. Lots of Frank tattoos, Charlie tattoos. I think the chinchilla is a safer option.

There you go. Well, obviously you were a big part of creating It's Always Sunny, you directed an episode of The Boys for some superhero credibility, you did Game of Thrones, you did Mad Men. You got comedy, drama and action experience, so it seems to me that this is the perfect project to bring all of those sensibilities together and not only that, those opportunities don't come about that often, do they?

It's true. As a director, it really feels like, "Oh, wow, this is amazing. I get to actually use every tool in my toolkit." And it's more than that because I was a child actor as well on sitcoms, so this show feels like it's drawing from my personal history. All of the things I do professionally, it's the job of a lifetime, it's never happened before, and I'm sure it will never happen again.

And I was going to bring that up, because obviously with WandaVision we're going back to the '50s, '60s and '70s with the sitcoms, at least so far what I've seen, but obviously, being that you're a child of the '80s sitcom era, having roles in series like Diff'rent Strokes, obviously those are classics too. I think you probably realize, coming from the perspective of an actor and a director, that these sitcoms have a tone that you have to nail, and you guys nailed the tone here.

Oh, thank you. Yeah, no, we were very specific about it. Obviously, we were trying to match the style and the way it was shot, the way it looked, the feeling, lenses, lighting, and all that. But tone is really the most important thing. Acting styles change. What's funny changes, pace changes, so we did a deep dive into the history of sitcoms. We had a nice, long sitcom bootcamp at the beginning with the actors. We looked at lots of episodes. We tried on different tones and styles and we worked with dialect coaches on how people sounded and how they moved, and then you put those amazing actors in those beautiful period environments in period clothing, and it kind of comes to life. It's really amazing.

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WandaVision Director Matt Shakman Talks Classic TV, Working In The MCU, And More - Exclusive Interview - Looper

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