Kiernan Shipka and Diane Kruger on How Real Hollywood Can Be Just as Brutal as Swimming With Sharks

The two actors also reflect on the show's original intended destination — Quibi

Kiernan Shipka Diane Kruger Interview

Kiernan Shipka has some unconventional advice for getting to know a new co-star — do drugs with them. Or pretend to do drugs with them, as she tells Consequence.

The Mad Men and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina alum stars with Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure) in Swimming With Sharks, a six-episode limited series that was originally produced to debut on the dearly departed streaming service Quibi. After Quibi shut down literally as the series was finishing up production, it (along with other Quibi series) was rescued by the Roku Channel for distribution.

Based on the acclaimed 1994 indie film about a young assistant dealing with a tyrannical Hollywood boss, creator Kathleen Robertson flipped the genders of the leads to introduce the character of Lou Simms (Shipka), an aspiring producer with dangerous amounts of drive, who sets her sights on working for Joyce Holt (Kruger), a brutal production executive who’s put up with a career’s worth of cancellable behavior from others. The two women form an intense bond that goes beyond boss and employee, even as that bond drags them to some dark places…

Robertson’s scripts push further than most Hollywood tell-alls into some seedy material, and some of the most disturbing moments may not be that exaggerated from real-life events. Speaking two-on-one with Consequence, transcribed and edited for clarity, Shipka and Kruger explain how they got to know each other while making the series, their feelings about the Quibi experiment, how authentic this series might really be, and if they see any chance of a sequel here.

I’d like to start off by asking about what your first meeting was like.

Diane Kruger: With each other or for the project?

Had you known each other, before doing this show?

Shipka: No, we hadn’t met. Our first real week of working together was that Malibu episode. And that was a really fun way to get to connect and jump off the deep end, if you will, together.

Kruger: You know, doing drugs together is just always a nice…

Shipka: It really does the thing! Honestly, would recommend doing a substance with someone that you would like to be more familiar with. And it does feel like you’re like on drugs when you’re shooting those scenes…

Kruger: A little bit, cause you’re like doing all the…

Shipka: Going through the motions. Yeah.

Just putting yourself in that space get gets you there to some degree?

Shipka: Yeah. Like if you’re playing drunk, you’re just a little…

Kruger: It’s true, you start to believe your own hype, I guess.

Swimming With Sharks (The Roku Channel)

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