Patricia Arquette, Matt Dillon, Bernadette Peters and Brad Garrett star in Jay Roach’s comedy High Desert

“Peggy is a badass and a survivor. She’s Bugs Bunny and Martin Scorsese. These contradictions are so enjoyable to me. Peggy just believes she can be a private eye, an ex-drug addict and punk rockers,” Roach said. “She meets a deliberately figurative private eye in Bruce who is almost a throwback but also someone who, in their own reality, no one can force them to leave.”

high desert Created by three female writers and producers – longtime collaborators Nancy Fichman and Jennifer Hoppe (jackie nurse, penalty for damages), and Katie Ford (Miss beauty pageant) – It draws on family characters with eccentric energies and a history of addiction issues. Influenced by her late sister Alexis, Arquette added more ideas, so Peggy was in focus but never easily defined. The character has moments of optimism, but viewed from another angle, they can easily evoke dangerous self-deception.

“We all have addiction issues, and we’re all addicted to certain assumptions and delusions about the state of the world,” Roach said. “We condemn people with chemical addictions for just getting lost, but the show is about looking beyond that and seeing how rich a person’s humanity is and how they deserve second and third choices. Working with these women, I’ve been lucky enough to see what they and their loved ones are going through.”

Bernadette Peters in the high desert.

Bernadette Peters in the high desert.Credit: Apple TV+

Roach, who has been married to Bracelet frontwoman Suzanne Hoffs since 1993, grew up in the suburbs of Albuquerque, New Mexico, a city surrounded by desert.He feels right about the environment high desertwhich positions Yucca Valley as a place where people can simply reinvent themselves or avoid unpleasant truths about themselves.

“Its beauty was so overwhelming, but so was the danger. It was so sparsely populated that it became a strange reality,” Roach said. “It’s the perfect environment for Peggy because she’s always out of place but seems to force everyone around her to adapt to her reality and deal with her dysfunction. But she also loves people and craves inspiration and challenge. “

The terse plot is forever changing tone, so everyday conversation can veer to the absurd, or witty mood can give way to menace without letting the smile fade away. The story is filled with crimes big and small, the latter sparked by a newscaster-turned-shady self-help expert named Master Bob (Rupert Friend).There are traces of Elmore Leonard’s classic crime novels, Coen Brothers films, and recent metamorphosis TV series like russian doll.

Brad Garrett plays failed private eye Bruce Harvey, whom Peggy (Patricia Arquette) believes will make a good detective.

Brad Garrett plays failed private eye Bruce Harvey, whom Peggy (Patricia Arquette) believes will make a good detective.Credit: Apple TV+

“It takes a lot of effort to capture authenticity, because viewers typically expect a show to be narrowed down to a part of the human experience,” Roach said. “The key to tone is casting: if you have actors who can play a character, then their personal reality It can be so complex that it piques your interest… Casting can win the audience’s permission to show the breadth of the human experience.

“I want to pick out people who can have a good time. Sometimes it’s an anxiety dream, but other times you can cope by laughing,” he added. “These are people who try to distance themselves from other people, but they end up building a whole different community.”

Roach and writer Danny Strong (empire), who collaborated narrative and game changerAnother political film is being considered for HBO, centered on the denial of the US election, but for now the director is more than happy to be keen on high desert and its heroine.


“I thought I’d follow Patricia to anything,” Roach said. “It’s her thing, and I try to make it a place where Patricia is surrounded by cast and crew who can take inspiration from her.”

high desert on Apple TV+.

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