When Dory, a life-long pushover eager for a change, learns her college acquaintance Chantal Witherbottom has gone missing, she decides to roll up her sleeves and solve the mystery of a lifetime. Trading mimosas for magnifying glasses, this team of would-be crime solvers are soon deep into a perilous plot far beyond their usual cozy Brooklyn lifestyle. But when you become obsessed with the disappearance of someone you barely knew, what else can you expect?
We caught up with some of the cast at the show’s New York City premiere, and can’t wait to delve deeper into the mystery of what happened to Chantal. Read our exclusive interviews below, and stream the entire series of Search Party now!
Alia Shawkat as Dory Stewart
How does Search Party fit into the pantheon of millennial-focused TV shows that are currently on the air—specifically shows that take place in New York City like Broad City and Girls?
Well, when you describe it in writing, it does sound very similar, but it has a very different tone. I love Broad City, and I really respect Girls, but both of those shows have more of a clean take on people and they’re telling a more consistent story. I think Search Party is more of a study on people—how they’re affected and evolve when something bigger than themselves happens. The characters change every episode, and they’re searching for themselves while they’re trying to find this their missing friend. So it’s commenting on millennials, but with the tone of, “What would you do if this shit happened you?” Things get increasingly intense throughout the season.
How would you describe what genre the show fits into? It seems like it’s offering a little bit for everyone—the procedural crime drama enthusiast, the comedy lover, etc.
I like to say it’s a hipster Columbo—so the wrong person is definitely trying to solve the mystery. Even though there’s a lot of character study and great character development, the mystery is a really strong element too. So much of the show is a commentary on how often we put value into things that don’t necessarily deserve it. Just because we put value into something doesn’t mean it’s inherently valuable.
How has it been working with this cast? It seems like you guys built a rapport very quickly on set.
Yeah! It’s always a surprise and a crap-shoot when you first start a new show. The creators, Charles and Sarah, are some of my best friends now. They naturally picked people that would get along, and we’ve all had the best time doing the show. We’ve all become genuine friends!
John Reynolds as Drew Gardner
Tell us a little about your character. Within the first episode we see that he tries to do the “right” thing but fails miserably.
That’s pretty much it. He tries to hold things together and he tries to do well, I suppose, and do good. He’s just naive and says the wrong things a lot of the time. He’s kind of just figuring it out as he goes, so that gets him into trouble. He’s not a very good listener.
What initially drew you to the project?
Well I’m a fan of [Executive Producer] Michael Showalter’s for sure, and I also knew John Early and am a huge fan of his! It was just such a good, funny group of people. I’m really lucky, I think I was a later edition. I don’t know if any of them really knew me. I was doing comedy in Chicago, and then I moved to New York recently. I think I lucked out by having a good audition! I sure am lucky. They’re so funny and definitely embody a different type of sensibility than I’d usually go for.
What are you currently binging?
John Early as Elliott Goss
Tell us about Elliott!
He’s very much a self made man. He’s a true opportunist. He’s a multi-hyphenate to a really cartoonish degree. I don’t even think he knows what he does! He doesn’t need to know because he clearly has money. He does some really despicable things, but at the end of the day I do think he has a really strong core philosophy. He’s a realist; he understands that in life you have to play dirty. He doesn’t have his head in the clouds like the other characters. The other characters I think are really searching for something that’s unattainable and they’re all trying to have this authentic journey to find this girl and maybe they’ll learn something about themselves. He’s just kind of along for the ride and he’s like you guys look like idiots. I do kind of admire him even though he does some bad stuff, I do admire him. I do think he’s a good friend.
What can we expect from him this season. Do you feel like he’s going to be going on a journey along with everybody else?
He goes on a crazy journey! It’s really cool that I had no idea what they were going to do with this character. I was so excited to just be the comedic relief because that’s a fun job. He goes to a crazy place and his life gets torn apart. A big thing happens to him and you see him for the first time kind of vulnerable and helpless. After that he’s just commits to this crazy journey that Dory brings them all on.
Who are some of your comedic inspirations?
The list goes on and on. Jennifer Saunders, John Waters, Lisa Kudrow, Amy Sedaris, Sandra Bernhard, Toni Collete, Laura Dern, Lucille Ball. So much incredible talent!