'American Princess' EP Mark A Burley talks about the difficulties he faced while filming and his plans for future episodes
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide executive producer, Mark A Burley spoke about what attracted him most about the script of the Ren Faire series.
'American Princess' might have recently premiered on Lifetime, but the series is nearing its end with six episodes behind it. While there is no news about the renewal of season 2, the series will leave you stunned at the similarity between the original Renaissance Faire lifestyle and what it portrays on the show.
The show revolves around Amanda Klein (Georgia Flood) who runs away from her wedding after she finds her fiancé cheating on her with a hooker. Trying to get away as far as possible from her wedding, Klein ends up at a Renaissance Faire and ends up thinking it is a themed wedding. Eventually, she figures out it is a Renaissance Faire and ends up joining the faire as a bartender to get away from her regular city life and start anew.
If bawdy humor is your cup of tea then 'American Princess' should be your go-to summer watch. Created by Jamie Denbo, the series is executively produced by Tara Herrmann, Jenji Kohan and Mark A Burley.
Burley has also directed two of the episodes on 'American Princess.' In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) executive producer, Burley spoke about the difficulty faced while shooting the series, how was it working alongside Kohan and what caught his eye when he read the script.
Starting off Burley spoke about season 2 and if there is any possibility of the show getting renewed. "We have not heard yet. I've been kind of busy. So I'm not privy to all the ratings and all of that sort of thing. And I'm not sure not having worked in that area for a little while because I've been working on things that are internet-based. So it's like a little different for me with Lifetime, but I'm hopeful. Certainly, anecdotally people are enjoying the show. I don't know how many people are watching it. But I hope that Lifetime is excited enough to do another season. Certainly, you will see when we get to the end of this season without giving anything away that it's set up for the story to move forward into season two."
Burley also adds that it has been a privilege for him to work with Kohan. "It is a delight and a privilege. I have been working with Jenji since the pilot of 'Weeds' which was in 2004 and I have been lucky enough to work with her ever since."
Shooting the series came with its own set of obstacles, elaborating on the same, Burley said, "Well, we were shooting in the summer. So we had built a complete Renaissance Fair in Simi Valley. We had a stage at Simi Valley and the worst difficulty we had was during a hot day. When I was directing it was a 115 degrees Fahrenheit and we were shooting outside. And of course, you can imagine what it's like when people are then having to wear Renaissance Faire costumes on top of that. Those were tough days, but we managed to get through it. Everybody was incredible and it's just fantastic."
Talking about the future episodes and what fans should keep in mind while watching it, Burley said, "Well at this point we've shown six of the episodes. I believe where we showed two this weekend. So hopefully at this point, they have an idea on what the show is about and who the characters are and also got all the relationships between people in the Renaissance fair. You know, that's really what the show is about, being in this sort of special community where people you know, like work together and they have their message, their moments of collaboration and their moments of having difficulties with each other."
Continuing, Burley added, "But as we get further into the show, we start to see Amanda starting to find her place within that community and understanding, you know how people behave when it is within this community, which is different from what she's used to. She's different from what she's used to seeing in her. It's different from what she was getting used to doing when she was in New York. How different people are within the Ren Faire community and starts to appreciate that. She knows she can behave in that way."
It is evident throughout the aired episodes, that there is a spark between Amanda and David (Lucas Neff). So we asked Burley if there is a possible love plot in the future for them. "Well, I don't want to give any spoilers but I think there is an attraction between them. I think there has been an attraction between them ever since the beginning when they first met. And I think that we will see where that's going to lead. But you know, they're two smart and good-looking people and I think there's a natural attraction between them. So I can't tell you how far it's going to go but it's definitely there so we'll see how that works out."
Burley also shared that there were certain aspects of the script which attracted him first, he said, "What caught my eye the most was the fact that we are going into a community that when being portrayed in film generally is usually dealt with satire and it's been portrayed in a sort of tongue-in-cheek manner and it has not really been portrayed in the depth that this show really deals with. This is a whole community that exists and it's sort of a bit of an ultimate reality compared to you know, what people in the mainstream are doing. Jamie Denbo worked in this area. She actually has brought something that is much more real and much more human to this Ren Faire story."
Apart from working on American Princess, Burley has also worked on Netflix's Glow and Orange Is The New Black. Talking about them he said, "I am an executive producer and a director on Orange Is the New Black and the series has just come to season 7 and that'll be the end of the show. I was lucky enough to direct the finale episode. It was a 90-minute episode to wrap up the whole story. It will release on July 26th on Netflix. I am also an executive producer and I directed two episodes last season of Glow. So, Glow season 3 will be coming up on Netflix on August 9."
Burley also revealed that he is currently working on another project with Kohan, but was reluctant to divulge anything more about it.
'American Princess' airs every Sunday on Lifetime. Check your local listings for more information.