EXCLUSIVE | 'Dummy' creator Cody Heller says Anna Kendrick 'literally' plays her in Quibi comedy series

In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide, Heller discusses her upcoming Quibi comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Meredith Hagner


                            EXCLUSIVE | 'Dummy' creator Cody Heller says Anna Kendrick 'literally' plays her in Quibi comedy series
Cody Heller (Getty Images)

When we ask Cody Heller if Anna Kendrick's character in her upcoming series 'Dummy' is based on her real-life experiences, she confirms ecstatically. "She literally plays me - she plays Cody Heller."

Writer and producer Heller's upcoming buddy comedy, 'Dummy', is like a page out of her life. We follow the story of an aspiring writer Cody (played by the charming Anna Kendrick) and her boyfriend's (Donal Logue) sex doll Barbara (Meredith Hagner).
 
She might be animate sex doll, but the self-proclaimed feminist is "spoiled, jealous and manipulative and will do whatever it takes to get her way".

Heller knows Barbara from real life. 

"My boyfriend at the time, he's now my fiance [creator of 'Rick and Morty' and 'Community' Dan Harmon], really did have a sex doll. And I knew about it and it was something that was occupying my mind," she recalls. 

"It all merged in this creative way of me imagining that the sex doll came to life and that she became my writing partner. I took the things that were really happening in my real life and put them on the page. They say, write what you know. And so I wrote what I knew at the time and sort of used it to overcome my writer's block," she tells us. 

Originally written as a television pilot, the project was then developed into a film script eventually becoming Quibi's 10-minutes-or-less bites. Founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, Quibi (short for "quick bites) features content that is 10 minutes or shorter and aimed for mobile viewing.

'Dummy' is a serialized movie-length story that is now told in chapters 10 minutes or less. "As a TV writer I had usually, I've had only really worked on half-hour shows, so I was used to writing things in that format," she says, adding that adjusting to the new format was a challenge.

"It was interesting to take the challenge of crafting stories in a different way. But once I got used to the format, it became rather natural to write to it."

This creative challenge was a satisfying endeavour for Heller who believes she has told the story she wanted to. "The really cool thing about Quibi is that its episodes are up to 10 minutes long, but they can be less than 10 minutes. So it was very luxurious to get into the edit bay and if there was stuff that I didn't think work that we had shot a scene that was unnecessary and not funny, I could cut it where that's not typically, you're not able to do that in regular TV cause you have to get it 22 minutes long."

"It was pretty cool to be able to really just tell the story you wanted to tell. And as long as it's less than 10 minutes, you were good. [It] was creatively really fulfilling."

'Dummy' will premiere on April 20, 2020, on Quibi. 

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