“Palm Royale” EPs Katie O’Connell and Abe Sylvia on Bringing Lavish 1960s Palm Beach to Apple TV+

By Thought Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: “Palm Royale” EPs Katie O’Connell and Abe Sylvia on Bringing Lavish 1960s Palm Beach to Apple TV+

Step into the opulent world of Palm Beach's elite upper class with "Palm Royale," a captivating new series from Apple TV+ starring Kristen Wiig and Laura Dern along with a stellar ensemble cast including Allison Janney, Carol Burnett, Leslie Bibb and Ricky Martin. This ten-episode saga delves deep into the glittering façade of high society, where ambition collides with harsh realities and beneath lavish exteriors lie someone completely different. We sat down with showrunner and executive producer Abe Silva and EP Katie O’Connell to discuss the series’ origins, the advantages of having stars involved in the creative process as EPs, and the biggest undertaking in the series’ lavish production.

It was the familiar tale of a woman scorned with her eyes set on redemption and proving her worth that drew O’Connell to Mr. and Mrs. American Pie, a 2018 novel by Juliet McDaniel which the series is loosely based on. “I saw some really interesting seedlings and themes in the book of an outsider trying to get in, a fabulous world set in the late 1960s and I gave the book to my friend Laura Dern and her producing partner and said ‘do you see what I see in this?’ and they did.”

“Abe had been thinking for years about doing something in that Slim Aarons Palm Beach world and with those themes of outsiders and finding that sense of belonging,” she went on. “Julia wrote an amazing book but with adaptations you have to figure out what the series is. How do you create an ongoing series and make different choices in characters? Abe brought us a vision that was perfect for this adaptation.”

O’Connell and Sylvia shared that it was Dern’s involvement in the project that led her to the rest of the series’ creative team, specifically noting executive producer and director Tate Taylor, who would go on to direct several episodes, and Sylvia came on as the series’ showrunner. “Laura brought Alix Friedberg, our wonderful costume designer, who she worked with on Big Little Lies,” he said. “They were such great collaborators and I was so appreciative to have this new partner-in-crime in Alix whose work on the show is just extraordinary.”

At the heart of the narrative of Palm Royale is Maxine Simmons (Wiig), a determined outsider yearning to infiltrate the inner circle of the wealthy and powerful in the exclusive and luxurious resort club, the titular Palm Royale. Against the backdrop of 1969, a pivotal time marked by the feminist movement and the Vietnam War, the series unveils a world of excess where gossip, betrayals, power plays, and lavish parties reign supreme.

Sylvia described Wiig and Dern’s involvement as executive producer as a catalyst for others to join the project. “They’re names are synonymous with artistic excellence and quality. They’re actors who other actors want to work with. As much as people responded to the script favorably, they also wanted to work with these two.”

The series’ opulent setting of 1969 Palm Beach was a massive undertaking, but no particular challenge seemed unmanageable thanks to the support they received from Apple and the endless hard work from their production team. “Apple supported the creative vision for the show and they knew it wouldn’t work unless the vision was executed to perfection. Jon Carlos, our amazing production designer, was able to recreate Palm beach in Los Angeles and we're very grateful to their team.”

Catch new episodes of Palm Royale Wednesdays on Apple TV+

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

Click the social buttons to share this story with colleagues and friends.
The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.org/MyersBizNet.

Copyright ©2024 MediaVillage, Inc. All rights reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.