Here’s Part 2 of our coverage of the Duchess of Sussex’s Variety cover profile. Again, this cover story was originally supposed to come out in mid-September. Variety postponed it and instead of reworking their existing interview, Meghan agreed to simply give a new interview following the death of QEII. Part 2 of our coverage is basically the second half of the Variety interview, where Meghan is talking about the work of Archewell, her work on Archetypes, the Sussexes’ plans for the future and more. Meghan once again confirms the Netflix docu-series and talks a lot about Archetypes.
What we can expect from Liz Garbus’ docuseries: “It’s nice to be able to trust someone with our story — a seasoned director whose work I’ve long admired — even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it. But that’s not why we’re telling it. We’re trusting our story to someone else, and that means it will go through their lens. It’s interesting. My husband has never worked in this industry before. For me, having worked on “Suits,” it’s so amazing to be around so much creative energy and to see how people work together and share their own points of view. That’s been really fun.
On Archetypes: “I think that what happens, looking in from the outside, when there is this much noise, is that you become dehumanized. But if you remember that someone is a human being, then you don’t treat them, talk about them, look at them the same way. My hope for “Archetypes” is that people come out thinking, “Oh! She’s a real person! She laughs and asks questions and approaches things with curiosity.”
Her most challenging interview: “I spoke to Paris Hilton last week. I told her at the beginning that I was the most nervous about her interview. I was embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve had a judgment about her that’s based on everything I’ve seen, and I don’t like to come from a place of judgment. But I also didn’t grow up pretty…I grew up as the smart one. So much of what I ended up thinking about, when I thought about Paris, was envy and judgment — two of the most dangerous things. But then you hear about her trauma and her life and her buying into this persona. Ultimately, I told her, “I’m really sorry that I judged you.” I wanted her to be safe and comfortable. I told her I wasn’t looking for a “gotcha” moment. I want a “got you” moment, where we get you.
How Hollywood has shifted: “The industry has shifted quite a bit since I was a part of it. I left “Suits” right after the 100th episode, in 2018. I didn’t think I’d ever be in the entertainment industry again. But the entire culture has changed; streamers have changed things. The ability to create zeitgeist moments like we had in the ’90s — where everyone would tune in at the same time for a show or gather for one moment? — that doesn’t happen anymore. When I was doing “Suits,” that character, Rachel Zane, was in your living room with you while you were in your pajamas eating Chinese takeout. That’s how connected the experience felt then. But to create a cultural moment or conversation requires something different today. Podcasting has been really interesting in that way. It might be one of the only remaining forums where people are alone to listen. Where else do you have that opportunity?
On #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite: “We didn’t have a name for it at that time. There were just certain things that were accepted. If there was any discomfort, you just dealt with it. It forced a lot of women to live with this idea of staying silent, not being disruptive, not giving voice to the things that might create concern or discomfort. For me, I had tried for so long to land on a show, filming all these pilots, wondering if they would get picked up. All of Season 1 on “Suits,” I was convinced I was going to get recast. All the time. It got to a point where the creator was like, “Why are you so worried about this?”
Whether she would go back to acting: “No. I’m done. I guess never say never, but my intention is to absolutely not.
The ideal project for Archewell: “So much of how my husband and I see things is through our love story. I think that’s what people around the world connected to, especially with our wedding. People love love. I’m not excluded in that sentiment. And our definition of love is really expansive: Partner love, self-love, the love of community and family. We use that as the baseline of the kind of shows and documentaries we want out there. For my husband, the Invictus Games have been such a huge piece of his life and his work, having been in the army for 10 years and working for the rehabilitation of wounded vets and their families. We talk about emotional injuries that come from those types of experiences. Those are love stories. For scripted, we want to think about how we can evolve from that same space and do something fun! It doesn’t always have to be so serious. Like a good rom-com. Don’t we miss them? I miss them so much. I’ve probably watched “When Harry Met Sally” a million times. And all the Julia Roberts rom-coms. We need to see those again.
An average workday for Meg & Harry: “We share an office. We work from home, as most people started to do during lockdown. It allows us to have significant time with our kids at this really special moment in their lives. We’ll never get this time back. I make breakfast, and we get the kids set for the day. We do a lot of joint calls and Zooms, but also try to divide what we can focus our energies on so we can accomplish even more. My husband is on a 24-hour time zone, where half of your life is waking up as the other half is going to sleep. It’s kind of the reverse of what I went through living in the U.K. He’s very good at responding on text. Me, I try to be as fast as possible on email. I’ve always said, if it takes less than five minutes, do it now.
Snack breaks: “It’s funny. People sometimes think we live in Los Angeles, but we’re a good two hours outside of it. We’re commuters. We drove down recently for a day of back-to-back meetings , equipped with chocolate chip cookies the size of my toddler’s head. Also, my husband’s favorite is In-N-Out. There’s one at the halfway point between L.A. and our neck of the woods. It’s really fun to go through the drive-thru and surprise them. They know our order.
Harry loves In & Out! They nosh on chocolate chip cookies! Once again, Meghan confirms the existence of the docuseries, which will hopefully come out in December this year. And if Archewell greenlights a bunch of rom-coms, I will laugh my ass off. All of the Salt Island tantrums about Harry and Meghan’s Netflix deal and how “Netflix wants their pound of flesh” and after all of that, the Sussexes might just become producers of inexpensive romcoms for Netflix. Anyway, she’s giving us so much! Enjoy. I haven’t checked in on the Salt Island media yet but I bet there are banner headlines, tantrums and wailing.
Cover & IG courtesy of Variety.