Maya Rudolph, 'Loot' cast consider billions of dollars absurd

Maya Rudolph and Joel Kim Booster star in "Loot." Photo courtesy of Apple TV+
1 of 5 | Maya Rudolph and Joel Kim Booster star in "Loot." Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

LOS ANGELES, April 3 (UPI) -- Season 2 of Loot, premiering Thursday on Apple TV+, sees Molly Wells (Maya Rudolph) struggle to use her wealth for charitable purposes.

Rudolph and her co-stars said the notion of Molly's $120 billion is hard to take seriously.


"It sounds like a fake amount of money," Rudolph, 51, told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "Is that the same as a gajillion?"

Nat Faxon, 48, plays the Wells Foundation's accountant, Arthur. Though successful as an actor and Oscar-winning screenwriter, Faxon said the wealth on display in Loot is unsettling.

"I don't know if you need 28 bathrooms in your house, a bowling alley or a barbershop in your basement," Faxon said. "It just becomes absurd and, frankly, kind of gross."

As Molly's cousin and foundation IT specialist Howard, Ron Funches, 41, said Molly's savings would discourage him from continuing to act.


"I have a mortgage to pay and I still barely want to show up," Funches said. "So if you gave me unlimited funds, I probably would just fill myself full of donuts and bad choices."

After a few comical false stars, Molly decides to focus on a housing initiative for the homeless. Rudolph, who also an executive producer of Loot, said she was happy the writers chose housing as the Season 2 storyline.

"It's a wonderful idea to bring to the conversation and for people to be thinking about," Rudolph said.

Loot co-creator Alan Yang, 40, said the issues Molly faces this season come from the reality of charitable donations. Molly learns of a lot of bureaucracy she must navigate to complete her project.

"It's really difficult to give away money in an efficient way," Yang said. "We've definitely interviewed people at different foundations. There are real obstacles involved, so that was a good starting point for the show."

Molly has help from foundation director Sofia (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez). Rodriguez, 33, said Sofia is committed to cutting through all the red tape.

"She wants to make sure the T's are crossed, that I's are dotted," Rodriguez said. "Sophia is very, very serious about it. She wants to make sure this happens."


The housing initiative gives Arthur plenty of accounting work, too, Faxon said. Faxon said Arthur is excited for it.

"He's probably very excited about doing those calculations and really getting off in those spreadsheets in a way that probably no one else on the show does," Faxon said.

Season 2 also has time to develop the love lives of its characters. Sofia struggles to cope with a romantic relationship she cannot manage like the foundation.

"She's very type A," Rodriguez said. "She carried that all the way through her life."

Co-creator Matt Hubbard said Sofia deprives herself of happiness because she's afraid it will compromise her important charity work. Hubbard said Loot hopes to teach Sofia she deserves happiness, too.

"This season is about her having that happiness come into her life and her trying to fight it off," Hubbard said. "That is something that is valuable to have if you're a full-fledged person."

In Season 1, Arthur admitted to friends he has feelings for Molly. As he has not told Molly yet, the characters continue to dance around their attraction.

"There's been a heavy flirtation floating around with Molly and Arthur that needs to come to a head at a certain point," Rudolph said. "That's always fun, a little inter-office flirt."


Meanwhile, one of Molly's potential suitors in Season 2 is Benjamin Bratt, playing himself in a cameo. Yang said executive producer Natasha Lyonne suggested Bratt, having worked with him on Poker Face.

"He's almost like he is in the show, which is really friendly and really earnest," Yang said of Bratt. "That's who he is as a guy."

As Bratt has not joined the regular cast, it's safe to say Molly is still available after their encounter. However, Rudolph said the real love story of Loot is Molly's friendship with her assistant, Nicholas, played by Joel Kim Booster.

In the season premiere, Molly and Nicholas share a moment with a sloth. Behind the scenes, Booster said, the sloth wasn't as cute.

"We regret to inform you the sloth smells horrible," Booster, 36, said.

Nicholas, Booster said, still struggles to form lasting romantic relationships. In Season 2, he encounters several of his ex-boyfriends in public.

"Part of it for me was really getting to see why he became the way he is," Booster said. "[We] get to see a little bit of growth, too."


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