Apple TV’s latest series The Shrink Next Door contains an all-star cast, featuring Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, Kathryn Hahn, and Casey Wilson. This drama takes its audience on a ride as it tells the real-life story of Martin “Marty” Markowitz (Ferrell) and Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (Rudd), a patient and his therapist.
As the storyline divulges, it is clear that something between the two isn’t right: Marty is incredibly anxious and socially inept, and Ike is pushy and conniving.
Wilson and Hahn add some grounding elements to the story as they each play characters that are closely connected to the main figures. Hahn plays Marty’s older sister, Phyllis Markowitz. Speaking exclusively to Monsters & Critics, she gave us some deep insight into her character.
The Wandavision actor shared, “Phyllis is recently divorced with three children. Their parents have both recently died. Their father had made Marty the boss at his fabrics company because that’s just how it was. They also made Marty the executor of their trust. Marty’s kind of in control.” Hahn added, “She loves her big brother, but she also serves as the older sibling.”
Wilson joins the cast as Bonnie Herschkopf, the therapist’s wife. While speaking about her character, the SNL alum doesn’t let Bonnie off the hook. She recognizes that she struggles with the moral imbalance between being a partner in Ike’s schemes and wanting to be blissfully unaware of his manipulative side.
Monsters & Critics had the opportunity to chat with Hahn and Wilson about the respective characters in The Shrink Next Door.
Hahn on the relationship between Marty and Phyllis
As mentioned above, Hahn plays Marty’s older sister, Phyllis. The two have a tricky relationship, as made clear in the debuting episode because Phyllis often has to step in when Marty begins to panic and get stuck inside his head. While stern and practical, she has a soft spot for her brother and genuinely cares about his well-being.
“Marty is ill-equipped to handle all these newfound responsibilities. He’s just had a breakup with a woman that was not right for him. I think that Phyllis, when we meet her, is juggling a ton and her brother needs help,” Hahn expressed. Teasing the development of their story, she added, “And so she takes it upon herself to find him some help and just happens to lead him right into the arms of the worst person that he could possibly meet in the form of this doctor.”
Wilson on Bonnie’s ‘crime’
In order to get into character to play Bonnie, Wilson chatted to the show’s director, Michael Showalter, about who her character is. Wilson told us, “Well, I was talking to Michael Showalter about my character — married to Paul Rudd — and we kind of imagined her as someone who had married above her station in a way.”
She continued to share, “I have some friends who are like, You’re not gonna believe who I’m with, and then the guy shows up and you’re kind of like ‘huh?’ But she’s just so over the moon and gaga for him. It’s harder for her in a way to kind of see maybe what he really is.”
However, the innocence strips away when Marty comes into play. The comedian added, “And so then when Marty enters the picture, and the behavior just gets kind of inappropriate, she’s kind of toggling between her love for this man and like, Oh, God, what is, what’s happening but she’s also perhaps a bit complicit in it. You know? It’s tricky, we tried to ride the line with her a bit.”
Watch Kathryn Hahn compare her WandaVision character to Phyllis below.
The Shrink Next Door is currently streaming on Apple TV+.