How Much Of 'Doll & Em' Is Based On Real Life? The 2 Actresses Turn Themselves Into Fiction
Is there anything better than a wonderful female friendship? The only thing that might beat finding one yourself might be watching one unfold on TV. With that being said, it's time to start getting excited about Doll & Em returning to HBO. The two ladies are back for more adventures in and around Hollywood, and we're along for the ride to watch it all unfold. They certainly play pretty good friends on TV, and that leads us to the big question: how much of Doll & Em is based on real life? Is it at all based in truth, or does it lean more towards the fictional side of things?
The Doll and Em in question are Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer. Both are comedic actresses, but you're probably a little bit more familiar with Mortimer, if only because she was just in The Newsroom, and has also appeared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio before, and had a handful of guest roles on 30 Rock. Wells is actually just as popular, but more on the UK side of things.
In real life, wherever they are in the world and whatever they're shooting, the two really are best friends. But now in Doll & Em are they playing the same Dolly and Emily in real life that we see? Well, yes and no, to a degree.
Some of the situations we've seen in Doll & Em are very much based on real life scenarios that both women have found themselves in before. But as for the employer-employee relationship that is carried on throughout the series? That's not the case. There's no boss-underling strain for these two women; that's been created solely for television. So there's where it differs from reality, but the chemistry between these two both as real and fictional best friends is still there.
“What [we both] have in common in real life with the show [characters] is a tendency to rush headlong into things together – like writing a show and putting our own names in it without thinking it through,” Mortimer explained at the Television Critics Association tour this past summer.
Doll & Em is in the same vein as Playing House with Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham — who are best friends in real life, and play them on screen too. But there is a way to play two different versions of best friends, and both sets of these women have mastered it. The thing about Doll & Em, however, is that their series is more true to their own lives (in Hollywood), rather than St. Clair and Parham who have not, as far as we know, raised a baby together before.
Another thing to note is that both Wells and Mortimer have written every script together (with director Azazel Jacobs) and many lines of dialogue are simply improvised. Or, as Mortimer explained to Vogue , some episodes aren't "scripted, but [they are] structured." The women know what's going to happen and when, but often come up with dialogue on the fly. So some of what they're talking about does come from truth in their lives, but it's still a very exaggerated truth — and that I can't wait to see more of when Doll & Em returns on Sunday night.
Image: K.C. Bailey/HBO