If you flew through Amazon's Z: The Beginning Of Everything as quickly as I did, you're surely already wanting more. The series is a fascinating look at the 1920s and one woman's life in particular — Zelda Fitzgerald, the often maligned wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. In an interview with Bustle, stars Christina Ricci and David Hoflin reveal how they'd like to see the story progress if Z: The Beginning Of Everything Season 2 happens.
Just beginning this journey as Zelda took a lot of research for Ricci. "I read all the biographies," she says. "If we get a second season, I will read them all again to really go over the period of time we cover for that season. I read her writing. I tried to find as much as a I could online about her. I read anecdotal things from other people's biographies."
Playing a real person is daunting, and will only become more so if the show gets to continue on this path. "As an actor you have to come up with your own theory about the person," says Ricci, "and it's really intimidating to commit to your theory, to your decision, when you know you could be so wrong. This was a real person! I could be completely wrong." The Amazon series starts when Zelda is still a teenager and only covers the very beginning of her marriage to Scott. Later in her life, Zelda Fitzgerald entered a psychiatric facility in Asheville, North Carolina multiple times and published a novel of her own before dying at the age of 47 in a fire.
There's a lot more story to tell, but not all of it is bleak. "They had a very storied life," says Hoflin, who plays Scott. "They moved to Paris. They moved to Hollywood." A lot of what would happen in Season 2 depends on where the writers want to pick the story up next, chronologically.
"I'm very excited to show Zelda as a mother," says Ricci. "The way she reacted to motherhood is very interesting and not what you would expect." Early in the season, Zelda scoffs when her sister suggests she settle down and start having children. Then, in the finale, she finds herself pregnant. "It's like she was out of place," Ricci says. "It's like she should have been born now, or here now. She was a very naturalist mother. She breastfed her child at a time when it was considered very unseemly for the upper crust. [Scott] made her stay out of sight because she breastfed the baby and he was ashamed."
According to Ricci, Zelda was a wonderful mother to her daughter and only child, Frances. "I love that," the actor says. "I like the idea of playing somebody who's so complex. Who surprises you all the time and doesn't follow stereotypes or a cookie cutter, really."
There's also potential to bring in some of the Fitzgeralds' famous friends. "I always like when you see people play [Salvador] Dali," Ricci says, chuckling. "I just love Dali, he's so silly! He's always silly when you read about him, he looks silly." In Season 1, the Fitzgeralds mostly spend time with socialites, schoolmates, and the occasional actress or poet, so it would be fun to see other types of artist from that era filter in as well.
"I think you'd be remiss to not mention Hemingway at some point," Hoflin adds. "That's sort of the most famous. That's someone that I would really love to see how he's portrayed in this version of events. Obviously, he didn't have many nice things to say about Zelda, so it'd be interesting to see how that manifests in her version of history, which is not a very well-told version, so that would be cool."
In letters, Ernest Hemingway called Zelda both crazy and jealous and even blamed her for Scott's drinking problem. By many accounts, Zelda did not think very highly of him, either, so it'd certainly be a complex dynamic.
"I'm excited for the Hemingway stuff," Ricci agrees. "One thing that was really interesting about developing this is that people have such specific ideas and attachments to a lot of figures in this story and their work." She speculates that "the Hemingway question" will cause a lot of debate until they settle on how to portray such a large figure in both literature and the lives of Zelda and Scott.
While Z: The Beginning Of Everything is Zelda's take on events, the show itself is still a collaboration. "Like all good work should be," says Ricci.