Recreating the ‘80s zeitgeist: A video sit-down with ‘PHYSICAL’ series creator Annie Weisman


Preston Barta // Features Editor

Created and run by Annie Weisman – who previously worked on such shows as Desperate Housewives and About a Boy – Physical is a wild ride.

As noted in my interview below, the upcoming dark comedy series is a perfect amalgamation of many of my interests as an entertainment consumer — 1980s culture, the analog era, complexly drawn characters, rich themes, and kinetic camera work. The talent involved alone should be enough to see yourself leaning in.

Physical sees Rose Byrne as Sheila Rubin, a 1980s housewife hooked on aerobics classes. From there, she sets off to become a fitness tycoon with an explosive workout-tape empire.

The series also stars Rory Scovel, Dierdre Friel, Paul Sparks, Della Saba, and Lou Taylor Pucci. I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie helps lay down the visual framework that’s built upon by series directors Stephanie Laing (Made for Love) and newcomer Liza Johnson.

Physical will consist of 10 episodes, running about 30 minutes each. The first three will premiere on Apple TV+ on June 18, followed by weekly arrivals.

Fresh Fiction sat down with creator/showrunner Annie Weisman via Zoom Video. We discuss some of the details of her new series, including navigating the tone and how the visuals match Sheila’s headspace. Enjoy the conversation below, and catch the series premiere this weekend!

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.