If you watched the Apple TV+ series Roar, Merritt Wever’s “The Woman Who Was Fed by a Duck” is perhaps the most shocking of all. Every episode has a surprising twist, but “Duck” really pushes the envelope. Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke to the star and creators of this episode to find out what really happened when they filmed this Roar duck scene.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Roar episode “The Woman Who Was Fed By A Duck” starring Merritt Wever.]
Wever and Roar co-creator Liz Flahive spoke to Showbiz Cheat Sheet by Zoom on March 31. Wever said the most shocking Roar The duck scene wasn’t even his toughest that day on set, and Flahive explained the title of the episode. Roar is now streaming on Apple TV+.
The ‘Roar’ duck scene wasn’t Merritt Wever’s biggest concern
In her Roar episode, Merritt Wever plays a single woman struggling with dating apps. She meets a talking duck in the park and brings it home. They actually consummate their relationship in a tasteful scene. Wever acknowledged it was difficult, but said she had even more to worry about that day, even though she couldn’t remember what else she shot that day.
“I don’t remember but I remember the oh thing, that might not even be the hardest thing I’m doing today,” Wever told Showbiz. “It wasn’t my favorite day at work, but it was part of the job. I understand why it was there, so just do it and move on. I think there were other difficult scenes during the day. So maybe I was more concerned about the scenes to come.
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The duck and Wever stayed safe and cared for while filming this scene.
“This sex scene was actually approached like we would approach any other sex scene which is like a closed set, an intimacy coordinator, lots of very detailed shot lists so everyone knows what we were doing,” Flahive said. “The crew was super respectful. Our DP actually took over at one point because she was female and Merritt felt more comfortable. So there was a lot of sensitivity even though it was a sex scene with a duck and a woman that we really edited. But it was handled with the same kind of rigor and respect that I think we handled all of those scenes.
The title “The woman who was fed by a duck” has never changed
Some viewers might think of a different title for the episode given what the duck ultimately does to Wever’s character. However, Flahive said they never considered naming the episode anything more explicit.
“I didn’t do it at all because I think it would defeat the purpose of the episode,” Flahive said. “I think it’s incidental to the episode, but I think there’s something about the duck giving him some very toxic stuff about his own life that seemed to turn into a toxic relationship that the duck was then using sex as manipulation, just like you would if you left a relationship between an emotionally abusive partner and a woman, so we really talked about it in a very grounded way, and we didn’t want to make a gag out of it.
On ‘Roar,’ Merritt Wever worked with the Backstreet Boys, sort of
Wever talked about his feathered co-star, who was an actual duck on set, not a CGI visual effect. She remembers the names of all the duck actors.
He was a real duck there every day named Justin after Justin Timberlake. There were several ducks to work with and they were all named after members of the Backstreet Boys. I expected that to be the challenge of the episode, working with an animal. I thought we’d be capturing a sentence here or there while the animal stood still or stared at me. Everything went well, so I was grateful. And I was watching and talking to the duck and then I had Justin Kirk, the actor who plays Larry just off camera every day, take after take, very generously playing the scene with me, which was very helpful, very, very useful. I also think it would have been weird to use takes where I was talking to an actor who then had different inflections and stuff when they were going to drop their tracks. So I’m glad it worked out so he could be there in person.
Merritt Wever, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet03/31/22
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