'The Afterparty' stars talk about filming the Apple TV+ show that felt like 'Groundhog Day'

Afterparty artwork
Afterparty artwork (Image credit: Apple TV+)

What you need to know

  • The stars of The Afterparty have been talking about how they felt working with the show's peculiar way of telling a story.
  • Zoë Chao, Ike Barinholtz, Ben Schwartz, and Jamie Demetriou discussed the show's first season with THR.
  • The first season of The Afterparty is available to stream now.

The stars of The Afterparty, a hit Apple TV+ show that has already been signed for a second season, have been talking about a feeling of "Groundhog Day" during filming. The show famously tells the same story repeatedly from multiple angles — one per episode — which made filming a strange experience for all involved.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, stars Zoë Chao, Ike Barinholtz, Ben Schwartz, and Jamie Demetriou described the Groundhog Day feeling that was brought about by re-telling the same story but with changes each time — some more subtle than others.

"It was a wild exercise, because it was like Groundhog Day," actress Zoë Chao says of the Rashomon-esque comedy, which shifts the perspective (and style of the show) between members of the ensemble in each episode. "Not only were we in the height of COVID, we were revisiting the same night in the same costumes."

The Afterparty is a murder-mystery comedy set at a high school reunion afterparty. Each of the eight episodes will feature a retelling of the same night told through a different character's perspective, each with its own unique visual format and film genre to match the teller's personality.

The Apple TV+ show tells the story of a murder following a school reunion, with the investigation falling to a detective played by Tiffany Haddish. The repetition caused by the re-telling of the story meant that much of The Afterparty was filmed on just one room.

"The kind of home base is the living room where Tanner [Haddish] is interrogating us all — and I think we shot in that room for, I wanna say two years," says Barinholtz, straight-faced. "If it were a serious show, maybe it would've been boring, but you're with some of the funniest people in the world who have been locked in their houses for a year."

Each episode is told from the perspective of a different suspect which allowed the show's creators to flex their creative muscles a little. Those episodes were all told differently, one was musical, another an action movie, for example. That all allowed for differences to be added to the various stories, including wardrobe.

"In different people's perspective of the night, they change what people are wearing," says Schwartz, obviously the hero of his own story. "And in my episode only, a musical episode, they lined my jacket with this gorgeous pattern and gave me different sneakers."Barinholtz revealed his episode gave his character "Jack Reacher shoulder pads" and Chao's, who played his ex-wife, fishnet stockings. "I'm just going to put it out there, but they did not ever change my costume because none of the characters remember me," says Demetriou. "It was brown, brown, brown."

While The Afterparty has already been signed for a second season, those who haven't yet taken the first one in can catch it all right now on Apple TV+. You can watch on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more and it's definitely a show worth checking out.

If you want to enjoy The Afterparty in style, be sure to check out our list of the best Apple TV deals on the market today.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.