The cast of The Unicorn joined SCAD aTVfest to share their unique chemistry and love for the show.
SCAD aTVfest produced a fantastic panel discussion of The Unicorn delightfully moderated by Mandi Bierly, Sr. Editor at TV Guide Magazine. Actors participating included Walton Goggins (Wade), Omar Miller (Ben), Maya Lynne Robinson (Michelle), Michaela Watkins (Delia) and Rob Corddry (Forrest).
About that casting
You might call the casting for this show a “unicorn” in and of itself. Walton admitted that he was not sure if he could be relatable in a network comedy with his history of more dramatic roles. But indeed he is! The chemistry among the castmates is palpable. You can see that they really enjoy working together. All funny antics aside, they also use words like trust, support and collaboration in speaking to one another.
As it turns out, the panel revealed several prior connections among the castmates. While Maya Lynne Robinson was new to the group, she does share mutual friends with on-screen husband Omar Miller, which Miller calls “an endorsement”. Maya Lynne shared that Walton Goggins signed off on the casting of all the leads. Goggins said there had been some difficulty casting the sassy Michelle Taylor character, but all was resolved when Maya Lynne “blew everyone away”.
The best of both worlds
Prior to the panel, SCAD aTVfest attendees enjoyed an early viewing of the latest episode of The Unicorn, which aired later the same night. The “Swerve and Volley” episode included an hysterically funny tennis competition along with a moving reveal as to why Grace was struggling with driving lessons.
The Unicorn has the ability to shift gears seamlessly between fabulous comedy and those tender moments among family and friends. That’s an impressive feat when you only have about 22 minutes to accomplish it all!
There was a similar theme throughout the panel with castmates exchanging both funny stories and heartfelt accolades. Here are a few highlights from the Q&A.
- Michaela Watkins facetiously claimed that her tennis skills were “unparalleled”. Rob Corddry then shared that his skills “parallel” Michaela’s perfectly in that they both have none. Walton joked about playing a casual tennis game with Michaela and reported that she is “horrible”.
- We also learned that Michaela can do a mean (as in great!) impression of Walton Goggins, a talent she shares “at work all the time” according to castmate Maya Lynne. She started doing the impression but cut it short when she couldn’t stop laughing. Good news is you can catch Michaela doing an impression of Walton’s character Wade in season 1 of the series.
- The cast enjoyed poking fun at Walton for being the first one to “break” in scene when the humor and antics are just too hard to resist. Rob Corddry shared that it looks like Walton is panicking when he is trying to stay composed. Walton pointed out that Rob and Michaela crack him up just by saying hello in the morning!
- As the panel closed, Rob dead panned his confusion about there having been “no atv riding whatsoever” at the SCAD aTVfest. You have to bet the festival has probably heard that one before, but Rob’s delivery was on point!
— The Unicorn (@TheUnicornCBS) February 4, 2021
- Walton spoke very proudly of his on-screen daughters played by Ruby Jay and Makenzie Moss bragging about their “raw” talent. Goggins shared that Ruby has worked hard to achieve a deeper understanding of the emotions she is tasked with portraying.
- Maya Lynne shared the request she made of the writers last summer asking “How we can safely write a project that tackles race?” Omar credited writer Howard Jordan, Jr. for having already penned a story about just that. The show produced a thought-provoking episode titled “It’s the Thought That Counts” where Forrest learns why Ben’s black son is not allowed to play with a water gun. Omar gave props to CBS and the showrunners Mike Schiff and Bill Martin for airing the episode early in this season calling it “a bold choice”.
- Michaela commended Maya Lynne for her willingness to speak up about what she thinks rings true for her character and what does not. Michaela noted the enormity of Maya Lynne’s role being the only black lead in the cast trying to “speak for all the black women that are going to be watching the show”.
- Goggins reveled in the show’s ability to depict “learning how to live again” after loss and the way it portrays the “small [relatable] victories in the lives of these people”.
— The Unicorn (@TheUnicornCBS) December 4, 2020
Moderator Mandi Bierly closed out the panel with a rapid fire question asking each cast member for a wish list item for future content:
- Rob wants to see a reveal of Forrest’s two moms.
- Michaela mused over the idea of Marilu Henner or Shelly Long playing Delia’s mother. She reveals that there will be content about Delia’s mother in S2, but we will not actually see her.
- Omar just wants to be surprised saying he has “faith in the writers”.
- Maya Lynne likes the idea of seeing Michelle do a college paper on a deadline or seeing Michelle learn a lesson from her kids.
- Walton wants to see the characters fulfill their journeys on a weekly basis with authenticity and life lessons.
The cast of The Unicorn certainly entertained fans with their SCAD aTVfest panel discussion. Tune in for more humor and heart next Thursday at 9:30/8:30 central on CBS.
SCAD, short for The Savannah College of Art and Design, has a global presence with approximately 15,000 students studying across more than 40 different majors. You can learn more about “The University for Creative Careers” at SCAD’s website.