“It’s an important feud, it’s a classic feud, and again, it’s a woman’s story,” EP Alexis Martin Woodall told EW on the Feud: Bette and Joan red carpet Wednesday evening. “She was 19 years old when she married him, she really had to find her own way, and it is rich, and I think that for Ryan [Murphy, the creator of the series], he’s so character-driven that the idea of the richness, and then with the beauty of the world around it, it’s just exactly right for us.”
According to Woodall, Murphy has been thinking about this idea for a long time, and it’s a conflict that appeals to her, too. “With Charles and Diana, they were these heightened, they were royalty — true royalty — and they still had the same issues of insecurity and relevance and importance and love that everybody goes through, so I think there’s a really human quality to it,” she said.
Susan Sarandon, who plays Bette Davis in the first installment of the anthology series, is definitely interested in watching this deep dive into Charles and Diana’s relationship. “I don’t know anything about them really — really, really — so I’m curious to see what will happen,” Sarandon told EW on the carpet.
While the producers don’t know if every season of Feud will be a “woman’s story,” Woodall does promise that the series will never devolve into two people just going at it. “I know that every story we do is a human story and so it’s going to be about what’s really going on. It’s never going to be this fluff little thing that you can ignore,” she said. “Catherine Zeta-Jones says in the first scene of Feud, feuds are never about hate. They’re about pain and that’s really true and I think it’s more exploring what makes people hurt and what makes people feel a certain way.”
Looking beyond season 2, Legion star Katie Aselton, who also attended the premiere, already has an idea for a feud that Murphy could tackle down the line: “Donald [Trump] and anyone. Donald and China. Donald and the press. Donald and the press actually would be amazing. Donald and Rosie [O’Donnell]: go deep on that one. That would be great.”
Feud: Bette and Joan premieres Sunday, March 5 at 10 p.m. on FX.
—Reporting by C. Molly Smith