Marti Noxon is tired—and with good reason. The prolific mind behind some of your favorite shows (UnREAL and Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, to name just a couple) is the creator of not one but two series airing this summer, both based upon hit novels. Premiering June 4 is AMC’s Dietland, a sly and subversive look at the beauty industry starring Joy Nash and Julianna Margulies. And in July, HBO will launch the languid, mysterious Sharp Objects, based on the Gillian Flynn thriller and starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, and Chris Messina. Taking a quick break from her multiple jobs, Noxon, 53, chats with EW about her impressive multitasking abilities.
Entertainment Weekly How are you able to juggle these very different shows?
MARTI NOXON Well, I have not known the love of another human being other than my children. [Laughs] I did sideline my personal life for a while, and it’s been a very fruitful and productive time but…frankly, I’m tired.
Let’s start with Dietland, which is based on the 2015 Sarai Walker novel. What was it about this story that intrigued you?
I remember seeing the cover of the book—it featured a cupcake with a grenade pull—and I was like, “That looks like something that would be of interest to me.” I bought the book, and it was around halfway through that I realized it was really about revolution—about women looking at everything that they’ve taken as the status quo and pushing back. [Protagonist] Plum is a character who has, for the first time in her life, been agitated to wake up. I just loved how subversive and sneaky a story it is. And weird! We really lean into the weird.
Joy Nash is a fantastic actress to go on this journey with.
Isn’t she a f—ing revelation? We saw a lot of actresses, but when Joy walked in the room, it was just so exciting. She is very, very special.
Your other lead actress right now is Amy Adams. As Sharp Objects‘ Camille, she is somehow grittier than we’ve ever seen her.
It’s counterprograming, and it creates all this great internal confusion because Amy is this ray of light. I had read Sharp Objects while I was going through my divorce. I was going through a lot of dark stuff. I’ve wrestled with addiction and eating disorders on and off throughout my life, and I was in a dark place, and I really related to Camille. After picking up the book, I just couldn’t shake her.
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Author Gillian Flynn has a gift for writing complicated yet relatable women.
Yes, she really gets under the skin of our darker places and the places we haven’t been given a lot of agency. The exploration of anger and women having anger of their own that isn’t provoked is really powerful for me. Anger really is the theme for both Sharp Objects and Dietland. Even though they’re both so different, it’s women raging against the machine and not knowing what to do about it.
Dietland premieres June 4 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Sharp Objects premieres July 8 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.