High Fidelity is one of the most beloved books in Nick Hornby’s catalog, and one of the most adaptable as well. Since its release in 1995, the story of a record store owner revisiting past loves has been adapted for the big screen (in a 2000 film starring John Cusack and Jack Black that transplanted the action from London to Chicago) and the Broadway stage (in a 2006 musical with Smash and Nashville star Will Chase, set in Brooklyn).
Now a 10-episode Hulu series, premiering Feb 14, 2020, will keep the action in gentrifying Brooklyn while putting a new twist on the tale by gender-flipping the main character. In this iteration, Rob is played by Zoe Kravitz (Big Little Lies, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), who is also an executive producer on the project.
“We, of course, had to modernize the world,” Kravitz tells EW of the update, all 10 episodes of which will drop at once. “Now we are dealing with people who are not only obsessed with pop culture, but also nostalgia. Surprisingly, I don’t think the character has changed much. Of course, it’s my own interpretation, but the heart of the character is very much the same. Changing the character from male to female did not change the kind of person we are dealing with.”
As the music-mad owner of a record shop, Rob sorts through the romantic wreckage of her Top 5 heartbreaks with the help of her two best buds: highly opinionated Cherise (Da’Vine Joy Randolph, currently stealing every scene she has in the Eddie Murphy comedy Dolemite Is My Name) and cranky Simon (David H. Holmes), who used to date Rob, until he came out.
“Da’Vine is a such a joy to work with,” says Kravitz. “She brought not only humor, but a ton of heart.” Of Holmes she says, “He has such an ease about him, but also a wildness. His character, Simon, is really the most grounded character in the show.
As she tries to heal from her latest devastating breakup, Rob encounters a potential suitor in Clyde, a newly transplanted New Yorker played by Jake Lacy, most recently seen trying to support Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams) in the excellent Fosse/Verdon.
“Oh man, what a treat,” Kravitz says of Lacy. “He is one of the funniest people I’ve met in a long time.”
In the fun fact department: Fans of the film adaptation may recall that Kravitz’s mother, Lisa Bonet, played a singer-songwriter who was romantically linked to Cusack’s character and performed a groovy version of Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way.”
Hulu’s High Fidelity is set to air Feb, 14 2020. Get an exclusive first look at the series in the photos above.