Acting opposite a duck is for the birds—take it from Merritt Wever.
The actress says the waterfowl are incredibly unpredictable, a fact she learned firsthand after costarring alongside a duck for an episode of the fantastical new Apple TV+ series Roar. In “The Woman Fed by a Duck,” Merritt plays Elise, a woman who is dating a duck named Larry.
“I don’t know if the animal is going to start squawking, I don’t know if the animal is going to walk away, if it’s going to say I don’t want to do this anymore,” Merritt shared in an interview with E! News. “So it did feel like having a scene partner that was very alive and that’s always helpful as an actor.”
Also helpful: Justin Kirk, the actor who voices the duck, was standing just out of the camera’s view, giving Merritt and actual human being to play off of. The actress said this method was necessary for her to be able to portray the complexities of the story, in which the duck becomes increasingly abusive and manipulative.
Although the beginning of the episode has a “romantic comedy sheen,” Merritt said she didn’t want to lose the “seriousness” of the story, adding, “It was important to me that it be treated with respect and care and the responsibility that I think the actual situation warrants.”