The Netflix series The Eddy is an eight-episode drama that takes place in the vibrant multicultural neighborhoods of modern-day Paris. Once a celebrated jazz pianist in New York, Elliot Udo is now the co-owner of struggling club The Eddy, where he manages the house band fronted by lead singer and on-again-off-again girlfriend Maja.
As Elliot learns that his French business partner Farid may be involved in some questionable practices at the club, secrets begin to come to light that have also been concealed from Farid’s wife Amira, and when Elliot’s troubled teenage daughter Julie suddenly arrives in Paris to live with him, his personal and professional worlds quickly start to unravel as he confronts his past, fighting to save the club and protect those closest to him.
Why does The Eddy feature a multilingual and multinational cast? Which Academy award winner directed the show? Who are the jazz musicians? What do lead actors André Holland and Amandla Sternberg think of the series? What was it like to act partly in French? Discover it by reading the 25 Facts About Netflix Series The Eddy.
The Eddy premiered on Netflix on 8 May 2020.
The Eddy’s band is not composed of actors, but of real-life musicians like Randy Kerber, Ludovic Louis, Lada Obradovic, Jowee Omicil and Damian Nueva Cortes.
«Jazz is at the heart of how we decided to shoot The Eddy and Damien (the director) very much wanted to create a film equivalent of jazz,» says executive producer Alan Poul. «We decided early on that we would shoot in a vérité style with mostly handheld cameras, and with room for a lot of improvisation on the part of the cast. This meant that the style of shooting and the style of editing would both echo the rhythms of jazz, so sometimes it would be languorous and sometimes it would be very staccato.»
FOUR FILM DIRECTORS AND AN OSCAR
35-year-old Academy Award winner Damien Chazelle (La La Land) directed the first two episodes of the series, providing the visual roadmap for the story, with three other directors – Houda Benyamina, Laïla Marrakchi and Alan Poul – each helming two episodes to follow him.
It took six years to develop and produce the show. Alan Poul, The Eddy’s executive producer and director of the season’s final two episodes recalls: «Glen Ballard came to me late in 2013 with a suite of songs that he’d written. He had created a band specifically to perform and record. The songs blew me away, and it was Glen who suggested we build a show around them set in contemporary Paris.»
In 2014, Alan Poul reached out to Damien Chazelle, who had just premiered Whiplash at the Sundance Film Festival, and brought him to a performance of that original Eddy Band. He was fascinated. They began to flesh out the characters and story, and soon reached out to Jack Thorne for the screenplay.
ANDRÉ HOLLAND – SPIKE LEE AND STEVEN SONDERBERGH LOVE HIS PERFORMANCES
André Holland, who plays Elliott Udo, is a 40-year-old American actor who was born and raised in Alabama. He is also a co-executive producer of The Eddy.
His film credits include High Flying Bird, Moonlight (Academy Award for Best Picture), Selma (Academy Award Nominee), 42, Miracle at St. Anna, and the acclaimed 2008 independent film Sugar. Holland’s TV credits include Castle Rock, a series inspired by Stephen King, and Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick.
«The Eddy is really about human beings who are trying to put their lives together,» Holland explains. «I’m always interested in relationships and people, and the relationships in this story were really fascinating to me. There’s a long history of black artists in particular leaving America and coming to Paris to make art and music, so I was also interested in what that was about and how that might apply in a contemporary way.»
Amandla Sternberg is a 22-year-old American actress who was born and raised in Los Angeles.
In October 2018, Amandla appeared on the cover of Time Magazine as a Next Generation Leader and has been recognized globally for her crusade towards sparking thoughtful conversation using social media as a platform to spread awareness and knowledge on topics such as cultural appropriation, intersectional feminism, mindfulness, biracial identity, gender and beauty standards.
For Amanda, working with Damien Chazelle in The Eddy was amazing. «I’ve never been on a set in which the style and image we were working on was so improvisational; it was really free and open,» she says. «Working on this show allowed me this opportunity to explore a different style of acting, and because we were working in Paris we were inherently following in the footsteps of French cinema.»
The world of The Eddy is one that is set in chaos. Against a backdrop of poverty, crime and trauma, a group of exceptionally talented musicians inhabit a jazz club in a multicultural Parisian neighborhood and face the daily struggle of turning their passion for music into art, solely for the reward of the creative expression that is forged in each performance.
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Photos: Courtesy of Netflix
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