Sarah Shahi got candid about it Sex/Life’s second season on Netflix and how it was more challenging for her than the first.
In an appearance on the Not skinny but not fat podcastthe Black Adam star said she didn’t want to put the show down but struggled with the material and people involved in the show.
“I definitely didn’t have the support I had the first season,” said Shahi. “It became something completely different for me, and I’m not afraid to say that. I struggled with the fabric. … I mean, I’m never going to work for Netflix again after saying all this. I just can’t lie.”
Despite her struggles during the show’s second run which debuted last month, the actress explained that many of the show’s themes — second chances, romance, divorce, co-parenting — still really resonated with her.
“It was just a challenge, but that’s part of what I do,” she said. “I don’t always get along or agree with a filmmaker. I won’t always like what I have to do or say, but it’s my job to make it believable.”
One of the things Shahi wished was different was for her character, Billie, to spend more of her time single; though she knows the streamer putting a six-episode limit on the season made that difficult. The Hollywood Reporter contacted Netflix and a representative for showrunner Stacy Rukeyser.
“Stacy had such a tough job with only six episodes and telling all these fast-moving stories,” the Suspect said alum. “That’s hard to do, and I understand that, but yeah, I don’t know. It just felt different for me this year, and I struggled because of that.
She went on to explain that she hasn’t heard anything about a third season, but she knows that for Netflix, it’s all about viewers. If a lot of people are watching it, it’s in the best interests of the streamer to renew it for another season. If people aren’t interested, neither is Netflix.
Rukeyser is prepared if they get another season, with several ideas for where to take the characters in season three – one of which involves exploring a similar question from season one.
Now she’ll be in that situation of a new mom again and, even if you’re with the impossibly sexy Brad, is there a way to be all parts of yourself at once? And to get everything from one person?” previously told the showrunner THR. “It’s that whole thing Sex/Life dilemma that I find very interesting.”
As for season two, audiences were disappointed not to see more of Brad from Adam Demos, who had a smaller role this season, to allow Billie to explore a new relationship.
“In the second season, it was a bummer,” Shahi said on the podcast. “I was disappointed that I couldn’t work with him as much because I really liked our stories. And I enjoyed working with him. And he was a brilliant scene partner.
Shahi and demos have been in a relationship since December 2020 when they first posted on social media together. The actress commented that it was hard for them not to have so many scenes together in season two because she worked so much and he didn’t have much screen time.
She also explained that the reason she thinks people fell in love with Billie and Brad in the first season was because they also fell for each other in real life.
“I had never played a character where I had a crush on someone, and in real life I have a crush on someone,” she said. And I think that’s what made Brad and Billie so popular, because people really felt the real sparks between us. They just shot through the lens and it infiltrated the screen. … There’s just a level of comfort that you can’t fake.”
Another problem Shahi took with season two of Sex/Life was that some scenes felt like a ploy to try to become another TikTok sensation, she shared.
“There were more moments that felt very gimmicky,” said the actress. “And things like that are always really hard for me to read and do and things like that, but I didn’t have to do them. The boys did. I thought they did a great job [job]. I thought Jonathan Sadowski did a great job with that, just trying to make it as real as possible. Adam, he’s doing a great job as Brad. But yeah, so it’s a bit more gimmicky for me.
Despite her conflicting feelings about the show’s second run, Shahi really relates to Billie, even saying she’s in the process of writing a book about how the role “seeped” into her skin the way it did.
“If I could be Billie Mann for five seasons, I would,” she said. “I feel her struggling so much in life, and it’s like therapy for me to play Billie.”