Made For Love

Made for Love’s Cristin Milioti Would Much Rather Be Stuck in a Time Loop Than Trapped in a Virtual Hub

Dept. of Chats and Confabs


In the HBO Max original Made For Love, Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother, Palm Springs) plays Hazel Green, a thirty-something woman on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), a controlling tech billionaire. She soon discovers that her husband has implanted a monitoring device – the Made for Love chip – in her brain, allowing him to track her, watch her, and know her “emotional data” as she tries to regain her independence. Based on the novel by Alissa Nutting, the comedy series is a darkly absurd and cynically poignant story of love and divorce that is both laugh out loud funny and deeply disturbing.

We caught up with Cristin for a quick chat about Made for Love, about finding comedy in darkness, and how she really felt about the ending of How I Met Your Mother.


Umapagan Ampikaipakan: What I loved about how this series opens is that your character, Hazel, is still discovering herself right along with us. What was your approach to the character and that sense of self discovery? Did you know how everything was going to end for her? Did you get all of the scripts at once, or were you learning along with the audience as the episodes were unfolding?

Cristin Milioti: That’s a great question. I knew the general sort of direction it was headed. I didn’t know necessarily all the ins and outs. I had read the first three or four scripts when I signed on, but then it changed a bit in pre-production. So I had a sort of general sense of everything with Hazel and Byron, and everything with Hazel and Herbert, too. So even the things that were last minute discoveries all existed in the same world. And those things were actually really pleasant to discover as we went along.

But I’m sorry. I feel like I’m like going off on a tangent. 

UA: Not at all. I was about to ask how you got into Hazel’s mind because of what happens at the end of Episode 3, and how we can see the cogs turning in her brain. It was brilliant.

CM: Right? Exactly! That was like a real whammy.

Have you read the book? Because I would highly recommend it. It’s such a good book. The television show actually ended up being quite different than the book. And one of the things that’s been amazing is that Alissa Nutting, who wrote it, is also one of our co-creators and executive producers. So it still came from her mind.

But I read the book, I spent weeks and weeks with the script, really pored over it, and talked a lot about it with Christina (Lee) and Alissa. I took a lot of notes and watched a lot of interviews with people, public figures, who I sort of always suspected were in a “trapped” situation. I just sort of dove into all of that and had long discussions with them. And I was also very blessed with this whole cast. They’re incredible. Everyone just showed up and dove in together.

But we also shot this series mostly in order. Which was great because I felt like I could discover things at the same time as Hazel.

Made For Love

UA: There’s a lot of great comedy in this series, and I was curious as to what it’s like for you searching for comedy in something that is dramatically kind of dark. Is that something that’s easy to do? I mean, especially if you’re next to someone like Ray Romano, does that make it easier? 

CM: Well, I mean, listen, Ray Ray makes everything easier. He’s just an utter delight. And there’s a reason that everybody loves him. He’s truly like… he’s a gem. He’s the best.

UA: I’d like to think the both of us would be great friends.

CM: You would love him. He’s warm, and so funny, and self-deprecating, and just lovely. But yeah, I would say I am drawn to this type of stuff. I grew up on Coen Brothers movies. Which I think are like an excellent example of dark and humorous. Or Quentin Tarantino, you know, where you have a situation that is so dark and yet so funny. And there are so many moments of humor coming out of how people handle pain. And I think that was very present in this show and it was certainly that’s something that was already there in the writing.

And I don’t know, maybe it’s because I have a natural proclivity for those things anyway that I kind of keep being drawn to things like that. From a performance perspective, I’m just sort of in the moment of the scene and not trying to tip it one way or the other. Knowing that this is a situation that is already so heightened means that you have to ground it as much as possible. If not it’s not going to be, you know, moving or funny.

Made For Love

UA: So here’s a little conundrum. Or maybe it isn’t. But would you rather be stuck in somewhere like The Hub in Made for Love for the rest of your life, or stuck in a time loop like your character Sarah is in Palm Springs. 

CM: Oh, I have been asked this before and it’s a really good one. I would say that I would probably choose the time loop because at least you have autonomy. You may not have freedom in the way that you once did, but you’re with someone you love, and you’re with your family. I mean, they’re both pretty hellish. But I would say on a scale of hellishness, yeah, I would take the time loop over over the hub for sure. 


UA: With COVID, it feels like we’re kinda stuck in a combination of both things right now.

CM: We kind of are. But the hub is like solitary confinement with no one to talk to. Hazel’s every move is watched. She’s dressed by him. She’s told what to eat by him. She can’t connect with anybody. At least in the time loop, you have each other.

UA: And… you know… Andy Samberg.

CM: Yes, that’s right!

Made For Love

UA: Before I let you go, I need your opinion on something. So, I have a rather unpopular opinion in that I absolutely loved the way they ended How I Met Your Mother. I just thought it was real. And it shows how we change, and grow, and evolve with how we love. And that’s what that series was about: change and growth. But and I was curious as to what your feelings were about that ending, because this idea of “love” is something you’ve kind of tackled in a lot of your roles, in Modern Love, in Palm Springs, in this series. What are your thoughts on that ending? Because it was so controversial.


CM: I feel like I will always defer to Craig (Thomas) and Carter (Bays) about that. And something that I really loved is that it was always their intention for the show to end in that way. And that takes some real courage. That was a risky ending and they went for it. And I applaud them because I sort of agree with you.

You know, I think one of the things that made that show so special was that it really tried to show a lot of aspects of life that are not as neatly wrapped up with a bow as you’d think. And I understand people’s feelings about it. I understand all of it. And because I came in so late, in that last season, I sort of have a bird’s eye view of it. So while I understand people’s reactions, I really applaud Craig and Carter for sticking to their guns. And and I think it’s great. 

UA: I’ll save that sound clip and then just play it back to anyone who fights me on it in future. 

CM: Sure! Go for it. 

You can stream or download all episodes of Made For Love on HBO GO.

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