Hulu's musical rom-com 'Up Here' with Mae Whitman and Carlos Valdes soars to new heights

Mae Whitman calls the show her dream project.

ByGina Sirico OTRC logo
Thursday, March 23, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- What do you get when you combine a rom-com and a musical then splash it with some 90s nostalgia? You get "Up Here," Hulu's new series premiering this week.

Mae Whitman stars as Lindsay, who moves from her small town to New York City to follow her dreams of becoming a writer. She meets businessman Miguel, played by Carlos Valdes and the series follows their burgeoning relationship. All the while, both have a chorus of voices inside their heads filling them with negative thoughts and doubts.

Whitman told On The Red Carpet, "It feels like an entirely new genre, really. It's like a full original musical in a mini-series." She also said it felt like the manifestation of all her dream projects.

Valdes added, "It's so very clearly influenced by other things and it really honors so many of those other things, but as a whole it really is like a strange, new different kind of beast that's also very familiar and fun."

Composer and co-executive producer Kristen Anderson-Lopez called the show a "subversive, joyful look at the big feelings we have... and the way that we have these gigantic songs that live in our heads that we don't let anybody else see and the obstacle that creates when the two people are trying to understand and know each other."

Kristen and her husband Robert are award-winning composers who've worked on "Frozen" and "Coco," so you know they know their way around a catchy tune. They brought that expertise to the writers' room for "Up Here," to collaborate with the entire creative team.

"We would get an idea in the morning and then Bobby and I would go to the piano," Kristen said. "And then by the time the collaborators' room was done, at the end of the day, we'd be like, does this work? Does this sound good?"

Robert added, "It was like being in group therapy, but you're allowed to write songs about the other people in the room."

As for the voices inside their own heads that guide them through life? Robert joked, "Steven Sondheim is always on my shoulder saying 'that's not good!'"

See more of our interview and hear a little preview of the soundtrack in the video above.

"Up Here" premieres on Hulu Friday, March 24.

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