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Apple TV+ 'Loot' Season 2 with Maya Rudolph, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez takes on Taylor Swift fandom, introduces new romance

"We get to see her challenged," Rodriguez said

The fun and hysterical Apple TV+ comedy series Loot, starring Maya Rudolph, is back for Season 2, but among the most compelling cast members to watch this season is Michaela Jaé Rodriguez as Sofia.

One of the best parts of a second season, particularly with a show that has such a killer ensemble, including Ron Funches, Joel Kim Booster, Nat Faxon and Adam Scott, is that we get to dive deeper into characters that peaked our interest in Season 1.

Apple TV+

Watch Loot Season 2 on Apple TV+ with 7 days free, then $9.99/month

$10 at Apple TV+

In the first season of the show, Sofia was very much Molly's (Rudolph) hardworking, wickedly smart employee, who's trying to keep Molly focused on the really critical housing affordability issues the Wells Foundation needs to tackle. In Season 2, while Sofia is still that determined worker, we get to see a more sensitive and personal side, with a love interested introduced for the character.

"I didn't really actually know that they were going to be writing that," Rodriguez told Yahoo Canada. "I remember kind of pitching it and saying it earlier on, but I didn't expect for it to come to fruition."

"We've seen Sofia in the first season so serious, so stark, so straight-laced and no nonsense, and she's still that. But now we get to unbutton a little bit, we get to pull back the curtain on Sofia, we get to see ranges of her that we never thought. We find out things, obsessions that she likes, that we never thought she would have an obsession with. ... We get to see her challenged ... and try to understand what love looks like, and what it could possibly look like long-term."

Apple TV+ 'Loot' Season 2 with Maya Rudolph, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez takes on Taylor Swift fandom, introduces new romance
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez and O-T Fagbenle in "Loot," now streaming on Apple TV+.

As co-creator Alan Yang explained, the idea was to show a more "human" side of Sofia, and having her make mistakes.

"A lot of that came from Michaela Jaé as well, because many people on the show, not all of them, but some are pretty similar to their character, ... but Michaela Jaé and Sofia are very different," Yang said.

"So it was fun to pull a little bit of Michaela Jaé, like the showmanship and the warmth, and pull that out into the character a little bit, within reason."

Episode 2. Maya Rudolph, Joel Kim Booster and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez in
Episode 2. Maya Rudolph, Joel Kim Booster and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez in "Loot," premiering April 3, 2024 on Apple TV+.

'Loot' Season 2 episode for the Swifties

While there's a lot of personal development for the Loot characters in Season 2, the series maintains a core aspect of Season 1, playing off of different pop culture moments, like the Hot Ones episode in the first season.

An example of that in Season 2 comes in the form of an episode about some characters being Swifties, Taylor Swift fans, with Rodriguez and Funches being able to spend more time on screen together.

"There's things that a show just teaches you about itself, that feel like the show, and so we kind of leaned into that Season 2," Yang said. "It's an ensemble workplace comedy, it's optimistic, it's joyful, it's about characters connecting with each other, but also it's about big comedy."

"There actually aren't that many more shows on TV that do kind of big comedy stuff anymore, so we lean into that, with the help of our tremendous cast. ... Like the Hot Ones episode Season 1, let's do more stuff like that, ... and then on top of that, keeping the sort of ethos of the show intact."

Yang went on to explain that a show like Loot really lends itself to particular newsy or topical episodes, mostly because of how frequently billionaires are in the news.

"When anything comes up in the news that might be relevant to the show, it gets sent on the text thread chain, which is all the writers and all the executive producers," Yang said. "It's up to us to sort of filter those newsy items, or Taylor Swift, or whatever you want to talk about, and see if it works with our characters and see if it works within the framework of the story, and the overall story arc that we're telling.

"So we did think it was funny, that Howard (Funches) and Sofia story, to have them talk about Taylor Swift."

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 27: (L-R) Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Ron Funches, Maya Rudolph and Nat Faxon take part in SiriusXM’s Town Hall with the cast of ‘Loot’ at SiriusXM Studio on March 27, 2024 in New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 27: (L-R) Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Ron Funches, Maya Rudolph and Nat Faxon take part in SiriusXM’s Town Hall with the cast of ‘Loot’ at SiriusXM Studio on March 27, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Rodriguez highlighted that there was "great rapport" and "great chemistry" with Funches specifically.

"I love working with Ron, I love playing around. He is hilarious," Rodriguez said.

"It's great to see different levels of comedy. ... He has a big personality in the show and Sofia doesn't have a huge personality, but her dry comedy is kind of the best match to his. I just love being able to play off of that. I can't wait until people see it too. It's going to be so silly."

Joel Kim Booster, Ron Funches, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Meagen Fay, Nat Faxon and Stephanie Styles in
Joel Kim Booster, Ron Funches, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Meagen Fay, Nat Faxon and Stephanie Styles in "Loot," now streaming on Apple TV+.

'We can talk about things we think are important in the world'

Amid all the fun of Loot, including pop culture references, the series integrates real social and economic problems that people face, but addresses them with a comedy-first approach.

"Season 1 ends with Molly saying billionaires shouldn't exist and vowing to give away her money, and really dedicate herself to her cause," Yang said said. "We hit upon an issue in Los Angeles, and honestly worldwide, the issue of unhoused people and how to best help them."

"I think that was something we were interested in pursuing and learning more about. It's never going to be the most screen time in the show, because it's a comedy forward show, but getting to learn about that a little bit and putting a little bit of a thread into the season was cool."

"The social element of the show, I think we both tried to be as respectful as we can," co-creator Matt Hubbard added. "Neither of us are saying we can solve any of these major problems, but I think we can talk about things we think are important in the world, and at least see these characters struggling to figure them out, and to make the world slightly better in their neck of the woods. So that is always gratifying to me."

Apple TV+

Watch Loot Season 2 on Apple TV+ with 7 days free, then $9.99/month

$10 at Apple TV+

For Rodriguez, the actor connects personally to that element of the storytelling, which is particularly critical for Sofia.

"Naturally, I'm someone who speaks out and who is very vocal when it comes to awareness, especially when it comes to the LGBTQIA community," Rodriguez said. "So to get to step into this role where Sofia is not trans, or she's biological, she is just a woman working in a space, trying to build an empire, to make sure that the people of the world are taken care of. I can attest to that."

"I just love being able to watch her. I don't know if I can do it like her, because she is just so headstrong and head on. ... I will say I'm definitely a go-getter, but she would probably whip me into shape too. And that's the great thing that I feel like any person who is an actor or actress, or a viewer, wants. They want to be able to like relate and they want to be able to say, ' Wow I would love her to be on my side.'"

Loot Season 2 premieres on Apple TV+ April 3, with new episodes weekly