HBO Max's Chris Keyser And Daniel Goldfarb Discuss Julia's Second Act - Exclusive

If there is one chapter of Julia Child's impressive life that her fans know best, it is likely her time in France with her diplomat husband Paul Child. As romantic and picturesque as that time her life must have been and as inviting as it is for many fans, the latest look at Child's life and career in HBO Max's Julia takes a closer look at the second iteration of her cooking career. Mashed spoke with executive producer Chris Keyser to learn more.

"There were a lot of opportunities we saw in this chapter of her life to talk about things we wanted to talk about," Keyser said. "First of all, it's a period in which the marriage between Julia and Paul changes fundamentally. Up to this point, although she's written 'Mastering' and things have begun to change in that way, she really followed Paul's life. She was [in the passenger seat] to a remarkable life that he had. From this point on, he takes that second seat in the marriage." That wasn't the only change happening at the time in the lives of the Childs or the world.

Keyser explains that Julia reinvented herself

Keyser describes how much things changed both in the world and within their marriage as Julia shifted into a leading role as author and television personality. "We wanted to tell the story of the evolution of the marriage from the old-fashioned, wonderful, loving, old-fashioned '50s kind of marriage, a Lucy and Ricky kind of marriage, to something that felt more like a modern marriage — and watch Paul in particular, and Julia, who understood what it meant to take someone along, navigate what it meant to allow this woman to shine. That's the first thing," Keyser said.

The executive producer also wanted to show that it's never too later to change course in life. "The second thing is the beginning of her second act, and it's a story about second acts. We were very interested in that and the remaking of yourself, no matter what age you are," Keyser said. 

There was a much larger scale of change happening all around the couple too. "Third, it's her time back in America. We wanted to talk about all the things that were happening in America through the '60s and the '70s: the changes in food culture, the development of public television, the rise of celebrity, the increasing importance of feminism, and other movements of change in society that Julia had an interesting relationship to," Keyser explained. Even the executive director of the Julia Child Foundation agrees that the new HBO Max series did an amazing job at just that.

New episodes of "Julia" premiere on HBO Max on Thursdays.