In Netflix’s ‘Good Grief,’ Dan Levy plays the role of Marc, a man grieving his husband, Oliver, with whom he had a wonderful life. It all falls apart when Marc discovers that Oliver was having an affair in Paris, which is where Oliver was headed when he got into the accident that killed him. In the next year, Marc goes through an upheaval of emotions, and Levy portrays it with a sensitivity that might make the audience wonder if the role was based on a real person. SPOILERS AHEAD
Levy Taps Into His Own Grief to Portray Marc
‘Good Grief’ is directed by Dan Levy, who also wrote the script for the film. The story and the characters in the movie are entirely fictional and are not influenced by a real person or events. However, when Levy wrote the story, he was thinking about his own grief and the sadness of losing a person close to him.
When the COVID-19 pandemic was in its final leg, Levy lost his grandmother, whom he loved very much. A few months later, he also lost his dog, which compounded his grief and made him think about a lot of things, especially when it comes to family and friendship. He poured all of that into the story, with Marc becoming the face of the story, supported by his friends, Sophie and Oliver. One could say that Levy tapped into his own grief to unlock the sadness inside Marc and explore the complexities of losing someone you love and questioning whether you are grieving enough for them.
Talking about the character, Levy revealed how he tried to make Marc completely different from the roles he had played before, especially David Rose from ‘Schitt’s Creek.’ Having played the latter for several years, Levy said that part of David was embedded in him, and it was “easy to slip into behavioral instincts” of David. Marc, on the other hand, is a very different person, which is why Levy made sure that he was not bringing anything of David on the set, saying that the two are very different characters, with Marc being “way more still, less reactionary, far more inwardly sensitive.”
Another thing that Levy brought of his own life into Marc’s story was the presence of his friends and the role they have played over the years in supporting him through thick and thin. While writing the film, Levy intended to highlight the depth and intimacy of platonic friendships rather than throw Marc back into the dating pool to find love again. He was much more interested in exploring Marc’s equation with Sophie and Thomas rather than delving into his burgeoning romance with Theo.
Levy has drawn on his own friendships to create the bond that Marc shared with Sophie and Thomas. He was particularly interested in displaying the face of friendships that a person has in their 30s when people have been friends for a long time and what that kind of old bond and familiarity feels like when it comes to discussing things that you’d rather brush away because you don’t want to discuss those things with your friends.
In the same vein, Levy also set the story in London, where he has spent a lot of time and spent some formative years of his life. Placing Marc there felt natural as it gave a “fish out of water” sense to him, but also leaned into the idea of found family and the depth of his friendships. With all this in mind, we can say that while Marc is a fictional character, Levy has infused him with a lot of his own experiences.