If you don’t know the name Veena Sud, you likely know some of the series she created, like The Killing on AMC and Seven Seconds on Netflix, starring Regina King. The writer, director and producer has a new series on Quibi called The Stranger, which takes place over the course of one night and follows a woman being stalked by a man through Los Angeles. Sud describes her standard approach to a series as telling “slow-burn stories.” The Stranger is radically different in tempo, as the 10-minute framework for each episode gives the show a high-octane feel.
In a new episode of the I’m So Obsessed podcast on CNET, Sud talks about The Stranger and the critically acclaimed shows she made on AMC and Netflix. Her series usually revolve around why a person’s life matters and their worth in our society. These are themes Sud has been writing about since second grade.
“This sounds so dorky, and I was such a dork, but the very first story I wrote was about a pony. And the pony had died at the beginning of the story,” said Sud. “The story opened up with, ‘Today, I died.’ That was my first line. Going from there, I had zero idea. But I wanted to know what happens in that moment.”
She talks in depth about The Stranger, and how she approaches writing her shows. She explains how working on MTV’s The Real World prepared her for The Killing. I also discover Sud’s deep love for Skyline Chili.
We also talk at length about Black Lives Matter and the need for more diversity in Hollywood.
“Besides lip service, and besides panels and besides talking about it, and besides having yet another conference about it, put your money where your mouth is,” said Sud. “Start hiring us. Start hiring black and brown people to make the decisions for which stories get green-lit. Start hiring more representative critics in the industry so that our shows and shows that represent black and brown people aren’t relegated to the back burners.”
Listen to my entire conversation with Sud on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.