wellmania celeste barber

INTERVIEW: Benjamin Law captures the “batsh**tery” of wellness in Wellmania

"There’s a little bit of scepticism but a little bit of desperation as well."

Netflix’s Wellmania tries to capture the “batsh**tery” of the wellness industry, according to co-creator Benjamin Law.

The series — which landed on Netflix on March 29 — follows food writer and human tornado Liv (Celeste Barber), who has a major health crisis and is forced to rethink her ‘live fast, die young’ attitude. And while you may think it’s a jab at the health industry, Law says it is more about “true wellness” than dieting, crystals and enemas.

“The way Celeste is approaching the role is with non-judgmental curiosity,” Law told Anita Anabel, during an interview on The Entertainment Hotline podcast.

“[There’s] a little bit of scepticism but a little bit of desperation as well, which I think is the way that most of us approach the wellness industry.”

wellmania celeste barber
Celeste Barber. Source: Netflix.

According to the Australian Survivor star, “a very different version of the show” could have been made given that Barber is “everyone’s favourite Mr Bean as a woman on Instagram”.

“That’s why we adore her. She’s so physical and clown-like that we could have had a lot of low-hanging fruit, kind of dragging the wellness industry or dumping sh-t on it.

“But when you think about wellness, we’re all part of this industry, and we wanted to approach it in a way that was non-judgmental while simultaneously capturing the batsh**tery of it all.”

Wellmania explores the idea that “wellness” isn’t just about being physically healthy

Without giving too much away, Law said that by the end of the series, you get the feeling that Liv has “ticked all the boxes”.

“She’s in America, she’s fit, she knows how to take care of her body supposedly,” he said. “But is that true wellness? Has she repaired the fractured kind of relationship she has with her family? Has she actually connected with her friends and made sure that she’s there for them?

“I think what we were trying to explore is wellness or the idea of wellness in 2023 can be often quite shallow whereas true wellness is really messy and complicated. What does it mean to be a healthy well person is actually a little bit more than the crystals and the yoga mats and the diet and the juices.

“I think Liv discovers that in a really hard way because stuff that she hasn’t taken care of in her past is catching up to her quickly.”

Wellmania is streaming now on Netflix.

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