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Making a Scene: John Wilson on Blowing Up a Car in ‘How To’ and Steven Soderbergh’s Thoughts on The Cheesecake Factory

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Meredith Woerner Deputy Editor, After 3 seasons, John Wilson is tired of people questioning the integrity of “How To With John Wilson.” However, when you spend 18 episodes curating the most unbelievable New York oddities and storylines while sending crews out to film “houses that look like faces” or a “bunch of bottles of urine discarded on the sidewalk” (which are actually pretty easy to find in the city), the public can’t help but wonder if the subjects of his docuseries on HBO are really… real.

The master of weaving seemingly unrelated narratives and anecdotal tangents together into an (often emotional) truth about humanity sat down with Variety‘s Making a Scene to discuss why he was ready to address the disbelievers and unveil his process of creating the final season of “How To.” So, for the penultimate episode of “How To,” instead of busting out the receipts, Wilson decided to lean in and stage the fakest episode of “How To” to date.

Titled “How To Watch Birds,” the story included scripting a Titanic conspiracy theory (that originally included a nefarious James Cameron lurking in the shadows), hiring a film crew to blow up his car and getting notes from the heist legend himself, director Steven Soderbergh. “I really wanted to swing for the fences with this last season and do a lot of stuff that I may have been a bit too bashful to ask for in the first two,” Wilson explained. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Steven Soderbergh.

He’s just like this legendary action drama filmmaker … I basically just wanted to meet him, and I figured the best way would be to ask him if he wanted to consult on the episode.” HBO connected the two over Zoom so Wilson could run his third act past the fellow director.

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