Interview by Paul Salfen

Follow as Paul Salfen talks to Isabella as she takes a break from the studio and takes a stroll.

Set in the idyllic but fragile beach paradise of sunny 1980s San Diego, “Physical” is a half-hour dark comedy following Sheila Rubin, a quietly tortured, seemingly dutiful housewife supporting her smart but controversial husband’s bid for state assembly. But behind closed doors, Sheila has her own darkly funny take on life she rarely lets the world see. She’s also battling a complex set of personal demons relating to her self-image… that is, until she finds release through the unlikeliest source: the world of aerobics.

At first hooked on the exercise itself, Sheila’s real road to empowerment comes when she discovers a way to merge this newfound passion with the burgeoning technology of videotape to start a revolutionary business. The series tracks her epic journey from a stifled, overlooked enabler to a powerful, confident economic force, as Sheila transforms into someone we take for granted today (but was entirely radical at the time) — the female lifestyle guru.

Physical Season 2 is now streaming on Apple TV+.

English songwriter, keyboardist, and producer Isabella Summers is a critically lauded performer best known as a founding member of Florence + the Machine. Summers was integral to forming the group’s sound and contributed to all of their first three U.K. chart-topping albums, including 2009’s Lungs, 2011’s Grammy-nominated Ceremonials, and 2015’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Along with collaborating on projects with Beyoncé, Katharine McPhee, and Rita Ora, among others, she has also garnered acclaim for her soundtrack work, earning an Emmy nomination for the 2020 Hulu drama Little Fires Everywhere and scoring the 2021 Rose Byrne-starring Apple TV+ series Physical.


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