The Cast Of Mythic Quest On The New GrimPop Set And Ian And Poppy's Creative Love Story [Exclusive Interview]

When "Mythic Quest" returns to Apple TV+ this week for its third season, the creative minds behind the show's massively popular video game will be tackling something new: their own company. "Mythic Quest" season 2 ended with the gamer geek version of a mic drop when MQ's egotistical creative director, Ian (Rob McElhenney, who co-created the series), left his baby behind to head into uncharted creative waters with lead engineer turned co-creative director, Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao).

The pair make a hilarious and engaging odd couple, one whose roller coaster of a creative partnership often feels as passionate as a romantic relationship, for better and worse. In the new season, they've left MQ behind to form GrimPop, a new company housed in a sterile, futuristic white office space held together by game tester-turned-programmer Dana (Imani Hakim). Together, the trio form what may not exactly be a dream team, but is certainly a team with big dreams.

Ahead of the new season's release, I spoke with Nicdao and Hakim via Zoom about secrets of the GrimPop set, the creative love story at the show's center, and what it was like for Dana and Poppy to work together this season. Plus, in a nod to one of the upcoming season's most memorable episodes, the pair even revealed the movies that changed their lives.

'There were little hidey holes'

So the new GrimPop set in the show is amazing, but I imagine it was kind of disorienting to spend a lot of time in that big space. How did it feel working on that set, compared to the old MQ headquarters?

Hakim: It's nice to get a new set sometimes because it feels refreshing, and also, it was a little isolating because it was just the three of us for most of it.

Nicdao: Yeah, and also, you're in this big, white open space. It was an incredible space, and it looks amazing on screen. I can't wait for people to see it, and it felt amazing to stand in, as well. The one fun thing about that set is it does look like this big, vast, open space, but there were little hidey holes.

Hakim: There were, yup.

Nicdao: Right? There were little spots that you could kind of creep underneath walls and have a little cozy spot to wait, or for a nap.

Hakim: Take a little nap. Yeah.

That's so funny. That goes to my next question. I was just going to ask if there's any features we didn't get to see from that set. Is that the main one?

Nicdao: Yeah, totally. Also, those rooms — you'll see when you watch -– there are these rooms sort of off the main space that you could go into to feel like you're in a different room, but the way that it was set up was it's like a fishbowl. So everyone can see in through these massive windows. I feel like we've spent a lot of time lazing about on the floor.

Hakim: Yeah. It's very comfortable.

Nicdao: It was comfortable.

Hakim: It was a very comfortable set.

'It's about will they, won't they create something great?'

I love that "Mythic Quest" has always seen kind of creative partnership as a form of love, and I think that's even more apparent this season. I'm curious, especially for Charlotte, have you been consciously playing the role as a sort of creative love story?

Nicdao: I love the way that you put that. Yes.

Hakim: That is –- yes!

Nicdao: A hundred percent. That's exactly how I see it. It is a will they/won't they, but not romantic. It's about will they/won't they create something great? Will they/won't they find a healthy way to work together? Will they/won't they remain friends? And I feel the stakes of that, especially in this season. They've really taken a huge risk. They've left behind their sure success to pursue Poppy's idea, and I don't think that the problem is that they're not capable, in terms of the skills that they have, of building a legacy as important as Mythic Quest. It's whether they're capable, emotionally, of doing it together.

Yeah. That makes sense. When it comes to Dana and Poppy, as well, I appreciate how layered that relationship gets in season 3, even if it's not always perfect. How did you two see the dynamic between your characters?

Hakim: Yeah, between Dana and Poppy, it really catches you by surprise, in a way, because you know that Dana looks up to Poppy. She respects her. She loves that she's a woman in gaming, and she's a boss at what she does and a genius. And so the way that relationship unfolded for us — well, one, our writers are incredible, so it's all on the page for us. And we're really close friends, so the chemistry was just naturally there. We hadn't really worked together in the previous seasons, and we got to really dive in this season and have so much fun.

Nicdao: Yeah, I mean, I think that when you are close and when you already do have sort of a rapport in the outside world, it makes it easier to dive in and take risks and play around and be a little bit cheeky when you're in this thing together.

Hakim: Yes.

'It's really made a mark on me'

This might be hard to tackle in the time we have left, but there's this great episode this season that mentions a piece of pop culture that inspired the trajectory of Poppy's life in a big way. I was wondering, do either of you have something like that, that's your version of that game?

Nicdao: Ooh, mine's not a game. Mine's a movie, which is "Star Wars. I watched "A New Hope" when I was like probably too young. I want to say like five or six, 'cause it's a little bit scary, that movie, and ever since, I've just wanted to be a Jedi.

Hakim: Mine is a little -– mine is "The Temptations," about the band The Temptations. And since I've seen that movie, it's really made a mark on me in the music industry, and I just love soul music and hope to be in a film like that one day.


Nicdao: I'll watch that movie.

"Mythic Quest" season 3 premieres on Apple TV+ on November 11, 2022.