WATCH: Darren Criss, Laura Harrier & Samara Weaving on giving ‘Hollywood’ the Hollywood treatment

Hollywood has a reputation for giving stories a larger-than-life, idealized treatment. That’s not always a bad thing.

The eponymous Netflix show, created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennen, sees the Golden Age of Hollywood as it should have been. Rather than a seedy land of backstabbing, casting couches, closet cases, sexism and racial disparity, the new series envisions a Hollywood where rivals could become friends, people of color could become stars, and movies could push the envelope of social acceptance. So goes the story of three of the show’s key characters: the aspiring director Raymond (Darren Criss), his actress-girlfriend Camille (Laura Harrier) and her studio rival Claire (Samara Weaving).

Related: WATCH: Fresh-faced Rock Hudson arrives in Ryan Murphy’s ‘Hollywood’

We managed to sit down with the three actors (via webcam, due to COVID-19) to talk about the series’ idealized take on 1940s Tinseltown, their characters, and the beauty of subverted expectations. Hollywood streams on Netflix May 1.