After gorging on McDonald's for 30 days in his Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock saw how compelling people find it to watch someone change for a month. So he filmed 30 Days, a six-episode FX series — starting tonight at 10 pm/ET — that chronicles one-month journeys of various people, from a Christian man living with a Muslim family to Spurlock and his fiancée trying to live on minimum wage. The filmmaker stepped away from the camera to discuss his new show.
TV Guide: In tonight's premiere episode, you and Alex live on minimum wage. You injure your wrist and have no health insurance.
When you're having to make the decision of "Where are we going to spend what little money we have?" as my arm is swelling up and starting to turn black... I was like, "This isn't good!" [Laughs]
TVG: Were there moments when you thought a segment might fall apart?
The [June 29 episode] where a Christian man goes to live with a Muslim family was very powerful. There were so many conflicts because of his beliefs. Then people started lashing out at him. There were times when we thought, "Is a fight going to break out?"
[In the June 22] anti-aging episode, the guy's doing steroids and testosterone for a month. You see [him] go through this transformation — mentally, physically, emotionally — and you start to see the 'roid rage come out. It's incredible to witness.
TVG: At some points, though, you must have been surprised by the humor that came out of an episode.
An ex-military man goes to live with a gay man in San Francisco [in the July 13 episode]. He's a very "don't ask, don't tell" kind of guy who believes homosexuality is a sin — but then there's a point when he really lets his guard down and starts to have fun. And it's really funny, dude.
TVG: The most amazing thing about all this, of course, is that your girlfriend, Alex, hasn't left you yet.
[Laughs] Originally when I met with FX, the idea was that [for every episode] I would go and do something for 30 days. That's when Alex put her foot down. She said, "If you do that, you'll never have a girlfriend — and this girlfriend will be gone."