The new HBO horror-comedy “The Baby” takes a concept like “Rosemary’s Baby,” into the modern world.
Premiering Sunday, April 24 (10:30 p.m.), “The Baby” is set in Britain and follows Natasha (Michelle de Swarte, “The Duchess”) a snarky 38-year-old who does not want children. To her dismay, her close friends are all having babies, and that’s taking over all of their conversations and interactions — and in her view, ruining poker night.
When she goes to a remote spooky cabin to unwind after an argument with a friend, a baby literally falls out of the sky and into her arms.
“I don’t have children and I’m also around Natasha’s age, so it was quite easy to tap into what Natasha was feeling,” de Swarte, 41, told The Post.
“I think everyone has that moment with your friend group where they move on, or they do something different to what you’re doing, whether you have a child or not. Whatever side of the spectrum you’re on, there’s something relatable about the feelings of everyone in the room, especially that poker scene. There’s things I can relate to with Natasha. Although, I’d like to think I’m a bit more accommodating of my friends who have kids, because you need to be if you want to continue the relationship.”
Soon, it becomes clear that sinister events surround this baby. When Natasha tries to ditch the tot, he keeps turning up, and people who come into close contact with him often meet grisly ends. When she goes to the police, they’re baffled as well.
De Swarte said that she didn’t have only one infant co-star, even though there’s one baby onscreen.
“We had twins, and then we had a few more. So on any given day, there was probably around four to five babies on standby,” she said.
“Weirdly, babies have zero respect for being on set. So, there were a lot of tears because they’re babies and there’s a lot of stimulation and lights and sounds. Generally, what I started to learn is that you have about three takes. I just got used to the rhythm of the baby. You’ve kind of got to work around them. If the baby was being good and chill, I was like, ‘Make sure not to get your lines wrong, because this is your moment.’”
This is only de Swarte’s second acting gig – before this, she was mostly a model (for brands such as Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger), stand-up comedian, and TV host of series such as “Woman with Gloria Steinem.”
“I’m really lucky that the first show I did was ‘The Duchess’ with Netflix, I got that off the back of doing stand-up comedy, and I had been writing and making shorts leading up to that. I didn’t think I was going to end up acting,” she said. “I didn’t think it was a feasible thing to hedge your bets on. I thought, ‘Wow, that seems like it would be a real long shot.’ So, it’s quite recent, in the last three years. And so far, it’s been extremely fortuitous.”