Cristin Milioti on ‘The Resort:’ ‘I felt like I was in Jurassic Park’

Cristin Milioti first heard about her new Peacock show “The Resort” when she was filming the 2020 sci-fi rom com “Palm Springs.” 

“When I first talked to [that movie’s screenwriter Andy Siara] about it, we were on that set three years ago. I was really intrigued. But it’s so difficult to get anything made [so] we sort of left it at, ‘Please call me if this comes to fruition,’” Milioti, 36, told The Post. 

Premiering Thursday, July 28th, “The Resort” is a comedic thriller created by Siara and Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”). It follows couple Emma (Milioti) and Noah (William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”) as they embark on a vacation in the Cancun area for their 10th anniversary. There, they become ensnared in a bizarre and multi-layered mystery. Nick Offerman and Skyler Gisondo (“The Righteous Gemstones”) play supporting roles.

Emma (Cristin Milioti) with Noah (William Jackson Harper) in the jungles of Yucatan in “The Resort.”
Emma (Cristin Milioti) and Noah (William Jackson Harper) take an adventurous turn on vacation in “The Resort.”

“At first it seems like it’s about marital drama and trying to re-ignite a relationship that maybe is on its last legs,” said Milioti. “And then you think it’s a murder mystery. And then it turns into something so much bigger that has to do with the disappointment of time and growing older — and how we can’t go back — and regret. I find those things fascinating to explore and I love that [the series] did it in a style that’s very singular.”

Emma and Noah play amateur detectives, looking into the case of two missing tourists who vanished 15 years earlier, shortly before a mysterious hurricane demolished their hotel (a body also turned up). These events seem to be connected to a local crime family, but it’s also a mystery to the audience just why Emma and Noah are getting involved, as Emma seems increasingly frazzled. 

A vacation to the Cancun area soon turns bizarre for Emma (Cristin Milioti) and Noah (William Jackson Harper) in “The Resort.”
Emma (Cristin Milioti) and Noah (William Jackson Harper) pose for a picture while checking into their resort.

“I’ve known a lot of women like [Emma]. I had a lot of compassion for how she’s on fire with disappointment,” said Milioti [“How I Met Your Mother,” “Fargo,” “Made For Love“]. It’s part of being alive and it’s tricky to deal with, and she isn’t acknowledging it. It’s sort of eating her alive … I really gravitate towards roles that feel like fully formed humans. The information about her is parsed out throughout the show – you can tell she’s dealing with something, but you don’t know what it is. I find that so many people are like that.”

“The Resort” was a reunion for Milioti and Harper, who also played a couple in the 2017 play “After The Blast” written by Zoe Kazan. 

Emma (Cristin Milioti) finds a mysterious old phone in the woods in “The Resort.”

“We also played a couple in distress [in the play]. It was a difficult play, and one of my favorites that I’ve ever been a part of. It was helpful to have gone on that journey with him,” she said. “Even though we played a very different couple, I feel very safe with him and trust him immensely. So, I felt like we could go very far in exploring the dynamic of these two people.

“I really love what Will and I get to do in the beginning [of ‘The Resort’]. They’re just so unable to communicate and so stuck in a pattern, talking about nothing, afraid of saying what they want to do,” she said. “That was an element of the show that I really enjoyed. And it sort of turns into a really big adventure …i t felt like I was getting to act in the type of movies that I grew up watching, like ‘Jurassic Park.’”