Hulu’s ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’ reveals real-world origins from Mashable

The period drama series, adapted from Georgia Hunter’s best-selling novel We Were the Lucky Ones, arrives March 28 on Hulu.

Based on the true story of Hunter’s own family, the series follows a family of Polish Jews torn apart by the Holocaust. Separated across nations — even continents — they will fight to find their way back to one another. The eight-episode limited series features a sprawling cast, including familiar faces like Joey King and Logan Lerman.

What’s We Were the Lucky Ones about?

Lior Ashkenazi and Robin Weigert in “We Were the Lucky Ones.”
Credit: Hulu

The heart of We Were the Lucky Ones are the Kurcs, a Jewish family living in Radom, Poland. As the series opens, they are well-off and tight-knit. Yet Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the beginning of World War II tear them away from one another, forcing them to endure grave horrors and hardships throughout the entirety of the war and the Holocaust.

Lerman’s character Addy, a composer, is based on Hunter’s own grandfather. She didn’t know about his Holocaust story until a year after he died, when she was 15 years old, Hunter told members of the Television Critics Association (TCA) during a panel. From there, she knew she had to tell his story — and the story of their extended family during that time.

Hunter’s family story resonated with stars of the We Were the Lucky Ones as well. Lerman told TCA members about how Addy’s journey from country to country, eventually winding up in South America, reflected his own family’s forcible displacement from Europe. In the case of Lerman’s family, they eventually settled in China.

“I haven’t seen this angle on [the Holocaust],” Lerman said of the show’s ensemble storytelling. He added: “You can take something away from every person’s storyline.”

Joey King and Logan Lerman lead We Were the Lucky Ones’ large cast.

Amit Rahav as Jakob in “We Were the Lucky Ones.”
Credit: Hulu

Joey King (The Act, Bullet Train) and Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Hunters) star as siblings Halina and Addy Kurc in We Were the Lucky Ones. Joining them in the Kurc family are Hadas Yaron (Felix and Meira), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Archie), Amit Rahav (Unorthodox), Sam Woolf (The Witcher), Michael Aloni (Out in the Dark), Moran Rosenblatt (Hit & Run), Eva Feiler (The Crown), Lior Ashkenazi (Golda), and Robin Weigert (Deadwood). 

“We were looking to create a family,” showrunner Erica Lipez said of the casting process. “We just really wanted to find people who were running towards the project and who felt compelled to do it.”

Lipez (Julia, The Morning Show) also serves as executive producer on We Were the Lucky Ones, along with Thomas Kail (Fosse/Verdon) and Jennifer Todd (Memento). Episodes are directed by Kail, Neasa Hardiman (The Power), and Amit Gupta (His Dark Materials).

We Were the Lucky Ones premieres March 28 on Hulu.

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