‘Master of None’ breakout Alessandra Mastronardi on love, CVS, and that heart-stopping finale
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Master of None Season 2.
You may have to look away from Master of None Season 2.
As Dev (Aziz Ansari) grows close to his engaged Italian friend Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi), the friendship stretches its definition to points of excruciating tension; touching foreheads in the dark, platonic bed sharing — you know, that special circle of hell.
By the end of the season, Dev shares his feelings, and it turns out she feels the same and ends up back with him in his apartment. Mastronardi said she and the writers discussed multiple endings before landing on the one we see.
“What we chose was this kind of limbo where they are together but at the same time there is a kind of [empty space] in the room,” she told Mashable. “It’s kind of lonely, even if they are together.”
Mastronardi loves the ending they ended up with, an in between where Dev and Francesca’s story could still go any way. Does she leave him and go back to Pino? Do they stay together forever?
“It’s really interesting actually because you can read everything you want,” Mastronardi told Mashable via phone interview while traveling between London and Paris. “It’s not a normal love story that you can see in a movie. It’s more similar to the reality.”
“It starts as a friendship, and it kind of like at the beginning of the season, like the first two episodes, you actually don’t even care about the fact that they are friends…it’s kind of really natural and really organic how these two find that they are actually more than friends.”
In Episode 9, “Amarsi Un Po” (loving [each other] a bit), Francesca and Dev weather a blizzard in his apartment — treading close to romantic territory but never crossing into it.
“The blizzard…is maybe one of my favorites,” Mastronardi said. “It’s the kind of feeling that you have when you’re a teenager and you are stuck in a party with this person that you like, but you’re too shy to just move a finger and you actually try to have fun without thinking.” She describes the episode as romantic, but not in the conventional sense; Dev and Francesca are just enjoying each other’s company. They’re drinking but not drunk, in the same place but not together.
The episode also features a song that Mastronardi played for Ansari one day. It prompted a spontaneous dance party which later made it on film — and that wasn’t the only real thing to make the show.
“I arrived in New York the first time I was 18,” Mastronardi explained. “I was with my friend needed to go to a pharmacy ad we popped into CVS, and I literally jumped because it was huge and [we just] have small pharmacies in Italy.”
“I told this story to Aziz and he was shocked. He [said], ‘No way, are you serious?’ I said, ‘I swear, it happened.’ I started telling him and he was laughing, and he thought I was completely crazy. [But] he put it in my character, he put it in the TV show and it was actually cool.”
With Season 2 ending and no current plans for Season 3, Dev and Francesca’s fate may never fully be revealed — but it’s sure to continue to keep people talking and hoping.
Master of None Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.