Created by Abe Forsythe for Peacock and Stan, ‘Wolf Like Me’ is a horror-comedy show that revolves around Gary (Josh Gad), his daughter Emma (Ariel Donoghue), and his love interest Mary (Isla Fisher). After a scary car accident, Gary notices that Mary is able to successfully stop Emma’s panic attack. Later, Gary and Mary go out on a date of sorts, but she bolts out of the bar once it gets dark. Thus, the show follows Gary and Mary’s messy relationship; both lost their significant other and are looking for love, but Mary’s life is controlled by a terrifying secret.
The genre-bending rom-com delves into familiar themes pertaining to familial bonds, trauma, guilt, self-acceptance, and mental health. Gary and Mary’s unconventional love story is one that makes use of sensitivity, passion, and patience. Their struggles are relatable and signify the personal burdens strangers bring into new relationships. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that many are curious about how much of the show is fiction and how much is based on reality. Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers. Let’s find out if ‘Wolf Like Me’ is based on a true story.
Is Wolf Like Me a True Story?
‘Wolf Like Me’ is partially based on a true story. Despite its fantastical elements, the show deals with very real themes pertaining to emotional trauma and baggage. In fact, Gary and Mary’s stories are based on Forsythe’s own experiences. Forsythe, who is the director and writer, revealed in an interview that the show draws greatly from his experiences as a single parent. He also explained how, in 2019, a coincidence happened at night with a person he was spending time with, making him combine all his experiences into a cohesive story using the element of the genre.
In the show, we see that Mary runs away from Gary and other people whenever the sky starts turning dark. The supernatural reason she does so is a major plot point explaining her backstory and emotional turmoil. Indeed, Forsythe is of the opinion that the genre is a fantastic way of exploring one’s life experiences as it allows for realism, emotions, and also a bit of fun. Additionally, it permits the use of metaphors that help fans relate to the struggles of characters like Mary.
Funnily, Gary’s date with an Asian woman who uses dating apps to learn English is also lifted from Forsythe’s experiences. The heartwarming show uses a unique mix of romance, comedy, and horror in order to realistically portray the struggles of Gary, Emma, and Mary. In fact, Mary’s secret in the show — which prevents her from living a normal life or getting close to others — is a way of manifesting her trauma in a physically observable way.
“It [the creation of ‘Wolf Like Me’] was taking a genre element and trying to make it as real as possible and actually make it a really heartfelt drama because, to me, genre is always the best way of exploring something that’s going on in your life. It gives you a safe space to have fun and that’s a big thing for me,” stated Forsythe. Indeed, the horror-comedy is emotionally insightful and chock-full of surprising plot twists.
Additionally, Fisher and Gad approached their fictional characters from a serious perspective to ensure that the melancholic elements of the show are balanced against the comedic ones. “They [Gary and Mary] both have such extreme baggage, and yet somehow their baggage cancels each other out,” opined Gad. “These two characters who start at these really low points can rely on each other, despite the fact that they’re both in a chaotic situation.”
Thus, ‘Wolf Like Me’ combines supernatural elements with everyday concerns pertaining to trauma and love in order to portray a heartwarming story of a widower, widow, and a grieving tween. Weaving in and out of different genres using fiction, the show represents how human experiences with sadness and guilt are diverse, chaotic, occasionally hilarious, and ultimately surmountable.
Read More: Where Is Wolf Like Me Filmed?