The OA Star and Creator Brit Marling Reveals the Inspiration Behind Her Hit Netflix Show
In the month since its release, fans have picked apart the story, drawing upon many different theories
Netflix’s newest sci-fi series The OA — executive produced by Brad Pitt and his production company Plan B — tells the complicated story of a blind young woman who disappears from her small town only to return seven years later with her sight restored.
PEOPLE Now sat down with Brit Marling, who co-created the show with Zal Batmanglij, to discuss the inspiration behind the story.
“I met this young woman at a party — she had this incredible energy,” Marling began. “She was so open and still.”
“When you talked to her, you felt like she was really listening,” the actress continued. “I was like, ‘What is up with this girl?’ She just seemed really engaged and alive in a different way. We started talking and as we’re talking she tells me that she had a near death experience. She was in a hospital and she flat-lined and left her body.”
“She described the experience of looking down at her body from above and feeling herself return to some greater, sort of energetic state of peace and bliss and then she made the choice to return,” Marling added. “When she described that, I thought, ‘This makes sense. This is a person who has just touched something other, had a consciousness of death that the rest of us don’t have. This makes her live different.’ ”
In the month since its release, fans have picked apart the story, drawing upon many different theories.
“Everybody talks about a light at the end of the tunnel,” says Marling. “Everybody talks about this feeling of love and compassion and liberation. And people often talk about the choice to return. Many people come back with unusual skills.”
“Like somebody who was tone deaf comes back with a perfect pitch or someone comes back with language fluency in a language they didn’t know before or perfect artistic rendering skills when they couldn’t draw a stick figure prior,” she added. “There’s this rich area for asking questions about what’s happening in the brain or what’s happen gone this other side that people are visiting and retuning from.”
The OA is currently streaming on Netflix.