Friday, June 16, 2017

The Hollywood Reporter's Comedy Actress Roundtable Interview

The Hollywood Reporter recently gathered Emmy Rossum, America Ferrera, Pamela Adlon, Minnie Driver, Kathryn Hahn and Issa Rae for a comedy actress roundtable interview. Here are some highlights:

What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you as a performer?

KATHRYN HAHN (I Love Dick, Amazon) I did a sex scene and was wearing one of those modesty patches, which is like …

MINNIE DRIVER (Speechless, ABC) Chafing?

HAHN Chafing. And I could feel that it had shifted significantly to the left. And I could only imagine the POV of my co-star.

EMMY ROSSUM (Shameless, Showtime) That's only happened to me like 35 times [on Shameless]. Like every other week. (Laughs.)

PAMELA ADLON (Better Things, FX) I have a lot of those from Californication. Like, fucking on the sink and then the sink breaks and then the water shoots out. And I'm in the little thin dress with the G-string, and I feel the dirty studio water going up my pussy. I'm like, "I have hantavirus now!" (Laughter.)

DRIVER This would never happen to you, but on many movies I've done with actors who are mostly short — I mean, most actors are short, certainly the ones I've worked with — they would dig me a ditch to do a kissing scene in. So, you'd be in there down with the mud and the dirt. And I remember just voicing early on, "Wouldn't it be just a bit easier if maybe he stood on a half apple or a whole apple [carton] than dig me a ditch?"

ADLON I have never felt sorry for tall people in my life. Until just this moment.

DRIVER It was really embarrassing, and it happened twice. I remember on both occasions saying to the actor, "Isn't it weird for you?" And they were like, "No. It's great 'cause now we're at the same height."

Hollywood likes to put actors in certain lanes. What's your lane?

HAHN There was certainly a best-friend chapter of my life. I was constantly the quirky best friend to various blonde stars.

FERRERA And you were always the funniest person in the movie.

HAHN Oh, but those parts are where you can be. Judy Greer and I both had been playing best friends at the same, always neck and neck for the same best-friend parts, and my husband was like, "You guys should do, like, a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-type movie where it's the best friends, and every so often you see Kate Hudson running around [in the background]."

DRIVER I hate saying that we're created out of some sort of patriarchal idea, but we sort of are. You're not given that many iterations of what it is to be a woman in film and TV. Or we certainly haven't been up until now, now being the golden age of television where you can do whatever you want. You can write whatever you want, you can direct it how you want, and you can embody it.

Issa, you've tried to flip the script with nudity on your show and push for more men to be naked, too.

HAHN Let's get your balls out, boys. (Laughs.)

RAE Let's see some dicks. No, I've found that a lot of the guys who we've worked with have just been all in, like balls to the wall. (Laughter.) No balls have been on walls! They've been really great about, and generous with, their body parts. I've had some of the actors come up and just be like, "I think it's cool that the women aren't as nude on this show."

ROSSUM I think we should be equal opportunity P and D. (Laughter.) But I only really want to see any nudity if there's a purpose for it. For me, I am OK to be as naked as you want me to be, within reason, if it applies to the story. If it serves the character.

RAE Because I have seen gratuitous breasts and vagina, and it's just like, why?

ROSSUM I don't really have a problem with nudity. I have a problem about people's heads being fucking bashed in and children watching that. I don't have any problem with children seeing a woman topless. I just don't.

DRIVER My son loves it. (Laughs.)

FERRERA How old is your son?

DRIVER He's 8. "Mom, look, something on the TV." (Laughter.)

HAHN It's tricky to have your child come up to you and be like, "You working on Dick today, Mom?" Like, just so casual.

ROSSUM Yeah, getting that Dick money. It's going to pay for your Little League, baby.

RAE Dick pays the bills!

Emmy, you were part of David Schwimmer's video vignettes, which were designed to fight sexual harassment. What role has that kind of situation played in your career, and how has your response changed with time and experience?

ROSSUM Well, I've never been in a situation where somebody asked me to do something really obviously physical in exchange for [a job], like a pay-to-play kind of situation. But even as recently as a year ago, my agent called me and was like, "I'm so embarrassed to make this call, but there's a big movie and they're going to offer it to you. They really love your work on the show. But the director wants you to come into his office in a bikini. There's no audition. That's all you have to do."

HAHN What?

ADLON Wow. But you're already doing Shameless, and we see your body all the time.

ROSSUM He wanted to know if I was fat now. That was basically the question. And I actually had this moment like, "Well, how good is the part?" For a second, I was like, "Would I do it? Send me the script. Maybe the character is in a bikini in the movie."

HAHN Yeah.

ROSSUM Not in a bikini in the movie.


ROSSUM Not naked in the movie. "We really love your work, but we just want to see how tight your ass is." Are you fucking kidding me? Last time I checked, I'm not a fucking model.

DRIVER There's always going to be someone with a tighter ass and better boobs; there's always going to be that person.

Read the full interview at The Hollywood Reporter.

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