Friday, June 23, 2017


HBO series INSECURE Creator/Director/Writer ISSA RAE is joined by five fellow comedy actresses for THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER - COMEDY ACTRESS ROUNDTABLE!!!


Here are some interview interludes:

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, f—ing 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?"
o you consider whether a part is unlikable before taking it?
ROSSUM I run toward it. My character on Shameless — 'cause it has been so many seasons now — has gone through so much. I went to jail for cocaine and overdosed a toddler and still found the humanity in that. I guess there was a moment where I thought, "Oh, God, is everyone going to hate me?" And then I felt like, "Who cares?" Whatever anybody takes away from it is a reflection on them, not you.
ISSA RAE (Insecure, HBO) That's so true.
DRIVER And nobody is one thing.
RAE I think it may feel more amplified because TV shows these days are more publicly social, in terms of the conversation. And people tend to be quicker to take sides. The character in my show is named after me and that was purely by accident. It was an untitled show, and I was just like, "Oh, I'll just call the character Issa for now," and then it just aired that way, and I didn't realize the implications of people being like, "F— her, f— Issa, she's trash."
ROSSUM You should know that people do that regardless. (Laughter.)
ADLON Yeah, yeah.
ROSSUM People scream at me like, "F— you, Fiona, you overdosed that baby." They actually think you're that person.
ADLON In the season I'm shooting now, I'm exploring this idea of people who have done f—ed-up things having a redeeming quality. Last season, the guy who is the father of my girls on the show and I have this sit-down in a restaurant, and it's so intense. He's like, "'I'm going to be in town, but I can't see the girls." And I'm like, "Are you saying you want me to manage the girls?"
DRIVER "So you want me to tell them in case you run into them?"
ADLON Yeah. And he was like, "Well, it's very complicated." And I'm like, "I'm sure it is." And he goes, "Thanks for your help." And I go, "Thank you for your help." And I stand up and I walk out. And the note was, "We don't want [the camera] to stay on him because we're feeling a little bit of empathy for him. We want to leave with you." And I said, "No, I'm interested in him sitting there in the fart that we just made in this restaurant and what's going on with this guy. That's the thing that's so great to explore."
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 f—ing 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!
What message does EMMY ROSSUM's battle for EQUAL PAY send to women in Hollywood?
RAE Don't even try.
DRIVER OK, so let me ask you this: What do we do? Do we do the Steinbeck thing where you all go, "Well, I'm not going to work for that," and they go, "Well, there are 20 other women who will." Do you take a stand and go, "I'm not taking that role because there is no parity, it's insane"? What do you do?
ROSSUM It's not just Hollywood. You look at the people in the medical industry. People in government … But my thing was just, "I need to do something to make it right for me, so that I can feel good about doing this job." And then it became such a big thing, I was at a health food store in Canada, and this little girl who worked there came up to me and was like, "What you did for gender equality really meant so much to me." And just the fact that I touched a real person meant something to me.
DRIVER So, are we supposed to say no? What do you think?
FERRERA I don't know that that's the solution. Each of us, we find ourselves in different places with different platforms and kinds of access, and we have to get it right with ourselves, the way you did, Emmy — saying "This used to feel OK to me; it doesn't now," and coming to terms with that. And then having the conversation with the entire system built around you to keep you from asking for more. I feel like most of the times that I have had to ask for something, I had to convince my agents to ask with me. Having to ask your agents, "I want this thing," and having them say, "We don't think you should ask for that."

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