Zoe and Maulik chat about Whitney
Hi Zoe and Maulik, thanks for chatting to us today. Unlike a lot of the shows and movies you both have recently worked on, Whitney is filmed in front of a live audience. Can you talk about what that's been like and how that's been different for you guys?
Zoe Lister-Jones: Well I think the cool thing about the cast of Whitney is that we were all either trained in theater or stand up.
And so I think for all of us as actors having a live audience is actually a real asset. And it's a lot of fun to be able to play with an audience and be able to react off of genuine, you know, reactions from them as opposed to a single camera which, you know, you’re sort of acting more in a bubble.
And so I think it's a really cool experience for all of us because it sort of feels like coming home again.
Maulik Pancholy: Yes I would say one thing too that's really fun is that when we do our tape nights and the audience is there the writers will often throw us alternate new lines that we have to try out for the first time in front of an audience.
And so there’s kind of like this, you know, there's like a give and take with the audience where they’re laughing at the scene and then you come out and you surprise them with a whole new line and when they’re thinking they're going to just like watch the same scene over. And it's just really fun. It's really fun having them there.
Zoe Lister-Jones: Definitely keeps us keeps us on our toes like Maulik was saying. And I think that's such a great opportunity for us to be able to play with....
So we've only seen a glimpse of Neal and Lily's relationship in these first two episodes. Can you talk maybe a little bit more about what we’re going to see with them and if they're perfect looking relationship is going to get some bumps in the coming episodes?
Zoe Lister-Jones: I think Neal and Lily will go many places in the upcoming episodes. You can't talk about it much in detail but, you know, they're definitely going to inhabit all of the places that a new relationship goes and the things that you start to learn and find out about after a year together. And there will be discussions of marriage.
Maulik Pancholy: I mean I think Neal and Lily like they're pretty fearless about being in a relationship and being a couple.
I heard that the show is based on Whitney's standup and her experiences but she's kind of like a frat boy trapped inside a woman's body as far as her standup is concerned, you know?
So I was just wondering has it been challenging for her to, you know, kind of tame her content and make it prime time, you know, friendly?
Zoe Lister-Jones: You know, I think it's funny you call her a frat boy inside a woman's body. I mean I think Whitney's delivery is definitely fearless and her content is fearless.
But I do think that, you know, she's truly a feminist. And I think the content might be toned down in terms of like profanities.
But I think the message that has always been a part of Whitney's voice. It's pretty consistent in that it is about what it is to be a woman in a relationship in a very complicated new climate.
I was just wondering what you like best about playing a couple opposite each other?
Like I've read that you’re a vegetarian Maulik so does she eat beef before kissing scenes or what goes on? Would you rather just be playing friends or are you happier playing a romantic couple?
Zoe Lister-Jones: Eat a lot of beef before kissing scenes.
Maulik Pancholy: Did you eat beef before our big kissing scene in the pilot?
Zoe Lister-Jones: Yes. That's just part of my process as an actor. I just feel like beef is helpful for romance.
Maulik Pancholy: And I feel like it doesn't count like if I'm a vegetarian but it doesn't count if you're getting it out of the mouth of someone else. Do you know what I mean?
Zoe Lister-Jones: That's true. That's true. It's almost (humanitarian)...
Zoe Lister-Jones: ...like teething the meat.
Maulik Pancholy: Oh my God I forgot what the question was besides the fact that you eat beef before you kiss me.
Zoe Lister-Jones: I would say it’s fun playing a couple because we really like each other. And so we get to hang out a lot.
Maulik Pancholy: Yes I feel like yes, we have so much fun together. We have so much fun. And it was fun doing those kissing scenes.
We actually one of the scenes we kissed so hard I actually bruised my lip and that's...
Zoe Lister-Jones:I think you were bleeding.
Maulik Pancholy: Yes I think I was bleeding. I was shying away from saying that because I thought people might think it's unsanitary.
But we kissed so hard that I have a little cut on my upper lip which the makeup people were a little freaked out about as we moved into the next scene but hopefully you didn't...
Zoe Lister-Jones: They were more freaked out about me because I did that.
Maulik Pancholy: Exactly.
Zoe Lister-Jones: Like that’s - wow. The beef makes me aggressive that's all.
Whitney airs 8.30pm Tuesdays on FOUR