I didn’t ever get into Orange is the New Black so I best know Natasha Lyonne from her parts on Portlandia. Natasha most recent show, Russian Doll, became a huge hit and social media was all over it. She created the show with Amy Poehler. Natasha and her Doll co-star, Greta Lee who plays Maxine, recently appeared on The Cuts on Tuesdays podcast. In it, I found out that Natasha and I are like-minded in that our worst fear is someone will ask us to go out and enjoy ourselves.
On not leaving the house: You gotta leave the house in this life, right? I always find that I’m dreading, dreading, dreading leaving the house. I’m like, “Please don’t ask me to do anything ever. I’m begging you.” Leaving the house is a crucial element of participation in life that is very instinctual to want to resist. If you give me a day off, my dream is to stay in bed all fucking day with nobody around.
On how Russian Doll came to be: Listen, Russian Doll was the big achievement, but prior to that, Greta and I had also done together a different show that I created with Amy Poehler at NBC that actually got rejected severely.
And that show was called Old Soul … After that show didn’t happen, Poehler turned to me and she said, “Hey, what’s the show we would really want to make if there were no rules, if there was no network, if it was just anything, what do we really, really want to say?” And that became the early ideas of the formation of what would become the show we created a together called Russian Doll.
On rejection: Rejection is God’s protection. Like in the truth of the matter was, we had no way of knowing at the time of that in fact we were going to end up making something that was far, far greater just in terms of, on an integrity level of the things I really want to say in this life, being an opportunity and a forum to be able to sort of speak whatever our own version of the truth is without sounding too grandiose.
It’s almost like a relationship where it’s like, it’s not that this guy wasn’t great; it’s just, thank goodness I didn’t have a baby with him.
The link to the article has the podcast embedded so you can hear Natasha answer. I love her voice, I’m sure everyone tells her that. I appreciate Natasha’s dread of being asked to do something. It’s not leaving the house for me, I work from home, I’d go stir crazy if I didn’t get out. No, it’s thinking about trying to be engaging, even though I almost always have a good time when I do go. I love her analogy of the boyfriend and her show that didn’t get made. I understood exactly what she’s saying – both about jobs I was glad I didn’t get and guys I’m glad were just boyfriends. I think it’s a pretty healthy outlook to have.
As for Russian Doll, I loved it. I have no stake in this show so if you don’t want to watch it, that’s cool – I’m not really here to convince you. But if you are like I was, having watched episodes one and two, disliking both, wondering why social media was stanning for this stupid show – hear me out (no spoilers). Eps one, two and most of three are foundation episodes. All of what you learn in those episodes will come back. The last line of episode three hooked me and I never looked back. Once everything started falling into place, I was repeatedly surprised at how dense the show is. The show is dark and takes some disturbing turns (and yes, the dialogue is unquestionably forced) but if you don’t mind the tone and subject, I suggest trying it again.
Photo credit: WENN Photos