Hannah Einbinder is extremely unlikely to ever forget her “Hacks” auditions. Not only did it secure her the role of Ava opposite Jean Smart, but the entire procedure took place when the COVID-19 pandemic was just getting started. In the most recent episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast, Einbinder tells me, “I went into a physical casting office in Santa Monica a couple of days before March 13th, 2020, that initial COVID lockdown.” “I read with a coworker, and a few days after COVID struck.
I learned that I was going to do a callback, but that they didn’t sure how it was going to happen. It took me around two months to complete a callback that I conducted over Zoom. Everything was odd. She was eventually called in for a chemistry reading with Jean Smart in person There were only two interrogation lamps and two chairs on the empty, black soundstage, according to Einbinder
What Shifted Most Dramatically Between Ava’s Seasons 1 and 2?
I believe she moves on from many of the early developing pains and errors. Beginning in Season 2, we see her struggling with the fallout from a Season 1 event, but after it’s sort of resolved-ish, she really isn’t the center of contention anymore. Nothing she has done incorrectly is what drives the plot. Deborah’s new hour and the work the two of them are doing take center stage. She seems to be beginning to pull herself together, in my opinion.
How Did Your Debut Stand-Up Comedy Performance Go
When Nicole Byer visited my college and asked if anyone from the improv team there would like to open for her, that was when I performed live for the first time. As a sort of volunteer, I joined the improv team. I wrote and put together a little impromptu performance while performing at open mics around my school for maybe eight minutes. I then opened it for her in front of a theatre full of my classmates. It was nerve-wracking, but also reassuring in a safety-net kind of way because I was thinking, “Oh my God, I love Nicole Byer. She’s letting me do this? How can she? But after that, I became addicted.
You Participated in The Improv Group, but At the Time, You Weren’t Considering Stand-Up
I enjoy stand-up. I have always. I never really envisioned myself doing it or doing comedic material. I became a member of the improv team after a young person who thought it was amusing that I try out because he was the president. So I had never given any of this a thought. I’m still a neurotic Jew who lives in his brain, so improv was not something I was very good at the time. However, I was young and lot more in my head at the time. However, I enjoyed the humor, so when it came to stand-up, I said, “You may prepare.” There is no pressure because everything is organized, considered, and planned. I began to understand that was a better fit. I improved at improv as I practiced stand-up because I had a reserve of funny jokes to fall back on. I now really enjoy improv.
Did You Have to Tell Your Parents That You Were a Comedian?
To their credit, my parents have always been honest with me about the nature of this business. I’m quite fortunate to have received that feedback. Although they are reassuring, they are more so practical. My mother replied, “You know, I don’t know when I asked whether I could do it. Good fortune. She says, “I think you’re amusing, and I love you, but being funny isn’t always important. There are numerous aspects that affect a person’s ability to make a living in this industry, and for some time she served me what seemed to be actual tea. I believe you’re humorous, but it’s not up to me or anyone else, they have always said. You must act on the situation.
Have you ever heard the advice, “You know, maybe don’t do that so publicly? This is where your career will begin, so you might not want to do that.
No. I’m extremely fortunate to live in a situation presently where that isn’t something that is affecting me directly. I believe that most likely occurs. There is pressure to have “appeal,” or public appeal, I believe, for those who hold incredibly mainstream roles. Kristen Stewart is perhaps an excellent example of someone in this situation because she is a part of such a massive franchise. I was fortunate to begin working on a show where my character is LGBT and I am surrounded by artists, women, and other individuals that embrace that. I’ve therefore been really fortunate. I’ve also discussed it ever since I started doing stand-up. There is no censor with stand-up. My managers are two incredibly wonderful people who are absolutely fantastic. They have always been incredibly supportive and loving. I’ve had a very fortunate and charming experience.
Was Ava Gay when You Were Cast as Ava or Was She Gay at The Time?
She was gay all the time. I was relieved to see it in the character breakdown because it was the first bi-woman I had ever auditioned for. When they heard you doing it in your standup, did your family or friends get anxious for you?
I’ve had encounters at performances. Mostly, it’s men acting repulsively. But it has given me a tougher exterior. I’ve always been really sensitive, like a delicate flower, but stand-up has given me coping mechanisms to handle the outside world and my non-L.A. bubble when I go and visit these locations where I don’t live in this utopia.
Therefore, I believe that has been a useful and important tool for the work and way of life that I have chosen and been able to live. But I also come from a very liberal, Jewish, LGBT, and progressive household. My grandmother was an out lesbian in the 1960s, and I have two trans siblings. That is my reality. To make it shorter and clearer, this Q&A was altered. The whole interview on “Just for Variety” can be heard above. Additionally, you may discover it anywhere you download your preferred podcasts, including Apple Podcasts.