What 'Hacks' star Megan Stalter thinks Kayla does after leaving work

5/13/2022 7:00:00 PM

'Hacks' is a show about odd couples.


'Hacks' is a show about odd couples.

'She’d go to Paris 'just for a couple of days' on the weekend,' Stalter said of her 'Hacks' character. 'She's a party girl.'

HBO Max"Hacks" is a show about odd couples.Kayla and Jimmy's hotel visit goes awry in Season One of "Hacks."the ‘Me,’ Ava!”Meg: I think Season Two is really exciting for a lot of different reasons. For Kayla specifically, I think there’s a lot of growth with her and an evolution of her and Jimmy’s friendship (laughs). I think she loves him a lot and he really cares about her. They get a lot of sweet moments. I feel like you haven’t gotten to see that side of her. All the crazy funny stuff sets it up to be really moving.

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Pop Culture What ‘Hacks’ star Megan Stalter thinks Kayla does after leaving work "She’d go to Paris 'just for a couple of days' on the weekend," Stalter said of her 'Hacks' character.Jean Smart ) and young comedy writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder), are co-workers, not love interests.environmental cues , like alarms and visual reminders, to monitor time and make sure you’re sticking with your targeted priority.Jean Smart ), or you try to ignore Ava and instead focus on TV veteran Smart, playing the woman writing Ava’s checks with perfectly acidic disdain.

"She's a party girl." Megan Stalter and Paul W. But the chemistry between old pro Smart and newcomer Einbinder was so electric that the caliber of the fake comedy ultimately didn’t matter very much. Downs as Kayla and Jimmy on "Hacks. The first step is to designate a time period for which you can stay focused." HBO Max May 13, 2022, 1:59 PM UTC By Elena Nicolaou "Hacks" is a show about odd couples.C. The HBO Max series is fueled by the collaboration and clashes between Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder), the acerbic famed comic and the Gen-Z writer she hires to revamp her material. At the end of last season, Ava drunkenly emailed some snotty producers a list of Deborah’s biggest faults, right before her father died.

Deborah and Ava's agent, Jimmy (Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky recognized that their show was at its strongest when Deborah and Ava’s friendship was strong, too. When you begin doing the challenging task, you may discover that other unrelated activities suddenly seem urgent. Downs, who co-created the series), is in an odd pairing of his own. Jimmy is effectively trapped with Kayla (Megan Stalter), his incompetent yet charming assistant, who interferes more than she actually assists. Deborah’s age, gender, and position in a rapidly-shifting entertainment landscape frequently make her an underdog, despite her enormous wealth and fame. Kayla and Jimmy's hotel visit goes awry in Season One of "Hacks. If so, you can do them during your break or add them to your to-do list." HBO Max Season Two of “Hacks,” out May 12, sees Jimmy and Kayla’s relationship pushed to the corporate limits after landing in the HR office, following Kayla’s attempt to stay in the same hotel room as her boss. Instead, the finale ended on an uncomfortable cliffhanger: Ava and Deborah’s shared manager Jimmy (Downs) informed Ava that, while under the influence and mad about a fight with Deborah, she had sent an email filled with embarrassing stories about Deborah to the producers of a new comedy about a very Deborah Vance-esque horrible boss. Either way, though, resolving (most of) the tension in the show’s central relationship lets creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W.

As Jimmy put it to Ava, “I’m in the middle of a Me Too situation with Kayla, and I’m the ‘Me,’ Ava!” In a show about comedians, Kayla is responsible for some of season two's most laugh-out-loud moments — and that comes down to Stalter, with her. Kayla marks Stalter’s first scripted role after rising to fame during the pandemic for her front-facing videos shared on social media, in which she plays other equally zany characters. I just want them to be friends! Is that so wrong? So I entered Hacks Season Two with some trepidation, hoping that Aniello, Downs, and Statsky would simply forget that the email existed, and fearing that they would instead use it as an excuse to reset Deborah and Ava’s relationship to its factory settings. Another effective support strategy is . TODAY spoke to Stalter about Kayla's Season Two journey, and what her life is like outside the office. TODAY: How would you describe Kayla’s Season Two journey? Do you think there’s growth involved for her? Meg: I think Season Two is really exciting for a lot of different reasons. Without spoiling the exact plot mechanics, the email’s existence does come to light, and it does impact Deborah’s feelings about Ava, and vice versa. For Kayla specifically, I think there’s a lot of growth with her and an evolution of her and Jimmy’s friendship (laughs). Some medication-free ways to get to sleep when you have ADHD. In trying to push herself beyond her most basic punchlines, Deborah finds herself unmoored in a way she hasn’t been in decades, forcing her (and Smart) to step her game up even more.

I think she loves him a lot and he really cares about her. It’s a pretty impressive threading of the needle. They get a lot of sweet moments. I feel like you haven’t gotten to see that side of her. Having lost her casino residency, Deborah is eager to hit the road immediately to try out the new, more confessional material she and Ava have worked on together. Sticking to a bedtime schedule and getting up at the same time every day is part of a good sleep hygiene strategy . All the crazy funny stuff sets it up to be really moving. You play a lot of characters. There is no getting away for Ava, or for Deborah, and the close quarters force them to keep working through their issues. In that respect, it’s a joy (and relief) to report that Season 2 doesn’t miss a beat.

How do you get to know them? My favorite character it to play is someone who’s really nervous and really confident at the same time. Develop ways to calmly unwind before bed. All of the characters I like to do are people that are about to lose it but are acting like everything is fine. With our heroines on the road, it becomes harder to cut away to Deborah’s business executive Marcus (Carl Clemons-Hopkins) as he falls apart following a bad breakup, or to Jimmy as he continues to struggle with the incompetence of his assistant Kayla (Megan Stalter). The house is burning but they have a smile on their face. I think that Kayla truly believes that she is really special and she can do no wrong. (When Marcus eventually joins Deborah on the road, his material almost immediately clicks again. As you incorporate these strategies, start with those that are most accessible to you. The part of me that is similar to Kayla is that I feel special and I love myself a lot. Honed so brilliantly by Aniello, from some of the best “Broad City” episodes until her “Hacks” Emmy win, it finds surreal and beautiful moments no matter the circumstance.

I think she does too. Both the act and Deborah’s off-the-cuff insults feel more plausibly funny, strengthening the illusion of Smart as a comedy legend. Every character you play, part of it, is who you are deep down.. The bad parts come from parts you’re working on or.) And the writers simply seem to understand the specific weirdness of each lead more than before, like Deborah’s unfettered love for seemingly trashy things like yard sales and gas station snacks. All my characters are either me or someone I know and love. I don’t think you can do characters that you don’t love in some sort of way. There is some meaty dramatic material here — much of it stemming from the email twist I admittedly did not want — and Einbinder not only holds her own against Smart, but often winds up making the biggest emotional impact.

Unless you play an evil villain. Maybe that’s in your future one day. Smart, meanwhile, feels more comfortable than ever in Deborah’s expensive shoes, generating big laughs from a subtle change of expression or shift in vocal tone. I would love to play an evil villain. But even if you’re playing a villain there has to be something that humanizes them. But whether they are getting along or not, they are nearly always together, and that’s what makes Hacks sing. No one’s all good or bad.

There are still some of you in that character. The first two episodes of Hacks Season Two begin streaming May 12 on HBO Max, with two additional episodes releasing weekly. That’s so much of what this season is about — Deborah has so many layers to her. Your character doesn’t get much one-on-one time with Deborah. In This Article:. Do you hope for more Kayla-Deborah time in the future? Any amount of time that Kayla would get with Deborah, she’d love to take it. I’d love for them to take a weekend trip somewhere.

A small amount of time where they can bond. I think Kayla, of course, wants to hang out with Deborah. Deborah would get stuck hanging out with Kayla. I would love to see them in a hot tub or on vacation. A shopping day.

One day. Imagine. The only scene they were in together was at the party in season one. It’s such a funny moment because they’re so different. So many people are intimidated by Deborah, but I don’t think Kayla is.

She’s like, ‘Hey girl. We work together. We’re at the same company.’ Yeah, 'We’re colleagues.' Laughs .

We’re peers! Kayla realizes that she does want to be an assistant. What is Kayla’s destiny, in your mind? And is that something you’re interested in exploring in future seasons? Every time I get to read in a script for a scene Kayla’s in, I freak out because I can’t believe I get to do that. The scripts are so funny and perfect. I think Kayla is driven by her love of Jimmy and wanting to feel like she belongs. She wants his affection and to impress him.

She wants to step it up because of the friendship.She doesn’t need money or power — she already has both of those things. Her ultimate dream would be if she and Jimmy live together, either in a mansion or a little apartment. Wherever. She just wants him as a friend and to feel like she belongs.

I imagine there must be so many funny outtakes. Will we ever get a director’s cut? Is there gold out there that didn’t make the final cut? What’s so incredible about working with Paul, Lucia (Aniello) and Jen (Statsky) is that they have this incredible writer’s room and incredible scripts. But they come from an improved background, so they’ll say, ‘Say this, try this, do something crazy here!” There’s a lot of footage of us yelling different weird, strange things. Do you ever think about Kayla’s life outside of the office? Oh, yeah. I think she probably goes on really crazy trips.

She’d go to Paris"just for a couple of days" on the weekend. I think she dates male models. She’s a party girl. She just wants to have fun. She has good intentions.

Laughs . How many more years do you give her in the working world? That’s such a good question. As long as Jimmy’s there, she’s having fun. She’d stick with him. If it was just any office job, I’d give her six months.

The office is a hobby for her. If she wasn’t in love with Jimmy as a friend, she wouldn’t be there for very long. So theirs is a friendship love. I think so. But I think she’d be down to hook up.

She’s like, whatever. Go with the flow. She doesn’t think of the outcome. I think she looks at Jimmy like,"Hey cutie," but we’re best friends. We’re an old married couple.

There’s a deep love that they don’t fully understand. They have a shared upbringing — their dads founded the agency. Right. They’re different but they come from the same place. They’re family but if he was to ever ask her to marry him, she’d be like, ‘Of course.

’” I want to know her zodiac sign. So I feel like she’d probably say,"Everyone thinks I’m a Leo but I’m a Taurus." Can you give us a preview of your upcoming role in ‘Queer as Folk?’ A lot of fun things. I think I can say that I did one scene on that show and it was the most fun day ever, and we couldn’t get through the scene without laughing. We were having too much fun and probably slowed down filming.

Elena Nicolaou Elena Nicolaou is a senior entertainment editor at Today.com, where she covers the latest in TV, pop culture, movies and all things streaming. Previously, she covered culture at Refinery29 and Oprah Daily. Her superpower is matching people up with the perfect book, which she does on her podcast, Blind Date With a Book. .