Interview: Kathryn Hahn

Nov 11 • News, SMALL SCREEN • 563 Views • No Comments on Interview: Kathryn Hahn

Starring Kathryn Hahn, Mrs. Fletcher is a dual coming-of-age story chronicling the personal and sexual journeys of an empty-nest mother and her college freshman son. The HBO limited series, which premiered on 28 October, follows the duo, both of whom embrace their newfound freedom with mixed results.

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Tom Perro, Hahn stars as the eponymous character with Owen Teague, Katie Kershaw, Domenick Lombardozzi, Cameron Boyce, Jen Richards and Casey Wilson filling up the supporting roles. In this interview, Hahn talks about her characters, the series and future plans for Mrs. Fletcher.

So, are you pleased with the show?
KH: I’m really thrilled with it. It’s hard for me to see anything clearly when it’s my own work but I know that the experience of (making) this was great. I’m very proud of it.

Did you know the book?
No I didn’t. For this it was a script for the pilot and then it was a meeting with Tom and I kind of had to sell myself to Tom on this. It was a kind of sniffing each other out process (laughs). We met, had a drink together somewhere in Santa Monica and had this amazing talk about everything and so little of it, as these meetings turn out to be, was about the project itself. And as it often is, it was about things that interest us.

And you were obviously intrigued by the character, Eve Fletcher?
Yes! I have a ton of empathy for this woman that was burdened by so many labels and identities that society puts on her that were not hers anymore – the idea of still being called ‘Mrs. Fletcher,’ which is an identity that she should have shed years and years ago – she has been divorced 10 years and she is still living as ‘Mrs. Fletcher.’ My Mom had the same experience, she is still Mrs. Hahn and she has been divorced for 15 years or something. I know many women that are still holding on to their divorced names. Isn’t that weird? I think it’s changing now. But I think with my Mom’s generation it was that identity, that’s what you did. I think it’s easier for the kids but often you are just holding on to an identity that is not yours.

How do you prepare for a role like this? Do you get time to rehearse?
Not enough. You sometimes do and you sometimes don’t and for this we had a couple of dinners and I spent a little bit of time with Jackson (White), the amazing young actor who plays my son, Brendan. He’s so good. And it’s interesting, I don’t want to spoil anything, but we actually didn’t have too much to do with each other on screen. So we had to try and weight what we had at the beginning not knowing how much we would be together for the rest of the run. But we really lucked out chemistry wise. And it was the same with the rest of the cast – Owen Teague, who plays Julian, is just a phenomenal actor. Kate Kershaw, who plays Amanda, Jen Richards (Margo), Rashad (Edwards who plays Curtis), Casey Wilson (Jane Rosen); they were all just great. I think we really lucked out and this ensemble is just such a beautiful cast of such uniquely perfect humans (laughs). I’m so in love with every single one of them.

Is Mrs. Fletcher another example of how most cutting edge drama/ comedy is being made for TV right now?
Yes.

Can you imagine this being made 20 years ago?
I can’t imagine me being the lead in something like this 20 years ago. It is really the fact that HBO would take a risk on me being the lead of a show like this – a show speaking to these themes, with these players – proves that this is a really exciting time. I’m so grateful and so proud of HBO for taking a leap on something like this. It really is a golden age for this form of television.

And what do you think audiences will make of Mrs. Fletcher?
Oh I have no idea (laughs). I don’t know! I know they are going to roll them out one at a time when they air it. But you know, it was beautifully hard earned and I’m very proud of it and across the board it was a great group of people.

Could there be another season?
We’ll see. It’s definitely a limited series. But I love Eve so much. We’ll see what happens (laughs). Listen, with Big Little Lies nobody thought there was going to be another one so we’ll see.

Mrs. Fletcher airs 11.30am, Mondays  exclusively on HBO GO and HBO (Ch 411 and 431 HD).

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