The night before HBO’s “Somebody Somewhere” was set to shoot an episode revolving around a tornado, a real one came close to the show’s set. “Somebody Somewhere” star Bridget Everett recounted to Variety‘s Awards Circuit podcast how life imitated art that day, and vice versa.
“There was a real tornado that ripped through Naperville (Ill.) and also not far from where we were staying in Lamont,” she says. “Jay Duplass was directing that episode, and the people in the Duplass’ post, the VFX and all that stuff, they knew how to make it look real, and to kind of fake it in the right ways. But it was important to me that it felt like a real tornado, because I’m from Kansas, and I know what that shit looks and feels like.”
In “Somebody Somewhere,” Everett (“Inside Amy Schumer”) stars as Sam, a woman who returns to the small Kansas town where she grew up and stuggles to find her place. She’s dealing with grief from the death of her sister, and navigating her complicated relationships with her parents and surviving sister. But singing is her saving grace, which leads her to a new community of friends, including Joel, played by Jeff Hiller.
“Somebody Somewhere” has now been renewed for a second season. We spoke with Everett about the show and the positive response that it has received, plus the show’s personal nature, its music and more. Listen below!
Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen created “Somebody Somewhere,” and like Everett, also hail from the Midwest. “So we wanted it to feel that way,” Everett says.
Everett is known for her cabaret performances and incorporating music into her stand-up act; one favorite is Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” “Somebody Somewhere” makes sure to include Everett performing that, as well as Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up,” and original numbers. Including one that Everett improvised on the spot.
“There’s a scene where Joel and I are sitting in the car and I just started singing some song about wee wee, or pee pee. Sometimes you just add it in on the fly. Like I just did that. And then other times, it was really well thought out. And then we wanted to introduce a little bit of the ‘Bridget-ization’ of Sam, which was the lyrics and stuff that she had kind of just left behind her, because she always has felt like she was too much. Too big a mouth, too much.”
Also in this episode: Of course you all know Craig Robinson as Darryl on “The Office” or Doug Judy from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Perhaps you’ve seen him on tour with his stand-up show, or on stage as part of his music act Nasty Delicious. But most recently, he’s been the star of Peacock’s “Killing It.”
Created by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” producers Dan Goor and Luke Del Tredici, “Killing It” stars Robinson as Craig, a man who competes in a state-sponsored python hunt in his quest to achieve the American dream. The idea originates from his Uber driver, played by Australian comedian Claudia O’Doherty, who takes him on a wild ride.
Robinson’s busy schedule include films, other TV shows and even hosting “The Masked Dancer.” He tells the Awards Circuit Podcast that in some ways, he’s achieved that American dream.
“I think in some ways, I’m living it. At some point, you get to the dream. And then you’ve got to figure out what’s next. Start over another circle,” he says. “‘The Office,’ I saw that as, ‘oh this is what it is! This is dope, how do you continue and rise?’ On ‘The Office,’ I started off until the fourth episode and didn’t become a regular until the sixth or seventh season. I always felt like the outside cousin. But it showed me, I got to see what first class was. When a show is revered and awards ceremonies, what a ride. But it wasn’t my vehicle.”
Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday and Friday.