Amy Sedaris has long been known as one of Hollywood’s best character actors. After her start at Chicago’s Second City, she soon had her breakout role on the cult classic Strangers with Candy. From there, she landed roles in everything from the Shrek movies to Elf and Maid in Manhattan. In recent years, she returned to TV with roles in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Mandalorian, as well as her own Emmy nominated series, At Home with Amy Sedaris.
The show, which is like combining Martha Stewart with Saturday Night Live, sees Amy Sedaris playing multiple characters alongside talented actors like Cole Escola and a wide array of celebrity guests. I had the chance to chat with stars Amy Sedaris and Cole Escola about the new season premiering May 20th, how the show came to be, and who is most likely to run away and join the circus.
The format for the show is definitely a unique one. It’s part DIY-homemaking, part sketch comedy, and part sitcom. How did this concept ever come to be?
Amy: Well, I did my two books, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence and Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. And I really wanted to bring those to life with a homemaking show. And at first, I wanted to do it seriously, but that obviously wasn’t working out. So, we decided to add humor to it and add characters, which is a strength of both mine and Cole. But you know, there really was no blueprint for this kind of thing. There weren’t any funny homemaking shows.
Speaking of the books, I’ve noticed that the show looks very similar to them, even down to the color scheme. Was the intention to basically bring the books to life?
Amy: Oh yeah. I love dirty colors. And I love oversaturated colors. And jewel tones. I love incorporating looks from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. When we pitched the show, we basically just pushed the books across the table and said, this is what we’re trying to do. After that, it was about getting the characters to bring it all to life.
One of the best characters on the show is Chassie Tucker, played by Cole. And Cole, I’ve watched your YouTube videos, and I know that you perform in clubs. Was Chassie a character that existed before the show? Or did you create her specifically for the series?
Cole: Well, sort of. She was created specifically for the show, but she was based heavily on the Orange Juice character I had done on YouTube, and it just fit perfectly.
Amy: Yeah, I had first worked with Cole on Difficult People. And he would improvise in scenes, which, a lot of actors try to do, and a lot aren’t good at. But every single thing Cole said was just hilarious, and that’s what really caught my eye. Then I watched the Orange Juice video and I was just like, “That’s it! That’s going to be my neighbor on the show.” And it had nothing to do with it being a drag character, she was just so perfect for the series.
For the new season, what can audiences expect from the show this time around?
Amy: There’s more of a psychological approach this season. We really get into the characters’ heads. Last season everyone was just trying to kill me, but this season, we’re going more into the heads of the characters.
Cole: And there’s a lot more romance this time. You’ll find a lot of moments of “Will they or won’t they…”
Without giving away too much info, can you tell me what your favorite scenes are from the new season?
Cole: There are some fight scenes in a few episodes that are pretty cool.
Amy: Oh, are those your favorite?
Cole: Yeah, they’re the ones I’m most excited to see how they turned out. But I also love the front porch scene.
Amy: Oh my God, yes, you were so good in that episode. For me, I think it was working with the guest stars. Josh Hamilton did a really good job. And I had been dying to work with David Alan Grier. Michael Shannon came back, and of course, we all do our best acting when he’s around. But I think the whole season is going to be amazing.
I watched the season 3 trailer, and I have to say, one of the characters has a huge resemblance to Jerri Blank, so I have to ask… Is she making a cameo this season?
Amy: …Yes. I used to do her in everything. No matter what character I had, I’d put on my “Jerri Blank face” and it was supposed to be like Morgan Fairchild. You know, when Morgan would try to be different characters, but it was always just Morgan Fairchild… So I always wanted to have a character that was just like, no matter who you pretended you were, you were always just Jerri Blank.
Honestly, though, I really thought I had put Jerri to bed. I never thought I’d bring that face back. But I always wanted to play Jerri as a detective. And my face was on fire after that episode, bringing Jerri back required me to use facial muscles I hadn’t used in a long time.
The show is known for having a huge roster of celebrity cameos including Paul Rudd, Jane Krakowski, Michael Cera, and Ana Gasteyer, among many others. Who are some guest stars you’d love to have if the show comes back for a fourth season?
Amy: John Malkovich and Amy Schumer. I tried really hard to get her involved, I think she’s hilarious.
Cole: Michelle Obama.
Amy: Oh yeah, like we have the budget for her… (laughs).
Ok, for the last five questions, you have to answer with either “Amy” or “Cole”. First question: Most likely to leave the kitchen messy?
Cole: Um… Me.
Amy: Yeah, I was gonna say Cole too…
Most likely to end up on a reality show like Big Brother?
Amy: Oh…I don’t think either of us would.
Cole: God, no…
Most likely to marry someone just for the money?
Amy: No, that’s me.
Cole: Ok, fine, both of us.
Amy: We could marry each other and realize that neither of us has any money.
Most likely to cry when watching a sappy movie?
Cole: Um, me.
Amy: Really? Are you a crier?
Cole: At sad movies, yeah.
Amy: I was howling during Precious.
Amy: I’m not kidding!
Ok, final question: Most likely to run away and join the circus?
Cole: Oh, that’s Amy.
Amy: Yeah, that’s definitely me.