Angela Kinsey Q&A: ‘Haters Back Off’
“Haters Back Off” star Angela Kinsey is finding little on the side of hate these days as awards buzz and critical praise mount for her turn as downtrodden Bethany, mother to Miranda Sings (Colleen Ballinger), on the Netflix laffer. Kinsey chatted with Gold Derby recently (watch above) about not just the reception the show has received but her reaction to receiving career-best reviews such as one from Robert Lloyd (Los Angeles Times), who says “Kinsey … owns the show. She takes the series from a twisted lark to something deeper and grander.”
“It feels really great,” Kinsey says, “because I think a lot of times as a character actress — and that’s what I am, a character actress, I’ve never been the leading lady — you sort of are in the background a little bit, so it’s nice when the character actor gets to anchor a show emotionally.”
“Haters Back Off” is a take on YouTube star Miranda Sings’s family life and mission to become as famous as she possibly can get. In real life Ballinger’s character Miranda Sings is a YouTube sensation with over seven million subscribers and over a billion views on her channel.
As famous as Miranda Sings may be from a social media perspective, Kinsey admits she had never heard of her before she auditioned for the show, and she was curious how the YouTube videos would translate to a series, but her questions were quickly answered: “I read the pilot, and that’s what really got it for me. The whole time I was there I kept feeling like I was part of something unique. I felt like that when I did ‘The Office,’ and that was exciting for me. I knew some people would love it and some people would be like ‘I don’t get it,’ but just the fact that I was part of something that different was fun and exciting.”
Kinsey felt those similarities between “The Office” and “Haters Back Off,” and Ballinger’s transformation into Miranda also brought back memories of her own metamorphosis into “The Office’s” Angela Martin: “I met her as Colleen and then she went right into Miranda. It’s such a cool thing to see happen in her face. I really respect it because you really see the shift. Jenna Fischer would always say that I did that when I became Angela Martin. We’d be talking and then they’d be like ‘rolling, settling, and action!’ and then I would just become dead inside.”
Part of the draw for Kinsey in playing Bethany was that it was a role unlike her “The Office” character: Angela was known for her judgmental and sarcastic remarks, while Bethany is on the opposite side of the spectrum. “Part of Bethany has given up, and then this small part of her still has hope. She wants to find a partner, and she wants to be pretty, and she wants people to see her, and all of that is going on at the same time in this household with her idiot brother and her daughters who sort of don’t appreciate her, and it made it very compelling to me to play.”
So what would Angela Martin say about Bethany, and which “The Office” alum would Kinsey like to see guest star on “Haters Back Off”? Watch the rest of our exclusive chat above to find out.