Sharon Horgan Q&A: ‘Catastrophe’
“I really didn’t want to go back to me!” declares Sharon Horgan as we chat via webcam (watch above) about her BAFTA-nominated role on “Catastrophe,” the hit comedy series she co-created and co-writes with Rob Delaney. She plays an Irish school teacher in London who hooks up with a visiting American adman (Delaney). Their whirlwind week-long fling leads to an unexpected pregnancy, he relocates to London and the two eventually fall in love. That was the basis of the first season of six episodes of this UK/US co-production that was seen stateside on Amazon Prime last summer.
The second six-episode outing debuted on the streaming service in April after unspooling in the UK last fall, as the action moved ahead a few years. Rob and Sharon are now married, coping with the highs and lows of new parenthood, and expecting a second bundle of joy. “As much as it killed us to make those two series one after the other,” she says, “it was a real pleasure and privilege as well. It was ridiculous to get to play those characters for that amount of the year.”
In May, the duo won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Comedy Writing and she recalls it as a night of fun and laughter. “The BAFTA crafts are different from the regular BAFTAs in that there’s just a lot of nerds there, you know, behind the scenes people. So it’s less glam and glossy, it’s more of just the ugly people of TV,” she jokes. “It was very relaxed and we were in great humor and so when we won, we just started laughing, and we didn’t stop laughing for about 20 to 25 minutes. It was just a lovely, giddy feeling. And I have always wanted one of those things, I make no bones about it!”
Much of the show’s acclaim is due to the chemistry between Horgan and Delaney and their refreshingly honest and relatable writing about the highs and lows of relationships and parenthood. “We both just thought let’s not make it any more difficult than it needs to be. Let’s write about what we love and what matters to us and that’s always been, for both of us, family and relationships,” she explains. “We wanted to show that whilst it can be fun at times, it can be an absolute nightmare other times. We wanted to show two people that obviously really liked each other otherwise they wouldn’t be together but who, if they didn’t have a baby to bind them, would probably skedaddle.”
“Also, we wanted to show them having a good time. I like seeing couples laugh together, and have fun and have a secret language, you know, things that only they find funny. I think that’s charming. Despite the hell, despite you’re probably going to go to bed fighting tonight or not talking, I’m sure you had a good laugh earlier in the day.”