On the eve of final-round Emmy voting kicking off, the cast and executive producers of HBO Max’s “Hacks” gathered at Avalon Hollywood for a hilarious table read of the Season 2 finale, titled “The One, The Only.” Sitting front and center were Jean Smart, who stars as legendary comedian Deborah Vance, and Hannah Einbinder, who plays young writer Ava. Both ladies are once again nominated for Emmys for these roles, with Smart hoping to repeat on her Best Comedy Actress victory from last year.
Also in attendance were the Emmy-nominated writers of the episode, showrunners/executive producers Jen Statsky, Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs. Downs has a supporting role on the show as Deborah and Ava’s agent, Jimmy. Guest star nominee Christopher McDonald, who plays casino CEO Marty, also sat on the dais, as did Mark Indelicato as Damien, Johnny Sibilly as Wilson, Ming-Na Wen as Janet, Angela E. Gibbs as Robin, Kara Luiz as Katie and Caitlin Reilly as Jessica.
“Hacks” received a whopping 17 Emmy nominations this year, after winning three trophies last year for lead actress (Smart), writing (Aniello, Downs and Statsky) and directing (Aniello). All eight episodes of Season 2 streamed between May 12 and June 2, right at the end of the Emmy eligibility period. The finale ended with a tear-jerking scene of Deborah firing Ava, so that the young writer could start branching out on her own.
Before the table read, guests enjoyed boxed dinners of chicken (or vegan) salads, popcorn and gummi bears, plus wine and beer from the many bars that were set up around the venue. Following the event, select cast members returned to the stage for a photo op and mingled with guests. Everyone got to take home black T-shirts adorned with Deborah Vance’s smiling face. (Fun fact: many of the Avalon Hollywood staff members were also donning Deborah T-shirts in solidarity.)
Not everyone who originally appeared in the episode could make it to the Emmy FYC event, so they were replaced by other actors. Here’s a closer look at who attended the August 11 “Hacks” table read for “The One, The Only”:
*Jen Statsky introducing cast
*Lucia Aniello as Stage Direction Reader
*Paul W. Downs as Jimmy
*Jean Smart as Deborah
*Hannah Einbinder as Ava
*Christopher McDonald as Marty
*Ming-Na Wen as Janet
*Mark Indelicato as Damien and filling in as Marcus (originally played by Carl Clemons-Hopkins)
*Johnny Sibilly as Wilson and filling in as Announcer + EMT
*Angela E. Gibbs as Robin and filling in as Loretta (originally played by Luenell) + Taylor (originally played by Ally Maki)
*Jillian Bell filling in as DJ (originally played by Kaitlin Olson) + Kayla (originally played by Megan Stalter)
*Carol Leifer filling in as Elaine (originally played by Susie Essman)
*Joe Mande filling in as Auctioneer + Davis + Larry + James
*Caitlin Reilly as Jessica + filling in as AD + Usher
*Kara Luiz as Katie + filling in as Josefina (originally played by Rose Abdoo) + Scripty + Audience Member
*”Hacks” writer and co-executive producer Joe Mande filling in as Davis + Larry + James
*”Hacks” writer and co-executive producer Andrew Law filling in as Auctioneer
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