“I was desperate to be on the show,” reveals Mark Indelicato about how he felt immediately after reading the first scripts for the HBO Max comedy series “Hacks.” Even though Indelicato’s character Damien, who works for stand-up comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), doesn’t have a lot of screen time early on in the series, Indelicato says, “I was so entranced with the story and the world of Deborah” that “it didn’t matter to me at the time nor does it matter to me now how much Damien is on screen.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Fans of Damien will be pleased to see that the character does have a bigger presence in Season 2 because he accompanies Deborah and Ava (Hannah Einbinder) on tour as Deborah works on a new comic set. Indelicato praises the co-creators and writers Lucia Aniello, Jen Statsky, and Paul W. Downs for how the series explores “so many sociocultural conversations and discourses” in both this season and the last and starts “big conversations like intergenerational friendships, queerness, misogyny, ageism, [and] homophobia.”
In one particularly memorable scene in Season 2, Damien tells Ava that he doesn’t like comedy, which is a surprising revelation given he works for a legendary stand-up comedian. “I was so excited by that scene,” Indelicato shares, saying that it “really informs a lot about Damien in a very throwaway way.” Since Damien doesn’t enjoy what Deborah does on stage, Indelicato says instead that he “really appreciates and admires and respects and wants to emulate” Deborah’s “business savvy, good work ethic and tenacity.”
Even though we see more of Damien in Season 2, the character’s home life is still a mystery. Indelicato muses, “Either he goes home every night and color coordinates his khakis or he’s at a circuit party,” adding, “I love not knowing.” He says that “there’s a lot of panic” for his character this year as he tries to help Deborah navigate the logistics of a tour. “His work ethic will sometimes get the best of him,” he reveals, “and will send him into a panic or a spiral.”
In his role, Damien frequently butts heads with Deborah’s tour manager Alice, who is nicknamed Weed and played by Laurie Metcalf. On working with television legend Metcalf, Indelicato says, “I grew up watching ‘Roseanne’ with my mom on the weekends,” and he calls the opportunity to watch her at her craft “such a dream.” He also discusses working with series star Smart, another legend of the small screen, describing her as feeling like “home.” “She’s an incredibly funny person,” he says, and notes that he “really did make a concerted effort to really soak it in” and “learn as much as I could by observation.”
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