“I absolutely have to get it,” remembers Meg Stalter thinking when she first read the script for the HBO Max comedy series “Hacks.” Now in its second season, “Hacks” features Stalter as the hilarious, fan-favorite character Kayla, the executive assistant to Hollywood talent manager Jimmy (Paul W. Downs) who rarely manages to do her job as expected. Stalter describes the role as a “silly girl” and a “match made in heaven” for her, “a character I felt was already inside of me.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Stalter shares the majority of her scenes with Downs, who also co-created, writes, and directs the series. Even though Kayla causes Jimmy a number of headaches – the Season 1 finale finds Kayla booking a honeymoon suite for her and Jimmy to share, creating an HR nightmare – Stalter says that Kayla is “really, really his number one supporter and fan, and she really loves him.” In the new season, Stalter says their relationship “keeps expanding” and teases that there are “a lot of sweet moments” between the two.
Still hilarious as ever, Kayla also develops more as a character in the new episodes, trying her best to become a better employee. “The reason she wants to be ambitious is to impress” Jimmy, she shares. Stalter describes Downs as “the funniest person in the world,” adding that she finds it “hard not to break” when shooting their scenes together. Dysfunction and all, Stalter finds the duo of Kayla and Jimmy “a really sweet pairing.”
The new season also offers the audience a glimpse of Kayla’s family. Without giving away any particular details, Stalter believes the way Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky have dreamed up Kayla’s father “makes perfect sense.” She describes Kayla as a “daddy’s girl” and observes that father and daughter are “cut from the same cloth.”
Stalter does get to share a handful of scenes opposite Emmy-winning series star Jean Smart, too. “There’s nobody as glamorous as Jean Smart,” she gushes, continuing, “I’m in love with her” because she is “so regal and so sweet and kind.” Stalter doesn’t think Kayla knows just how famous or important a client Smart’s stand-up comedian Deborah Vance is, noting that Kayla’s “pretty wrapped up in her own life” and “not really intimidated” easily. Even so, Stalter imagines that Kayla has probably invited Deborah to go shopping with her, and she describes her character as a “fashionista” with “funky style.” Season 2 of “Hacks” showcases not only Kayla’s sartorial choices, but also “some sentimental, sweet moments,” too.
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