Aidy Bryant Interview: ‘Shrill,’ ‘Saturday Night Live’
“I think I was just super, super excited to get a chance to do it all again,” exclaims Aidy Bryant about the second season of “Shrill.” The Hulu comedy which stars Bryant as Annie, a young journalist finding her way in life and love, aired its second season in early 2020 and has already been renewed for a third. In our exclusive video interview (watch above) the two-time Emmy nominee for her work on “Saturday Night Live” explains how she juggles the roles of actor, writer and executive producer of the series.
“It’s funny because some days I feel most comfortable as an actor; other days I feel most comfortable as a producer,” Bryant says. “Other days I’m like ‘Uh! I wish I was writing.’ But I also feel like I’m always learning.” The actress says that she’s learned the most about producing. “Even at ‘SNL’ we produce our own sketches and make choices and meet with production designers. So this is that just on a whole other scale,” she explains. “I feel like I’ve gone from zero to a hundred and fifty miles and hour!”
One of the highlights of the season for Bryant was the sixth episode “WAHAM,” in which Annie covers a fictional women’s empowerment seminar based loosely on series creator Lindy West‘s experience at a GOOP conference. The episode, directed by “Russian Doll” star Natasha Lyonne, encompasses the comedy and social examination of corporate feminism, something that Bryant says is very representative of the show at its best. “I was really proud of the way we walked the line between both examining what sucks about that stuff, and how it can be kind of manipulative and commerce-based, but also looking at the fact that for some women, that’s their entry point into feminism or self-worth, and that can be really moving for them,” she explains. “And I also just think the episode is very funny!”
One of Bryant’s goals for the second season was to have Annie find and express her authentic self. “Part of what we’re portraying is a young woman who has sort of crafted her entire personality around pleasing others, being palatable in an effort to camouflage her body flaws, or what she perceives as body flaws,” she explains. “This really is someone who in some ways still doesn’t know herself and who she actually is versus this monster she’s created to be pleasant.” Looking forward to a third season, Bryant wants to build on the confidence that Annie found in season two. “Annie is really about to get out there in the world, and she’s going to have to test all of the things she’s learned,” she says. “Now, I think the world is her oyster.”