Busy Philipps interview: ‘Girls5eva’

“It’s an absurd comedy, but the themes are grounded in what many women, especially of my generation, have been going through,” reflects Busy Philipps about “Girls5eva.” For our recent webchat, she adds, “It is deeply tied to the ingrained misogyny that was masquerading as empowerment. ‘FHM,’ ‘Maxim:’ All of these magazines that young entertainers were pushed into doing. In these last five years, particularly with the me-too moment, people are realizing that there is benefit in standing shoulder to shoulder with your sisters and demanding more.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

“Girls5eva” is a new comedy series streaming on Peacock created by Meredith Scardino and executive produced by Tina Fey. Philipps stars alongside Sara Bareilles, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Paula Pell as a one-hit girls group from the 90s (called ‘Girls5eva’). In the series the girls reunite to launch a career comeback, combining sharp dialogue with absurd musical numbers and fun 90s flashbacks.

The former “Cougar Town,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “Dawson’s Creek” star says, “I’ve been on a like a billion television shows. It’s rare you have one that comes together and gels this quickly.” She adds, “When you have perspective, you have your guard down and a very low threshold for bullshit. Even though I’m not a recording artist, I felt fully supported by these incredible women. I hope I did the same for them.”

The actress plays Summer in the band. She admits, “The idea of not having your own agency as a young woman starting in entertainment, was something I fundamentally was able to understand and tap into. There’s the idea of allowing yourself to accept a label early on and having the rest of your trajectory dictated by it. Here’s a character, who’s name isn’t even Summer. They tell her, ‘you’re Summer, you’re the hot one, you’re not the most talented.’ But who’s to say that? This is just a decision that a sleazy dude made in a strip mall. But they have all taken on these labels as the truth. When they come back together, they are able to see that they are not accurate.”

Philipps previously mentioned retiring from acting. She reveals, ‘I’ve worked with incredible people but I did reach a breaking point with the industry itself. Feeling like I had to audition to play the wife of some guy who honestly couldn’t get me in real life and got all the funny lines. Tina Fey for the last few years has been my fairy godmother, in showing up and saying ‘hey but also what about this thing?’ I would do anything for Tina. This business has a lot of men who hire the same bros over and over again. My entire career I’ve been jealous of it. I had the realization when I got off the phone with Tina when she asked me to play Summer. I have that now. I have a comedy legend that keeps calling me. I didn’t even read the script.”

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UPLOADED May 14, 2021 10:30 am