Hannah Einbinder interview: ‘Hacks’

“The highs and lows are where I live as Ava,” reveals Hannah Einbinder of her character on the HBO Max series “Hacks.” In the first season finale, Ava not only has a huge argument with her boss Deborah (Jean Smart), but her father also dies unexpectedly. Although the season ends with Ava and Deborah patching up their relationship and hitting the road for a cross-country stand-up tour, a mean, revealing email that Ava sent about Deborah rears its ugly head. “As much as her demeanor is this dry, flat delivery, the events in her life are certainly intense,” Einbinder says of everything that’s happened ahead of Season 2. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

The second season picks up right after the end of last season, with Ava and Deborah on a plane and Ava’s heart in her throat fearing that Deborah will soon learn about that email. Einbinder shares, “I remember the day we shot that, it was very intense because I have to really work myself up to get to that panic and fear.” Ava’s worry stems from the thought of “losing Deborah, who means everything to her,” plus “her job” since “this is the last chance she had.” “Everything is collapsing,” she adds.

WATCH our exclusive video interview with Emmy-nominee Carl Clemons-Hopkins about “Hacks” Season 2

“Hacks” explores that anxiety to great comedic effect, of course. The new season takes Ava and Deborah on the road to develop a new hour of material for Deborah. As a stand-up comedian herself, Einbinder says the series’ depiction a cross-country tour is “true to life.” She describes workshopping a new set on the road as a “grueling process” but also “the best because it’s like solving one long, big, weird verbal puzzle.” She shares a few of her own memories of just how hard a tour can be, revealing, “It just wears you down, but you rise from the ashes.”

The new episodes continue to develop Ava’s relationship with Deborah, just as Einbinder’s off-screen rapport with Smart has grown since they began shooting over a year ago. “I do love that gal,” she shares of Smart, adding, “From the moment I met her, we were locked into that dynamic, it was just instant.” She thinks Ava and Deborah are alike in how they handle adversity. Following the death of Ava’s father last season, these new episodes show how Ava decides to “keep going” and “work through it” just like Deborah would. “They push through the curveballs,” she notes.

SEE ‘Hacks’ Season 2 trailer: Jean Smart returns to defend her Emmy win

Einbinder also reflects on her Emmy nomination for the first season, which was the first of her career. “It was a great, lovely, wonderful moment,” she says, adding that she felt “euphoric” about the news. Even beyond the recognition for her performance, Einbinder shares that she felt most happy about making the creators and writers Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky “proud of me.” “I’m so codependent,” she quips.

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UPLOADED Jul 12, 2022 5:37 pm