Paula Pell interview: ‘Girls5eva’

“The hip-hop dancing was no problem at all,” jokes Paula Pell about working on the pop-musical comedy “Gilrs5eva.” For our recent webchat, she clarifies, “It was actually hell on earth. It was super fun and good for me to move my can. But it was really like taking an old car out of a garage you’ve been renovating for a long time. You get rid of the mice inside it and go ‘let’s move this rusty old thing.’” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

With the singing she says, “I love to harmonize, so the harmonizing I always felt very comfortable with those gals. It was just when I had a solo that I would I think ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore.’”

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

Pell explains, “When they assembled this group, I didn’t know Sara, I knew Renee and I barely knew Busy. We all kind of knew one of us. We just fell into it. It just felt so good that we couldn’t help but constantly be nauseatingly excited about how much we loved each other. And there was the storyline of us being ripped off so we don’t even own our own songs. When we sang for the first time our own first song, it was very emotional. We all got a little choked up.”

The actress plays Gloria on the show, a divorced dentist who is the hard-working one in the group. She confesses, “I know nothing about dental stuff and hate going to the dentist, but I have also been divorced from my first wife, though I am remarried. We don’t know if Gloria is going to be remarried, or even if she remarries her ex. That would be fun because it’s my wife now (Janine Brito) who plays my ex on the show.”

Pell won an Emmy Award with Fey in 2002 for writing on “Saturday Night Live.” She adds, “At ‘SNL,’ I always said I wrote joyful losers. I love losers that did not know they were losers, so they are really going for it. I think we are joyful losers in ‘Girls5eva.’ I’m so excited to be handed these solid gold scripts. We are absurd, but there are moments. I love absurdity, but I’ve never liked it when absurdity was without vulnerability. If it isn’t vulnerable and is just snaky and absurd I never enjoyed that kind of comedy myself.”

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UPLOADED May 24, 2021 5:53 pm