The stars talk penis cages, Robert Downey Jr., and the healing power of donuts
When it comes to Sunday drinking, the cast of You’re the Worst is, well, the best. So, of course, when the bleak comedy’s winsome, lose-some foursome — Aya Cash (Gretchen), Chris Geere (Jimmy), Kether Donohue (Lindsay), and Desmin Borges (Edgar) — let us tag along for a boozy brunch, the offscreen action was as brilliantly bawdy as anything you’ve seen on air. Tonight, FXX’s down-and-dirty anti-rom-com is back for a third season filled with equal parts self-loathing and self-medication, served with a chaser of… self-discovery — and one final Sunday Funday. Bottoms up!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is the first time you’ve all hung out in a while, right? How are you?
AYA CASH: Actually, I woke up with an infected belly button — I think? — from a piercing I had years ago.
Anybody else have piercings they want to confess?
KETHER DONOHUE: Look how tiny my earlobes are. I tried to pierce them, like, five times.
What about tattoos?
AYA: I’d be covered from head to toe if I wasn’t an actor. I have a tramp stamp. It’s like a giant hawk whose talons sort of grip each cheek. It takes two hours to cover up when we have sex scenes.
Speaking of questionable choices, what were your characters like in their teens?
KETHER: Probably much like myself. I had my first fake ID when I was 11. My name was Farrah LaStraud.
AYA: We’ve seen in Gretchen’s past that she was a total Goody Two-shoes but was just doing the kind of drugs that get you through — like Adderall instead of heroin. And she was at tennis camp but also giving bl– jobs behind the shed kind of thing.
DESMIN BORGES: I don’t see Edgar being too wild considering it was, like, 13 years since he had a girlfriend.
KETHER: He deserves a bl– job.
CHRIS GEERE: He does.
AYA: I went to tennis camp. I didn’t give a single bl– job.
On screen, you have some extraordinarily random arguments. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever fought about in real life?
AYA: My husband and I recently got in a fight about how he was walking down the street.
KETHER: With my ex, I could tell how our relationship was going based on how he would act when I farted. If it was good, he’d think they were cute. If it was on the rocks, he would be like: You’re disgusting.
CHRIS: My wife — accidentally, I think, on purpose — gave away a huge Homeland story line. We slept in separate beds that night.
DESMIN: I continue to argue about this: Is a burger a sandwich or a subcategory of the sandwich category?
KETHER: Well, if something’s in the middle of two other things, that makes a sandwich.
CHRIS: A threesome is a sandwich.
Do you remember the movie Threesome?
AYA: Yes! The first movie I masturbated to. Hi! When Lara Flynn Boyle has an orgasm because Josh Charles is saying big words, I was like, YES.
KETHER: I masturbated to Housesitter. What’s her name? Dana?
KETHER: She plays Steve Martin’s ex. Her boobs looked really good.
CHRIS: My mum and dad had Basic Instinct on VHS, and I knew the exact point when Sharon Stone uncrossed her legs.
AYA: What about USA Up All Night?
KETHER: Or that movie where Robert Downey Jr. is dead and he’s, like, an angel?
DESMIN: Anything Robert Downey Jr., Kether has masturbated to. Iron Man 3 was just a f—fest over there.
AYA: I met Josh Charles once, and I remember thinking: Maybe he’ll love me because, you know, Threesome. He was not interested.
DESMIN: Although he is a very fine actor.
Do conversations like these ever make it into episodes?
AYA: My moles were removed from the You’re the Worst poster. So I tweeted, “By the way, that’s not my face.” There’s a line in this season where Jimmy calls me his—
CHRIS: Mole-lipped Lillian Hellman.
AYA: I was like, motherf—er.
CHRIS: When we did the pilot, [creator Stephen Falk] asked if I was comfortable with sex scenes. And I was like, “I’m fine with my front, but I’ve got back fat.” Cut to: Next season, back fat pops in.
AYA: [Whispers] He doesn’t have any back fat.
CHRIS: But people pick up on this.
You’re not supposed to read the comments!
CHRIS: I mean, if you’re super-duper bored in this profession and you’ve had a few drinks…
KETHER: Someone once said, “Kether has gained 10 to 15 pounds since Pitch Perfect. I hope she’s okay.”
DESMIN: Insecure and failing at life, hence they write things on message boards.
CHRIS: On Facebook, someone wrote, “I am not going to watch season 3 because they never really cleared up the depression arc.”
DESMIN: We live in a world where there’s no delayed gratification anymore.
CHRIS: If people don’t get answers immediately, they give up. That’s not what this show is about. We don’t have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is life, these four people are changing all the time. And that’s what makes it interesting.
You seem to really like one another. Does that help you get through the criticism?
DESMIN: One of the things that helps is that none of us have ridiculous egos and we’re—
AYA: Happy to have a job.
DESMIN: We all just want to tell the story Stephen wants us to tell because we believe whole-heartedly in him. And FXX just completely backs it up.
CHRIS: We’re together so much that of course we’re going to say or do something that rubs another one the wrong way. But the difference is—
DESMIN: How we rub each other off. [Everyone laughs.] Plus, we always have Taco Bell for Aya close by. Or doughnuts for all of us.
AYA: We’re all eaters. That’s our bond. Let’s be real. The reason actors are assholes is because they don’t eat. If I didn’t eat, I would be a bitch! So if these actresses and actors would put some food in their mouths, they would be better human beings.
DESMIN: I’ll take friendship and sanity over six-pack abs any day.
Will the fact that Gretchen is seeing a therapist (played by Orange Is the New Black’s Samira Wiley) change the dysfunctional group dynamic?
AYA: It’s not like suddenly everybody gets fixed. Gretchen is dealing with stuff in that she’s bought a gym membership—then she sits and watches people work out. But it’s darker for other characters. I go up this season, and everyone else goes down.
How could your characters get even darker?
DESMIN: You wouldn’t think they could.
KETHER: It makes artificially inseminating yourself with a turkey baster look like—
KETHER: —a carnival.
DESMIN: Edgar starts to fight back a little; we don’t get our normal gleeful, highly optimistic Edgar we’ve had in the past.
CHRIS: Jimmy realizes he can’t live within his own little bubble anymore. But he does do it with Gretchen. They’re a team again. Which is wonderful.
When I watched the “I love you” scene in last season’s finale, I realized it was the first time you’d said that. Were you surprised when you got that script?
AYA: No, I felt the same way you did. For Jimmy and Gretchen it’s a big moment, but for the audience it’s like: Duh.
CHRIS: I think Jimmy’s loved Gretchen from the very beginning.
AYA: And I think Gretchen, well…you know, very slowly got on board.
While the show is a comedy, you deftly tackle serious issues. Will you mention the election?
CHRIS: Not so far.
AYA: It’s a hard place to talk about it, because you don’t want to alienate people. But, you know, spoiler alert: We’re all liberals and that’s going to end up in parts of the show.
So, what’s on tap for season 3?
CHRIS: More with PTSD. And there’s a big event in Jimmy’s life that will be revealed.
DESMIN: [Whispers] It’s about his penis.
AYA: Here’s an amazing spoiler: There’s a penis cage. That’s all I’m going to say.
Should I know what a penis cage is?
CHRIS: Google it. If you get even slightly aroused, it’s the most painful thing in the world. Not from firsthand experience.
AYA: The actor who wears the penis cage did not know. I showed him a picture before he read the script.
Most important: Do we get another Sunday Funday?
AYA: You do. The episode is called “The Last Sunday Funday.”
CHRIS: They’re played out now, and these four people would not associate themselves with anything that’s played out.
AYA: When you’re on a Forever 21 T-shirt, it’s time to move on to something new.