Every week, the cast and crew of FXX’s sharp, raunchy, cult comedy, You’re the Worst, is taking EW behind the scenes: For each episode, one member is recapping, sharing thoughts on what went down, and walking us through the ins-and-outs of the show. This week, actress Kether Donohue (she plays the hilarious Lindsay) takes us through the season 3 premiere, “Try Real Hard.”
I know it sounds cliché and corny, but the cast and crew of You’re the Worst have become family. Aya Cash has become the sister I never had, Chris Geere and Desmin Borges are like protective big brothers, and Stephen Falk is our fearless leader whom we all love and trust — we have the privilege of bringing his brilliant words and stories to life. When we’re on hiatus or shooting on separate days, we all have serious withdrawal from each other. The other day, while shooting the third block of season 3, Cody Birdwell, our prop master from seasons 1 and 2, and Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the director of our pilot and episodes 5, 6, and 7 from season 1, visited us on set for hours just to give us hugs and hang out.
Over the course of shooting the past two seasons, the level of intimacy in which we all have gotten to know each other has served for remarkable on-screen chemistry. When all four of us act together, this surreal feeling comes over me, like we’re all on a basketball team and the players are warmed up, trust each other, and are so ready and present to catch, pass, and throw the ball. Each of us has an incredible amount of respect for each of our very different processes and ways of working, and we all admire and learn from each other’s work.
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Like I said, during hiatus, I have serious withdrawal. We all have continuous group text exchanges and emails, and the cast is always on the edge of our seats with excitement while Stephen and the writers somehow make each season even better than the previous one. On this particular hiatus between seasons 2 and 3, I was more nervous, excited, and curious than I had ever been. I would constantly bug Stephen, “What’s going to happen? What’s going to happen?” and he said, “Lindsay does even crazier things this year.” I was like, “How do you get crazier than artificially inseminating yourself with a turkey baster?!” Well, he was right — he didn’t disappoint.
When I read episode 1 of season 3, I felt like I was in a Ferrari on sixth gear. Stephen and the writers have taken an already brilliant storyline to the next level, and once you get on board, there’s no turning back. What I love about the progression of all the characters in season 3 is that each character is “still themselves,” yet there’s a new layer of depth and surprise that is slowly being peeled away to reveal more truths each character has at their core. We witness everything the audience loves and expects of each character; in episode 1, Jimmy is “still Jimmy,” forgetting/not admitting that he said “I love you” to Gretchen. Gretchen is “still Gretchen,” with a sharp tongue and fearless attitude toward her therapist. Edgar is “still Edgar,” cooking his breakfast specialties for Jimmy. And Lindsay is “still Lindsay,” wanting presents and parties. Yet we see there will be more for Gretchen to learn about the roots of her depression in therapy, more for Jimmy to realize about his pessimistic attitude, more for Edgar to discover about his individuality, and more for Lindsay to unravel on her layered confusion about committing to a family with Paul.
Shooting the stabbing scene with Allan McLeod (Paul) was one of the most fulfilling creative experiences. One of the things I love about working with Stephen is the precision of his vision, and it’s an exciting experience to execute the specificity that’s on the page. We shot that knife scene very much like a dance number. It was important for the tone to build at just the right pace — for the comedy of the stabbing to be pulled off, it had to be a surprise, so we couldn’t give anything away up front. My favorite was after the stabbing, Stephen called out, “Okay, now just have a look on your face, like all the tension has been released.”