'My mom and I sat on the couch and just laughed'
Every week, the cast and crew of FX’s Better Things — a semi-autobiographical comedy created by Pamela Adlon and Louie C.K., centered on Sam Fox (Adlon), an actress and gnarly single mom of three girls — is taking EW behind the scenes. For each episode, a cast or crew member is recapping, sharing thoughts on what went down, and walking us through the ins-and-outs of the show. Here, actress Hannah Alligood, who plays Sam’s middle daughter, Frankie, walks us through episode 2, “Period.”
On the house party that completely wrecked the Fox family’s house:
I’ve never had a crazy house party before. There was actually a scene that got cut where Frankie had a huge reaction to a red vase that got thrown off the table and smashed on the floor. She just flipped out, stomped right over to Max and screamed at her. The vase had been there for years. How am I going to explain that to mom? Frankie was pissed. We had a lot of fun filming that scene. Olivia [Edward] got to throw the baking soda around, but I didn’t get to do any of the trashing of the house. That would’ve been fun, though.
On Frankie’s ability to speak at lightning speed:
Pam definitely made sure I knew that Frankie should be talking at 9,000 miles an hour, but when I really get into a topic, I speak really fast, too.
On Sam announcing to everyone that Frankie had her period during the Women and Girls empowerment gathering:
When I first read that scene, I thought it was hilarious. My mom and I sat on the couch and just laughed. I’ve never had something so publicly announced like that, so I can’t even imagine how embarrassed I would’ve been. That’s terrifying! Frankie gets really mad and really embarrassed, but eventually she understands where her mom is going with it.
On off-camera shenanigans:
That episode was really fun to film, but it was so hot in the auditorium. They had to bring in industrial fans to keep all of us cool. Everybody was a bit miserable, so Olivia and I decided to lighten things up by having a dance-off in the auditorium. We went on the stage and all of the extras were watching us. There was no music — we just danced. Neither of us won, though, because we’re both terrible dancers.
On Frankie’s short haircut:
My hair was about halfway down my back before this — I cut it off for the role. I thought it was going to be traumatic, but it really wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t even cry or freak out. It’s grown out a lot now, though — I have to tuck it into a headband so it doesn’t look crazy.
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Better Things airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
—As told to Caitlin Brody