The star of the Apple TV+ comedy speaks to EW about the season 1 finale, hopes for season 2, and, of course, her viral "Hot Ones" segment.
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WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Loot season 1.

Maya Rudolph is drawn to larger-than-life characters.

It's no surprise, then, that the role of fictional billionaire Molly Novak in Loot, the kooky Apple TV+ workplace comedy created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, immediately appealed to her. "It's the story of a woman going through something that she never expected and is finding a part of herself that she never expected," Rudolph tells EW. "It's nice to investigate a person's life down the line."

At the beginning of the debut season, Molly finds herself in a downward spiral after she discovers that her husband of 20 years has been cheating on her. En route to rock bottom, she learns she has a charity foundation run by no-nonsense director Sofia (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez). With assistant Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster) by her side, Molly embarks on a journey of self discovery alongside her foundation employees, including her affable IT tech cousin Howard (Ron Funches) and accountant-turned-love-interest Arthur (Nat Faxon).

Fast forward to the finale, out now, and Molly has announced plans to give away all of her money. Below, Rudolph discusses her character's big decision, that viral "Hot Ones" sequence with host Sean Evans, how Beyoncé inspired Molly's wardrobe, season 2, and more.

Loot
Maya Rudolph and Joel Kim Booster in 'Loot'
| Credit: Apple TV +

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did the role of Molly appeal to you?

MAYA RUDOLPH: Molly appeals to me because it's the story of a woman going through something that she never expected and is finding a part of herself that she never expected. It's nice to investigate a person's life down the line. When you think you've got everything tucked in and everything in place and everything settled, sometimes life doesn't work out the way you plan. Women experience this. If we have children, our bodies change, we go through menopause at a certain point. It's not all cute twenties forever. I think that we are adaptive and we know how to overcome things and persevere. I love that about women and I love that about this character, because it doesn't really matter that she's a billionaire. It's a wonderful backdrop to thinking that some people have everything in the world; even someone who literally has some of the most money in the world obviously doesn't have the life that she wants.

Did you mine inspiration from any real life billionaires?

Well, it was hard to ignore the stories that were going on. Just from the beginning and the inception of this character, Alan and Matt  were grabbing things from headlines to take this larger idea. Then as we were developing the show and shooting the show, more things happened and just fell into our laps. It wasn't really intended that way, but it just happened during a time when there was such an enormous wealth gap. There are billionaires that we all know by name, which is fascinating. Also we're at a time, it coincides with a time when now more than ever, even since we've wrapped the show, that this country's falling apart and people need to have a social responsibility. 

I wanted Molly to be vulnerable enough to not be Cruella de Vil or something. She had enough emotion to be a real person, which I think is hard to assume when you think back to the idea that someone who has it all. I think we have an assumption in this country that when you have it all, you must be happy. I really wanted to create a character that had vulnerability and at the same time, find a way to make her ignorance funny. The rarefied air that she lives in is so fun to investigate. I think that's the place where our creators Alan and Matt really connected the dots for me, because for so long, I've played so many characters that are larger than life. And I'm drawn to those characters just because they're fun. I sort of love it when someone is unaware of their actions, as long as they're not hurting anybody. I think that's just for my personal interest where I draw the line, but I think when there's blissful ignorance, that can lead to some really fun comedy. 

Your "Hot Ones" segment has gone viral on and off the show. A good amount of people didn't realize it was from the show and thought it was just you, Maya, on "Hot Ones."

I heard that people really thought it was me. I thought that was fascinating. 

What do you remember from filming that sequence?

Well, first of all, I'm completely in awe of Sean Evans. I think he's a wonder and I just love him. I also found myself deeply concerned with his digestive system the whole time we were shooting it. I asked him a lot of questions because he eats everything that the guests eat and also remains calm, cool, and collected. I was kind of shocked by that, but he promised me that he gets regular doctor's visits and he's okay. 

Were you really consuming the hot sauces?

I was absolutely not consuming any hot sauces. I made it very clear to Sean that although I was deeply enamored of him and would love to be on his show, I'll never be able to go on because I don't think I could handle even the first hot sauce. He talked me through them. We had all of the bottles on the table of what he has on this season. I mean, they were so terrifying even just by name. My impetus for doing the sketch is I wanted something to go wrong as quickly as possible. I thought that the physical comedy of it would be so much fun. 

How did filming that sequence stack up against filming the Beyoncé "Hot Ones" parody on SNL?

The Beyoncé one was a gift from Mikey [Day] and Streeter [Seidell] at SNL. All I had to do was show up. That was just like someone literally just handed me a beautiful gift, which is so fun in that Beyoncé is so cool and so calm that watching her react to hot sauce is going to be fun because she doesn't get rattled. I played Beyoncé doing it before, but they've had so many different celebrities on, anyone can do it and have a completely different reaction. So I knew immediately that Molly would just be a complete mess and I was really excited about her just losing it immediately and falling apart. 

Do you know if Beyoncé has seen the skit?

I don't know. We do not have each other's phone numbers. I mean, I hope she enjoyed it because it was so much fun.

One of my favorite aspects of the show is Molly's fashion. Did you have a hand in crafting her wardrobe?

My friend Kirston Mann is the genius behind all of Molly's looks. The nice part about this show is that because we've worked together for so long, we have a friendship shorthand. She just knows what I like now at this point. I know what she likes and she knows what I like and so it's just easy. She'll bring stuff in and say, 'You're going to love this, or I love this.' She's one of the very few people that I've worked with that understands comedy in costumes, but also how to make someone look beautiful or well dressed. I mean, she's just unbelievable and unbelievably gifted. We had fun conversations. One of the things I remember we were talking about was if Molly's showing up to her office to report for work, I think she would ask herself, 'What would  Beyoncé wear? How fabulous should I look?' So Kirsten figured out how to recreate her look from the "Apes---" video. The Carters' "Apes---" video.

Loot
Maya Rudolph in 'Loot'
| Credit: Colleen Hayes/Apple TV+

Let's dive into the finale. For starters, what was that nasty brown liquid you were drinking during the disastrous water filtration scene?

Oh, that was a terrible concoction. I'm trying to think of what that drink was. It's like this sweet, kind of like, fruity coconut nutty drink, but they put cocoa powder in it to make it brown, and maybe a tea. It was really nasty because it was just super sweet. So I did feel gross drinking it.

What do you remember from filming that sequence alongside GaTa?

Oh, sweet GaTa. I drank way too much of that stuff and felt really nasty. I mean, even though we were trying to make it seem like things were falling apart, I think the machine actually wasn't cooperating. So it sprayed me quite a bit. I think GaTa was actually quite terrified of what I was drinking and was thrilled that he didn't have to be the one drinking it.

The ending is set up to suggest Arthur will tell Molly about his feelings for her, but we get that big twist with John. Who are you rooting for? Or are you all for single Molly?

Single Molly is fun because she's the most eligible bachelorette in the world, so hopefully people will start throwing themselves at her. There's no question that Arthur is a solid guy, but that's never who we go for first, right? We always have to make a lot of mistakes before we see what's right in front of us. But I think she knows she has a lot of living to do before she gets too serious. And also, Arthur could use a glow up, I think. The guy needs to figure out his slacks game.

Loot
Maya Rudolph, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Ron Funches, Joel Kim Booster, Stephanie Styles, Nat Faxon, and Meagen Fay in 'Loot'
| Credit: Apple TV+

In contrast, you have ex-husband John. Adam Scott plays an excellent douchebag. What was it like working with him in those brief scenes, especially where you're both sparring?

Such a douchebag. I love Adam. There's no one better to play a douche than a wonderful human being. And he's so damn good at it. Plus he's played like different types of douchebags, which I find fascinating, and they're all equally horrendous and different. The classic is him in Step Brothers. He's so, so horrible to his wife, Kathryn Hahn. I love him so much. I find the grosser and nastier he is, the better he was at improvising some pretty awful stuff for the last scene, like asking about breakfast. He was just digging into it in such a gross way. We were having so much fun, just giggling. I love that guy and I find him to be an insanely funny human being. So there's nothing more fun than having the villain be someone you adore, someone you love. I guess it would be rough if he was a real monster. That would be terrifying. 

Molly announces plans to give away all of her money in the finale. What are your hopes for her in season 2?

It would be nice to see where she fits into the conversation about what good can come from this money and what can be done. At this point in the show, she now understands that she, like everyone else, has a responsibility and a lot more visibility than most people. I think she's ready to investigate another world. She now knows what works for her, and it's her relationship, for the first time, with this money. That's about her and not about becoming a billionaire, but becoming a person who lives among other people in this world. I hope she continues with the philanthropy. Also, I want to see her investigating further into herself. I want to see her maybe taking a year off and hiding on an island or something. I like the possibilities of where this money can take her. I think the most exciting thing about the show is getting to see things we never get to see, like the locations that we've been in. I'd love to see her start up an office from an island or something like that. 

Lastly, what is it about Molly that makes it all but inevitable to root for her?

Ultimately, she's the underdog here. She allows us to see that vulnerability that makes us understand this painful place she's coming from. I think deep down Molly's a good person and, in a way, sort of destigmatizing the idea that we don't really know who people are just because they seem like they're doing well. We have no idea what their lives are truly like. Molly proving to herself what kind of person she is makes me love her; challenging herself or throwing herself into the ring in order to show up for her own life makes me love her. I feel inspired by that. I think there's a part of that we can all identify with, where we look at her and say, 'I want that.' First I want to cry in my cereal and feel bad for myself and party in Mykonos, but then I want to find some purpose and feel some true joy. We get to live vicariously through that with her. And at the same time, wear great clothes and have fun lunches and get to see the world. The combo of all of those things is so fun. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

All ten episodes of Loot season 1 are streaming on Apple TV+.

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