Kathleen Rose Perkins talks EPISODES Season 2!

Photo Credit: BRIAN HIGBEE

I love EPISODES. It took me an episode or two last season on Showtime to really dive in, but before I knew it, I was rooting for these people and their horrible show-within-a-show to really make it! Season 2 of the show starts this Sunday on Showtime at 10:30/9:30c (after the final season premiere of WEEDS) and with it comes more fun, more heartbreak, more drama, an incredibly fun play on the post-FRIENDS relationships, and above all, more Carol! To celebrate the return of the show and a 9 episode season that is back-to-back-to-back enjoyable, I spent some time chatting with Kathleen Rose Perkins (Carol herself) who is having a blast playing this damaged woman!

I sat down to watch the first episode and then it was like, well, I’ll watch the second, and before you knew it, I couldn’t go anywhere because I had to watch the whole thing.
It’s nice that’s it’s only 9 and not like 24 [laughs].

I feel like I would have sat watching all 24.
That would be painful! At least it’s only 9 [laughs].

I love Carol.  Just love her.
Aw, yeah, me too, I’m a big fan of her [laughs].

Getting involved with the show, was it a script you read and wanted to be a part of?  What drew you to her?
At first, they were searching for a little bit older originally.  It was an amazing script, and was like, they’re not going to cast me, but I’m going to go in, and do the best that I possibly can.  I had had enough experience int he television world to know a lot of women who are very similar to Carol, so when I walked into the audition, I said, so I’m basically figuring that this woman is everybody’s best friend.  She’s the yes man, but she’s also really good at sounding like she means everything that she says, even though she could contradict herself in the same sentence.  And they said, yeah, that’s it!  So I did the audition, and luckily, it was close enough to their idea, that they thought, ok, we’ll skew her a little bit younger than we originally though, we’ll go with Kathleen, and I got the job. I got so excited, and then I realize that I had now like, embody this character that’s this person who I have always kind of thought, I didn’t think of them as the enemy, just people I didn’t understand.  These are business minded people, and I consider myself an artist, so those two really just don’t make sense to try and figure one or the other out [laughs].  Reading the whole season, she’s just a person who is trying to keep her job, and has these lovely, unbelievable quirks, and real lovely weakness that are so much fun to play.  She’s just so damaged and kind of pathetic in her personal life.  I just had a ball playing her!

I love how she approaches everything with conviction.  It’s nice to see her approach everything with the same amount of intensity.
[laughs] That is such a kind way of putting it.  I love that!  No matter what, even if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that she’s striving for, at least she really puts her whole heart into it.  It’s 110% with Carol at all times.  Even if she’s like, screwing over her best friend, telling things [laughs] that she promised not to tell.  All of that stuff, she’ll do it with complete and utter conviction!

What can you tease about what we’re going to see in EPISODES season 2?  How does it differ and how is it the same as Season 1?
It’s a whole lot more of the same, bigger and better, though, I think.  More relationships that get more intertwined and just me personally, as Carol, I go deeper and deeper into this really dysfunctional spiral, downward spiral of my commitment towards Merc and what I want out of him.  It’s almost as if because she can’t have him, she wants him that much more.  I don’t know, I always wondered, if he actually did leave his wife, and committed to Carol, whether Carol would really stay that interested.  I don’t know!!  I don’t think so!  I could be wrong.  She has some major daddy issues.  I mean, every single person, what you’ll see in the second season definitely is a lot of surfacing of some really big issues of every character.  Matt LeBlanc’s character has some really big issues that get surfaced [laughs], and it’s so much fun to watch.  It’s tragic and lovely all at the same time.  The relationship between Beverly and Sean, the writers, I couldn’t get enough of it.  I was so moved by this season and what they did, by telling that entire story, and I think for that alone, people should watch.

As I’m watching, it’s like, am I supposed to be rooting for them?  Who am I really supposed to be rooting for?
Isn’t that wonderful?  I love that!  You’re kind of like, wait, should I want her to be with someone else, or should I want him to?  I think they do a really good job of letting the audience decide for themselves, and then like, no, you don’t get to choose! We’re going to put them back together. [laughs]

I love the relationship you get to have with Beverly this season.  You saw that start last year, and I like that we get to see more of that!
I know, I kind of love that every time they get together outside of work, they don’t talk about work at all.  And then every time they’re together at work, they don’t talk about their relationship at all.  It’s lovely how they’ve both chosen to compartmentalize in a way, and they’ve chosen to go, okay, when we’re here, we’re here, and when we’re not, we’re not.  And then when it does seep in, the other one calls them on it.  They’ve made this, I don’t know [laughs] outwardly or they just inwardly said, okay, we’re just not going to talk about work when we’re together.  And in that way, it works.

Why is EPISODES  a show that people will love and why should they watch?
That’s a great question!  I don’t want to sound like a sycophant.  I am a really big fan of it though.  It’s hard for me to hear that question and go “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” [laughs].  “Are you crazy? Who wouldn’t want to watch this?”  But I get it.  I know it’s kind of a specific story.  It’s about a specific business that a lot of people don’t know.  When it comes down to it, every business is kind of the same, every job is kind of the same, and we’re all just dancing and trying to produce numbers that are successful and above line, so you can keep your job.  That’s what everybody is trying to do in this world, pretty much, so in that way, there is a way to relate to this world.  And also, people are just damaged.  I think that this is a really lovely portrayal of damaged people, but in a very safe setting because it’s a comedy.  You can kind of laugh.  Every time it gets a little deep, something comes along that you can really belly laugh.  That’s probably the absolute best thing about it, to me.  And also, that it’s got these great big story lines that you really want to see what happens next.  This is all my opinion [laughs].  Again, I’m a big fan, so I don’t know!  I think anybody and everybody should try it out and watch it to see if they can relate, because it’s kinda cool.

How much like the business is EPISODES?
Yeah, they’re not over the top at all. They’re not really heightened at all.  The only thing that they did was make it sound really good, they’re really good writers.  But these writers, David Crane and Jeffrey Cleric, have experienced most every storyline, everything that’s happened, they’ve experienced in this business.  I personally have experienced a lot of this stuff as well.  A few years ago, I was a part of a show that was commissioned by a really successful BBC writer/director, to adapt and bring over to an American audience, and I was lucky enough to be cast in it, and the network really didn’t understand her vision at one point.  Everything happened, other than it didn’t get picked up, because it only was made into a pilot, but it was the exact same experience.  So unfortunately, it happens all the time.  Nobody has a crystal ball, nobody knows what’s going to work.  And what’s going to be accepted by the general public, so it’s all kind of a crap shoot.  All of these executives are going “oh maybe this will work, maybe we should pick this up, oh god, it didn’t work, what are we going to do, I’m going to get fired!”

One of my favorite things about the show is Daisy Haggard’s character Myra.  How do you get through scenes with her?
Dude, we had so many outtakes!  It was ridiculous.  Every time I was in a scene with her, and most of the time it was with her and Joe May who played Andy Button, the head of casting. The two of them together are diabolical in how funny they are.  The sounds that come out of her mouth, I don’t know how she makes them.  It’s very hard to make it through a scene without laughing.  I don’t think that there was one scene that we didn’t have trouble with.  I know that there is a scene coming up in the second season that is just between her and the writers, and she’s giving notes to them.  I’ve seen the blooper reel, and she’s all over it.  Everybody laughs when she’s on the set. She’s fantastic at her job!

Do you have other shows that you watch?
Yeah! [laughs]  I can’t wait for BREAKING BAD.  So excited for that.  I was totally into GAME OF THRONES.  I love EASTBOUND AND DOWN.  That’s a very guilty pleasure of mine.  SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE is my favorite reality show.  I also watch TOP CHEF and PROJECT RUNWAY.  But yeah, BREAKING BAD and JUSTIFIED is another one I love.  And DAMAGES.

All some of my top shows!
You know, they’re all that “what’s going to happen next.” I have to watch it from the beginning to see what happens, and I get so swept up into these characters.  That guy on JUSTIFIED, Timothy Olyphant, I mean, my god, he’s so good!

He’s so good!  And BREAKING BAD is one of the best shows, the best storylines.  It’s just been so satisfying to watch.  he’s taken five seasons to completely break bad, and I cannot wait.  I feel like he’s just going to go totally underground. It’s going to get nasty, and it’s going to be great!