Chris Geere and Aya Cash on Cohabitation, Dr. Who, and You’re the Worst Season 2

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There has never been a shortage of romantic comedies. Both in film and television, there are always more than enough stories about a girl and a guy falling in love and then breaking up before realizing that they complete each other. The problem is that there aren’t enough good ones. The stories are predictable and the characters are walking talking cliches. That’s where You’re the Worst comes in.

Created by the former executive executive producer of Weeds, You’re the Worst is the romantic comedy that asks the question, “What would a romantic comedy look like if everyone involved was terrible?” Not irredeemable, but not great either. Can two coke snorting, cheating, trainwrecks find love together, like everyone else?

On the eve of the second season’s premier, we got to talk with the series stars, Aya Cash and Chris Geere. We talked about some of the things to look forward to in Season 2. I asked about their real life experiences with cohabitation. And Chris and Aya even touched on what roles they would love to have a crack at in the future.

YOU'RE THE WORST -- KEY ART

On Changes from Season 1

Aya: So I am now a divorcee with two kids. No. (Laughter) I think you’re going to see a real continuation of what you saw in Season 1. Obviously the writers know us a little better and I think play to our strengths. You are going to get a lot of great Jimmy speeches delivered dexterously by Chris Geere.

Chris: Well, thank you.

Aya: But I think you’ll see a real continuation of what you saw before but also some surprises. They’ll be some reveals about our character’s backstory and what they’ve dealt with before they were in a relationship. You’ll see Jimmy’s family and you’ll see some of Gretchen’s past come back. That’s all I can tell you.

Chris: Basically, as it is a continuation of the tone that we set last year but Stephen has apparently so much faith in us that he has put us in darker territory as well. the same comedy is there and I believe is better. The one liners are there. The guests are fantastic this year. As actors and characters we’re in position that are a little more uncomfortable than the first season and it’s been a wonderful experience.

On Filming at a Mall

Chris: When we were filming this whole sequence, there was so many different kind of parts to it, especially for the montage bit. Not like we were there forever. But it reminded me all day of when I was fifteen and I used to go to the mall on a Saturday with my friends and just goof around. And I think it is really endearing quality of both these people who are a publicist and a novelist going to the mall and mucking around basically. That’s what the show is all about. We can have something mindlessly comedic like that and five minutes later they re pouring their hearts out about something. It’s a privilege to play.

Aya: We definitely behave like teenagers as actors on the day. I got my keys taken away for my scooter because I wouldn’t stop driving out. We introduced Chris to the joys of American eating. Cinnabon for the first time and Wetzel’s pretzels. We ended up eating so much that day.

Chris: There was this thing called Orange Julius and it had more sugar in it than anything I’ve ever had in my life.

YOU'RE THE WORST -- Pictured: (l-r) Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler, Chris Geere as Jimmy Shive-Overly, Kether Donohue as Lindsay Jillian, Desmin Borges as Edgar Quintero. CR: Autumn De Wilde/FX
YOU’RE THE WORST — Pictured: (l-r) Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler, Chris Geere as Jimmy Shive-Overly, Kether Donohue as Lindsay Jillian, Desmin Borges as Edgar Quintero. Photo Credit: Autumn De Wilde/FX

On Similarities Between Themselves and Their Characters

Chris: If I was asked that question at the end of last season I would say “Oh Jimmy’s nothing like me.” It’s nice to be angry at points because I’m so reserved but actually that’s rubbish because this year I realize that I am a lot like Jimmy. Maybe I wouldn’t say everything like he does but I think he’s a representation of what most people are like. I have feelings and those feelings need to come out somehow at times. That’s why he’s a joy to play. Sometimes you question whether someone would behave that way. The trick here is that these characters would do that. We believe it wholeheartedly with every single word. We just play what is true. There’s a couple of episodes when my family arrived where I was given the opportunity to, in one of Jimmy’s monologues, reveal to the audience why he behaves the way he does. I’ll be interested to see how the audience and you guys respond to that because there are a lot of demons that have made him behave the way that he does. It might be sympathy or empathy but for me that was great to play.

Aya: I think that I am similar to Gretchen in terms of her bluntness and her darker sense of humor and wariness of the world. I am also different than Gretchen in that I crave stability and home and I’ve been in a relationship for ten years . I’m very much a nester and love to stay inside. Never done cocaine. So there are some vast differences but it’s fun to play out that fantasy. As someone that has been in a relationship for ten years and lives a very low key existence there were points in my life that I’ve been like, “I’m missing out. I wish I did this and that.” But that’s the joy of being an actor. I get to play out these fantasies in the character. There are some similarities but on the surface, our lives are very very different.

YOU'RE THE WORST -- Pictured: Chris Geere as Jimmy Shive-Overly. Photo Credit: Autumn De Wilde/FX
YOU’RE THE WORST — Pictured: Chris Geere as Jimmy Shive-Overly. Photo Credit: Autumn De Wilde/FX

On Cohabitation

Chris: I think it’s the biggest step that a couple can make. It’s a huge compromise in putting your lives together like that. I found it very difficult. I was usually allowed to leave me wet towel on the bed when I lived on my own but when I moved in with my now wife, that became a problem. That was my experience with that kind of thing. With Jimmy and Gretchen, I think Jimmy’s such a selfish guy that this is doubly hard for him to find space for her in his life. We really explore that in the first couple of episodes. We make a joke out of it with the trash can and the trash bags in the corner. The whole, how it works in the end with that compromise is great. I’m really glad they portrayed it that way.

Aya: I like to eat in bed. My husband doesn’t like that. When we first moved in together he would walk around and he would touch anything that was mine and he would go “What’s this? Where does this go?” and eventually I said “This is my stuff. It lives here now. “So I think everyone can identify with that. What Chris is saying is true. It’s actually the biggest step in a relationship. Even bigger so than marriage. Marriage is much more of a psychological step. In terms of the reality of how your life changes with someone, moving in is even bigger.

Chris: You realize once you’ve moved in with someone after a couple of week’s you’re going to have to give up a certain part of your previous life. Being independent and doing whatever you want whenever you do it. To give that up for anyone is very tricky. But for these two self absorbed people is doubly hard.

YOU'RE THE WORST -- Pictured: Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler. CR: Autumn De Wilde/FX
YOU’RE THE WORST — Pictured: Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler. CR: Autumn De Wilde/FX

On Their Careers Up Until Now

Aya: I think this business is 99% people who are like Chris and I, which means we’re not 21 and we’ve been in the business for a long time. It’s a very slow burn. I consider every job to be a crazy miracle and I’ve stopped waitressing about six years ago which I think is the biggest miracle. So I think as you start to build relationships with casting directors and studios, I had just met Stephen a year or two ago and we got along and when I walked into the room, he had a sense of who I was a human as well as an actor. I think it’s a slow build of a relationship if you’re not an immediately famous person. In terms of offers, I have no offers. I have no jobs. But there’s a fantasy in this business that you get a job that changes your life and makes everything easy and that’s just not true. That might be true if you star in the Hunger Games. So I’ve started to develop my own work and look into producing so I’m working on developing a script right now based on my mother’s book and I am learning as I go but I think that the truth is if you want to make interesting things happen in your career, you have to do them yourself instead of waiting around for people to offer you things. So that’s what I’m doing.

Chris: When I left drama school, I always thought that the way that it works is that you are looking for this overnight success and to become a big name in your first couple of projects. You become a household name in your first couple of projects and you become a baziliaaionaire by year three. That is a ridiculous way of thinking. What you can really tell when you’re on the set for you’re the worst is that all of us have many jobs under our belts and all of us have been out of work for periods of time as well and we have many of stories to share of success and non success. What this has brought about is that I feel like we are all earning our stripes a bit. This will always be one of if not my favorite job I’ve ever done and that’s one of the reasons for that. In terms of the next jobs, yes there’s lots of great great scripts out there but Steven has set the bar so high that I am now or where of bad writing a little bit more than I was before. As a huge fan of romantic comedies before all this, I’ve always enjoyed reading them but now after working with Steven on his script there is a formula romantic comedies that I believe now has gotten a little bit sale. It’s a bit of a shame there are some really good ones out there but there are also some terrible ones out there. I think what this job has taught me is that I can decipher the good and the bad a bit more now because I know what a good project is because of Stephen and the writers from the show.

YOU'RE THE WORST -- "The Sweater People" -- Episode 201 (Airs Wednesday, September 9, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler. CR: Byron Cohen/FX
Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX

On Their Dream Roles

Chris: I have always wanted from being a young boy to becoming an actor and even now would love to have a go at The Doctor in Doctor Who. That’s what my kind of dream role would be. Be James Bond and Doctor Who. No one has done that before.

Aya: My dreams are definitely smaller. That’s amazing! I’d love to be James Bond in Dr .Who. My dream role is to have someone I believe in write me my dream role and that’s what I find exciting. I’d love any of the writers to write me a show when You’re The Worst is done. The people that I respect and are great are the people I want to create new work with.

On Shows They Would Like To Guest On

Aya: I watch so much TV. There are so many. Justified comes to mind immediately. Veep. I would love to play with the Broad City girls. I think they’re great. I’d love to do any Amy Schumer sketch. Humans. Mr. Robot!

Chris: I’d like to be a guest on Dr Who that turns into Dr. Who.

You’re the Worst Season 2 Premiers at 10:30 on FXX

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Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash reviews, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?
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Matthew Nando Kelly is a cool and tough Senior Staff Writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.