HAVE VIEWERS MADE ASSUMPTIONS THAT YOU AND YOUR CHARACTER ARE THE SAME PERSON?
Yeah, and rightfully so. [Better Things] has all the bones of my life. I’m able to live out situations — “I should have done that,” “What if I said that?” — and do this extension of reality and infuse it into my show. It’s a very satisfying creative release.
YOU ALSO WRITE, PRODUCE AND DIRECT, REQUIRING YOU TO WATCH YOURSELF ACT. WHAT’S THAT LIKE?
If I’m on the set and I’m watching playback, I’ve just got to say, “Oh, God, my neck looks 100 years old, but this is the best take.” I have to separate myself from “me” and look at my show as a whole.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOUR STRENGTHS AS AN ACTRESS?
I just like to keep things small and subtle and authentic and ground everything in reality. So that is something that I feel is my strength as a director, and I try to achieve that as an actor.
AND HAS THAT COME NATURALLY, SINCE THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME WEARING ALL THESE HATS?
Unbelievably enough, it feels like a second skin. Being a single mom and raising three girls, it’s almost easier. My daughters don’t listen to me, but all these other people have to.