Dolly Wells has two shows airing consecutively on TV this fall: the show she wrote and created with Emily Mortimer, Doll & Em, premieres on HBO on September 13th and Blunt Talk with Patrick Stewart kicked off its first season on STARZ in August. We caught up with the actress about the differences between working in the UK and the States, her two shows and next year’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
The “Blunt Talk” cast is sharp and has a great chemistry. What’s it like working with such talented people?
It’s such a nice question to be asked and to be able to answer so honestly! I’ve never worked with Patrick before, he’s a fellow Brit, and I remember the first scene I acted with him, I couldn’t help but smile. I just thought “Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m here working with someone who makes every take so amazing.”
Everyone in the cast is so funny. On top of all of that, Jonathan [Ames, the creator of ‘Blunt Talk’] is so wonderful and generous and peculiar. All of the other writers are so smart. I could keep going.
How did this role challenge you as an actor?
What I love about Jon’s writing, it’s very funny but it’s also real and touching. Everyone has their own things to deal with and the challenge was to play her truthfully and honestly. And, at times in the show, it’s not funny but it’s sweet, and that’s a challenge.
‘Blunt Talk’ is my first job in America, so it felt like a different thing than what I’ve done back home. It was nerve-wracking and challenging because you want to do your best.
How do you keep your composure during scenes that are as funny as the ones written for you all?
I don’t know because there were scenes when I couldn’t even look at Patrick because the scene is just so funny. You can’t look anywhere because everyone makes you laugh.
How has this show differed from your previous work on shows in the UK?
It’s sort of irrelevant what country you’re in because my show with Emily was actually shot here in the States, in LA for the first season and New York for the second. So it didn’t matter where it aired because the process was the same. For our show, it involves so much fast writing and rewriting and we have to film it very quickly.
In ‘Talk,’ we have different directors for each episode which we don’t have in England. We also have more time to film, but I’ll say, the main difference is having to drive yourself to work here. That was the biggest challenge for a shaky driver like me. In England, you’re not allowed to get yourself anywhere because they fear you’re going to get lost or something. When I pulled in on the set here, I don’t know if I expected a welcoming committee or something, but it was very normal.
With our show, we’ve only done two seasons and it’s only six episodes. It’s not like we are churning out lots and lots. The things we write about are either versions of things that have happened to us or things that have happened to people we know. That’s what’s fun about writing – no matter how you’re feeling, you’re constantly in a situation that lends itself to writing. Emily and I have a similar outlook on life, similar sense of humor and love recounting to each other stories about what’s happened.
What can you tell us about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?
I think it’s going to be brilliant. The girls are all fantastic and Darcy in a leather jacket is going to make people swoon. I think it’s going to be wonderful. When I did ADR, the parts I saw look so beautiful and brilliant and I have great feelings about it.
Blunt Talk airs on STARZ Saturdays at 9pm.