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This was a season where comedies with female creators, that told stories about women — this series, “Fleabag,” “Dead to Me,” “Pen15” — rose to the fore and got recognition. What do you think accounts for this moment?
The truth is, I really thought that it was so unlikely, because there are such gorgeous contenders this year. There are so many worthy shows. I’m not sure if this is a response to fascism, that all of a sudden everybody’s rising up and trying to say something. If having an inch of leeway is what’s creating the space, finally. There’s the willingness to greenlight female-driven brainchildren. I’m not sure how it coalesced, but this is a great moment for women. It really is a very special time.
What’s so striking about it is, it feels like stories that have not yet been told. It’s flipping Joseph Campbell, putting him in a blender on LSD. The very concept of women as the leaders of the pack — running our own writers’ rooms, being at the helm and directing, really making our own shows, heart and soul. Frankly, we’re so terrified at the prospect of blowing our chance that we work really, really hard. “Russian Doll” is very much an experience of trying to get the history of everything into eight half-hour episodes, just in case they never allowed me to make anything ever again. For so many women — whether that’s Phoebe [Waller-Bridge, of “Fleabag”] or Pamela Adlon [of “Better Things”], Ava DuVernay [of “When They See Us”] — whether we realize it or not, I think we’re being driven by the idea of, “This is my only shot — I’ve got to make it count and say what I really want to say while I’m here to say it.”
There’s this community now — what are we doing, other than trying to live to fight another day? And hope that through the stories we tell, other people see themselves in it? I was talking to Chloe [Sevingy, a friend and “Russian Doll” guest star], who’s shooting in Italy, and Greta Lee [a “Russian Doll” co-star], who was crying on FaceTime. Uzo [Aduba, her co-star on “Orange Is the New Black”] was flipping out. It’s really, for me, pretty profound and feels, on a human level, deep that we’re all in this thing together.
Not to ——
How’d “Chernobyl” do? What about the graphite? Did the graphite get a nomination? I love that show. I think “Chernobyl” pairs well with “Russian Doll.” That show is incredible. [Ed. note: “Chernobyl” received 19 nominations.]