While Claire, Gaby’s character on winning timefeels very much like the adult in the room.
Hoffmann: Yes. My husband said, “It will be so much fun to watch you play a heterosexual neoliberal adult.” I’m more or less constantly playing these overgrown kids, or crazy wild kid types. It was very appealing to play something that was so far removed from anything else I’d done.
I had just had my second child. I really enjoy doing TV as a parent because you know you have a job that gives you a lot of time at home with the kids, and you have a steady income. So I was done making Transparent, and this was a very comfortable next step, with great people behind it. And it was actually going to be a limited series, so it was a small commitment. Now it probably won’t be. And yes, to play this kind of badass… I mean, she’s a grandmother. I was very excited about being able to play a grandmother and not have to dye my grays. As little physical maintenance as I have to do is kind of my main goal.
I’ve had great experiences that were much more fluid and creative – a lot of improvisation and a lot of figuring things out together on set. This is like, you come in, you’re like a sharpshooter, you leave. It’s a different kind of system than I’ve ever really worked, and that really appealed to me, especially as a new mom of a second baby.
Not being challenged to think things through on your own when you’re in that state seems like a plus.
Hoffmann: Yes, being a cog in a machine was actually quite attractive to me, which I could never have heard myself say. I didn’t have much to do the first season; I was barely there. But it’s an exciting world that has so much potential.
Both shows, like Occasionally, are really ensemble-heavy. What kind of co-stars do you work best with?
Hoffmann: The ones who aren’t assholes. [Laughs] I’m just kidding – I really like most of the actors. I know we get a bad rap, but most of the actors I know are incredibly curious, intelligent, funny, caring, attentive people.
Rick: Yes. I don’t have a specific type that I prefer to work with. I mean, just the basics: professional, on time, respectful. Sorry, my baby is making noise in the background.
Hoffmann: How old is that baby?
ricci: She is six months old.
ricci: Do you want to see her?
[Ricci, who’s calling from a family vacation in Mexico, flips her phone camera to show her baby daughter, her 7-year-old son, and her husband, then re-enters the frame.]
Do you feel the same as Gaby, that working in front of the TV is easier as a parent?
Ricci: Yes. I mean, one thing that’s logistically awesome: Yellow jackets is that because it’s such an ensemble cast, I usually only work three days per episode. TV generally has better hours and structures. It’s more control. You’re on some indie, and they want you to work 17 hours a day – that’s not okay. But I’ve been on TV shows where I had to work 17 hours a day. So I guess it depends.