THR's Comedy Actress Roundtable: Auditions for 'Homely' Parts, 'Girls' Paparazzi Problem
Kristen Bell, Mayim Bialik, Zosia Mamet, Kaitlin Olson, Jessica Walter and Betty White on their strangest auditions, biggest onscreen crushes and (still!) battling stage fright: Says White: "Flirting with your leading man works."
Bialik: But they will.
Olson: Who cares?
Bialik: They'll tweet about it.
Olson: Your Irish accent will be perfect, you know? We're supposed to be funny, not perfect.
Mamet: Yeah, and someone might think a joke that you tell is the funniest f---ing thing they have ever heard, and someone else could be like, "Who is this bitch?" And it's the great thing of, like, remembering that no one is dying. We're not heart surgeons!
THR: Who are your comedy idols?
Walter: Hello ... Betty!
Olson: Me too.
Walter: You! [To White.]
Walter: I'm bowing down to you.
White: Oh, please!
Walter: By the way, do you remember in about 1962, at the Northland Playhouse in Detroit, we were in Who Was That Lady together?
White: Yes, of course we were!
Walter: I was saving sharing that for this moment.
White: That was fun.
Mamet: And we're here to witness it!
Walter: It was this huge rubber dome of a theater, and everybody said it looked like the world's biggest diaphragm.
Bialik: Betty excluded, I loved Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. But also male actors like John Ritter. Carol really, really appealed to me because I was a character-y kind of kid, and she played different parts. Tracey Ullman, too, had a huge impact on me when I was a teenager.
Mamet: She's an exceptional human.
Olson: Both of those and Gilda Radner. And not because Betty's here, but my husband and I still watch The Golden Girls when we want comfort.
Walter: Yeah, my God.
White: Oh, I tell you … I started out with Mary Tyler Moore, and it was such a privilege to work with those people. Then The Golden Girls, and my lord, it was just unbelievable, and we all adored each other. And now I've got Hot in Cleveland with yet another group of wonderful women. How lucky can you get? Once, maybe, twice maybe, but three times in a career? And now I'm sitting here with all of you. That ain't bad.
Bell: Other than Betty, I still am very obsessed with Catherine O'Hara. The Christopher Guest movies had such an effect on me when I was growing up. I saw This Is Spinal Tap, and my mind was blown. And Waiting for Guffman is still, like, my favorite movie of all time.
THR: What current shows would you love to guest star on?
Olson: Arrested Development.
Walter: Aw, I knew I liked you. For me, House of Cards. I'm so hooked on that show. I said, "You know, let's see what Netflix is doing because Arrested is going to be on it …" then I became a binge-watcher. And I'd love Homeland, too.
Bell: I'm currently doing that with Game of Thrones. I want to wear one of those cloaks, have the dragon baby. You can even go online and see where Winterfell is in relation to Westeros.
Olson: OK, it's gone too far.
Mamet: I wasn't allowed to watch TV growing up, but I recently started watching Nashville and became unhealthily obsessed.
Olson: Connie Britton is amazing!
Mamet: She's the most amazing female human specimen. I want to work with her, and now I want to be a country singer!
Bialik: My adult life is like your childhood. I actually don't watch television. I don't want to say I have shame about it, but it's very awkward to be so much a part of the industry and be so out of touch.
White: By the time I get around to sitting down after catching up with mail and turning the set on, it's news time. So I watch the news, and then I'll maybe watch Jay Leno or, you know, one of the late shows. But I don't watch the television that I should. And it's a sin!
Bell: It's because you work like a firecracker, Betty.
Walter: You've got to stop.
White: Well, thank you very much. But you're trying to get rid of me, and you can't. I ain't going.