WGA Host Lisa Kudrow Quips About Her Nerves: "There's No Winning" in a Roomful of Writers
The actress-writer also reveals how she landed the gig and jokes about the show's timing: "I most love that they decided to have their ceremony on Valentine's Day. ... The WGAs are all about love, you know."
This story first appeared in the Feb. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Hollywood's most esteemed scribes and legends of the craft will gather Feb. 14 for the WGA's annual gala celebrating the year's best performances by the written word, with awards given in 26 categories covering film and television as well as radio and even video games (plus the special honors listed at right). Actress and host Lisa Kudrow offers a glimpse into her role on writing's biggest night of the year.
How did you land this gig?
The guild called and said, "We're happy to tell you we had a vote, and it was unanimous: We would love to have you host." I thought, "OK, this could be really cool." I truly admire writers. Whenever I've worked on a sitcom — as a guest star or all those years on Friends — I've always had my eye on the writers: How does their process work? Where do they find inspiration?
Now you're a busy writer, having penned numerous episodes of your Showtime series, Web Therapy, and The Comeback on HBO.
Yes, but those are so much easier because we don't have writers rooms. That's just Don [Roos], Dan [Bucatinsky] and me coming up with stories then improvising.
What's the key to emceeing an awards event in a room full of hypercritical writers?
That's the part that makes me really nervous! I mean, what can you do to please everyone? (Laughs.) There's no winning, so I'm going to have fun.
Will you have writers assisting with your material for the night, or will you fly solo?
I know [executive producer] Hugh Fink is working on some fun stuff. I just know I can't get stressed till it's closer.
More importantly, can we look forward to costume changes during the show?
Definitely not! It's not broadcast on TV, which is wonderful. I only have to get excited about one outfit.
OK, truth time: Have you watched all the nominated films and series, or are they in a daunting pile on your desk?
(Laughs.) I'm still working on it. There's too much great stuff this year. By the way, I'm so amazed by someone who can write a film. It's like, "Wow, you sat down and wrote that by yourself?"
The show falls on Valentine's Day, so it's the perfect time to ask: What do you love most about the WGA?
I most love that they decided to have their ceremony on Valentine's Day. Those conversations must have been funny: "When should we have our awards this year?" "Valentine's Day is perfect!" The WGAs are all about love, you know.