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Joining a number of Hollywood stars wading into the podcast business during the novel coronavirus shutdown — including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Sean Hayes and Kumail Nanjiani — Philipps will co-host the show alongside creative partner Caissie St. Onge and Shantira Jackson, both of whom wrote on Busy Tonight. The show will feature conversations between the trio and their guests, who will reflect on times in their lives when a setback led to better opportunities.
“I want to talk to people who have had, it doesn’t even have to be career setbacks, but people who thought that they were going to become one thing and they ended up living in a totally different life,” Philipps says. “I just feel like it’s inspiring to me to hear those stories because it’s a motivator for me to keep going and to be open to the possibility that the thing that I thought [was it] might not be the thing, but the thing might be even better.”
Philipps’ late night talk show, which was exec produced by Tina Fey, ran from October 2018 to May 2019 and featured pop culture commentary and interviews with the likes of Mindy Kaling, Kim Kardashian, Michelle Williams and Oprah Winfrey. The podcast will be reflective of the tone and content at Busy Tonight. Philipps says, “You never got a chance to be inside of our writers room, which was very small, but there were so many discussions in our writers room that were really interesting and timely about things that were going on in culture and pop culture. In a sense, this is a little bit behind the scenes, not the finished, polished product.”
The actress and social media star also highlights the influence that Jackson has had on her personally and on the show as a 33-year-old woman of color who provides a different perspective to the industry and culture. “Even though I’m a very progressive human, I feel like with my conditioning in the years that I was brought up, sometimes I would defer to like a patriarchal mindset that I hadn’t even considered and I feel like Shantira was always like, ‘Nah, that’s bullshit’ and helps me to sort of reset,” she says.
Prior to announcing the podcast, Philipps and St. Onge, who had also served as showrunner on Busy Tonight, were working on plans to “invent a whole new way of doing things in the entertainment biz,” with a meeting set to get their next project fully financed March 16. Of course, the entertainment industry shut down days before, derailing the duo’s production plans but leading to Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best, the title of which is inspired by her not being “a person who particularly half-asses anything.”
“I do always feel like I’m doing my best, I’m trying my hardest,” Philipps says. “I feel like especially right now that’s a feeling that a lot of people can relate to. We’re in just such an intense moment in history and our country and our lives and I think that one of the tricks is to try to remember that almost everyone is doing their best — and then the people that aren’t, we have to get fucking rid of.”
Philipps, St. Onge and Sim Sarna will exec produce the podcast for Cloud10 Media, which can be found on all major podcast streaming platforms — including Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Stitcher — when it drops Aug. 17.
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