Asked by Kevin Stringer in FilmmakingAsk Me AnythingCelebrities
Answers with Katherine LaNasa?
Do you think people will see the show and suddenly realize, "Hey! I have a wonderful spouse who I'm not paying enough attention to. This could happen to me!"?
I don't know. I find it a little scary in that way. I do! I find it's kind of a reminder of that. I've been cheated on before but if I'm gonna be perfectly honest, I don't think that the relationship was in such great shape. One time that someone cheated on me, I felt like I had really been doing my best, and that was just really on them. But sometimes, it's really like "is it really a surprise?" "Did I really value it, or was I taking the relationship for granted?" And sometimes it was the latter.
Do you think technology and social media have made us more disconnected to each other? Does that play a part in the characters finding themselves lost in their relationship?
Yeah. I think all of that is a way of hiding. It used to be that you would come over to somebody's house, or perhaps you would write a letter. Then it became talking on the phone, and then it became typing. Now it's like not even interacting, it's just reacting to other people's posts of things. It's just a lot of facade in the Facebook and the Twitter of it. It's created false personas. Don't get me wrong, I like it because of what I do, but not everyone in the world is an actress. It's nice for me to communicate with my fans, but it wouldn't be the real way to communicate with my friends.
September 10, 2019 7:56PM
Before you became an actress, you were a professional ballet dancer and choreographer. Why did you leave professional dance behind?
I wonder if I would've become an actress sooner if that would have been available to me. I think what was always my strength in dancing was my acting ability. It's kind of interesting that I ended up being an actress. I was a better performer because I was a good actress than because I was a technically "great dancer". I think it's always helped me, actually. I think it makes me really aware of how I move my body. I think I can do some specific things with my body to create a character that maybe wouldn't come as easily to someone who wasn't a dancer... someone who wouldn't have so much body awareness.
Can you tell me more about that: your movements and how you portray that on screen?
It's just a matter of how someone moves. If they move on trot or if they have some tight-ass little walk, or if they're really slow. Things like that. I think I kind of create the character with their walk and their posture as much as anything else.
Do you still dance for fun?
I really like to dance! I haven't be going out much recently... but I like to dance. my husband and I used to have dance parties at the house all of the time. Just our own little private dance parties.
You starred in The Campaign alongside Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis... two comedy giants! Were they big goofballs on set? What was it like behind the scenes?
They were pretty fun. I think the funniest day was a big shot with a lot of extras, when they were doing of their debates. They both were complicit and they started doing lines from some scene the day before, where Will had come to the door, and they just started doing that as part of the debate! Everyone was so tired it took us a while to catch on! I think it was most exhilarating to just improvise as well. Will kept me on my toes and he was really fun and, let's face it... he's just the best at that. It was a great opportunity. I can't thank Jay Roach enough for giving me that job. It was really fun to work with them.
You've had important roles in comedy and drama. Do you think one genre suits you better than the other one?
Hmm. Well, I think being funny is really about making commentary, so I don't know. I think there's plenty of terrific dramatic actresses, but I think it's not so easy to do comedy. I can't explain it. I really enjoy comedy. I think there's plenty of dramatic actresses as good as I am. I guess, maybe I like comedy better... I don't know! I like them both. They both have exciting elements. It's really fun to just dive into a scene with someone like Will and have no idea if you're going to be able to keep up. There's a sort of excitement factor of just working in the moment like that. On the flipside, I think drama is a different kind of work. It's quieter, but it's fun to sort of feel that electricity and liveness that's in place when people are really rocking a scene, and not knowing what's going to happen with each other. It has its own rewards.
Is there any comedy in Satisfaction?
There's some funny stuff. I was watching a scene today. I think Matt Passmore has a lot of comedic elements. He's one of these guys that you can't really tell what he's up to when you're with him in the room but when I go to do my ADR work, I can see what he's doing. I was laughing at him today, because I was lying all over his couch, pretending like I'm a client at his work (whatever it is that he does, something with money) and his secretary comes in and I'm just lying all over his chair. She asks me if I want anything, and I don't even turn around and answer. I just say, "No. I want you to leave." You just see him register all this embarrassment. He has a way of just doing these things so subtly, but they're really funny!
This year, we'll be seeing you steal the spotlight in Satisfaction, a drama that revolves around a couple that finds themselves looking for meaning in their relationship. What drew you to the show?
I think that there's a voice in the show that speaks to my generation. A generation that has grown up so privileged. We're the first generation in a long time that hasn't had a draft. Things that even a generation before were a huge luxury are almost commonplace. People have pools and multiple cars and live in these big mansions. People weren't living like that, even in the 60s. So the people from the 60s, 70s and 80s, we've grown up with so many privileges and so little threat to our day to day wellbeing, which is really different than the generations before us. We had the Depression and all the wars. This generation hasn't had that at all. We've had everything, really. Plenty of food, and we live in this country in this time. I think that it really speaks to that. There's sort of an apathy about it. In a way, we haven't really had to work that hard as people in other countries have had to. I think that when you couple that with all of the distractions that you have today with social media.... You're carrying a plethora of distraction right in your pocket! You can play video games, go on Twitter, e-mail someone, have a phone call. We didn't have any of that a generation ago. There's all these ways of not being intimate and I think it's sort of created a malaise and restlessness that is addressed in the show.
When did you last write a letter? To whom?
Well I don't really stick a letter in the mail! I have a son, and when I need to tell him something I'll put it in a letter, or e-mail it to him. Sometimes I e-mail my husband. Sometimes I just want to tell them something and it's just more permanent for them to read it, so I write them a little letter. So I guess I only write letters to the people closest to me.
Do you think it's harder in your line of work to find the balance between work and home, to find the time to pay attention?
It's ok. Right now, we're making these 10 episodes, so I'm not in something that makes 30 episodes a year. Also, I'm not the lead. I think if I was Matt Passmore it might be a lot harder. It's kind of been an okay balance. I have to say, for me having this child so late in life, I find that she really balances everything. Having a new series is such a big thing that requires so much attention, and having a new baby is such a big thing that requires so much attention, that I can only be in the moment. I'm always like "now I'm gonna nurse the baby," "now I'm gonna learn my lines." I don't have time to worry about how I did it. It keeps me very present in everything. I'm oddly more relaxed than I might have been normally, because I don't have time to fret about anything! I can only go over here now and do this, then go over there and do that. I just hope that it's enough! I'm starting a new episode tomorrow. If this was a movie, I would have the script at least a month ago. I'm trying to put a shape to this. I finished yesterday afternoon and I start tomorrow morning, and I have the baby. I have such limited time to put together this new thing, so I just have to work on it as much as I can and call it enough. That's it.
Satisfaction is being called the "most provocative show of the summer." Do you agree with that statement? If so, why?
Hell yeah! I think Satisfaction is really fresh and really original. I've read the scripts, and particularly when you get to episode 105 or 106, it just gets crazy! It just totally explodes and the characters become really complicated. I think it starts happening in 105. My biggest episode is 106 and Stephanie Szostak is always telling me "No, it's episode 106." Right around there, in the middle of the season, it just gets complicated and fun and all the characters end up intertwining with each other and it's almost like a thriller. I think that, and the fact that I've never seen a show about this type of material before. So it's exhilarating. I look at the stuff and I still can't believe we're doing a TV show about this. One one level, it's very provocative with the fact that they're doing prostitution and all of these affairs and cheating, but on another level, it's sort about finding one's self and what you really owe to yourself and finding your life path. But there's other things too. It's kind of about a lot of other things: how people connect, how people relate to each other and show people who they really are and get their needs met. Are we all just walking around being who someone else needs us to be so that we can feel safe and secure? There's a lot of bigger questions being asked too. I'm surprised on how they're able to knit it together in this racy package.
Do you think that 5 years ago, the show would have been completely rejected?
I think the show falls on the heels of Breaking Bad or Weeds, where a main character is living this double life. It also has a serial soap element to it as well. The way that it's a provocative thriller at the same time.
In Satisfaction, you play Adriana, a "businesswoman/pimp." Are you having fun ordering men around?
I do like it. I do like it a alot! I end up getting involved with Simon in later episodes. Simon and I cross paths and it's just very fun work.
What is Adriana's motivation for going into this line of work?
I think that the character is a fantasy character, but if I were to try and understand her, I'd say she's a privileged person. She's very smart and probably went to a great boarding school. She's obviously well-mannered and well-bred, but I think she's just a deviant. I have a funny feeling that Adriana might just be so smart that she's bored, and I also think that she's deeply wounded. Something happened in her past that has made her a little disconnected and jaded. She definitely doesn't believe in any traditional sense of love or marriage. She's all the way on the other end of that spectrum. If you look at Heidi Fleiss, her father was a man of a lot of integrity and was well-respected. He had a lot of children, he was a doctor, and he produces a child that does something like this. I think that Adriana would fall into that same category. She was hardly someone that had to do this criminal behavior to get along.
You mentioned Adriana's past. Do you think we'll get a glimpse of what happened to her in future seasons?
I don't know! They haven't told me that. I just have to make up something to understand who I'm playing. So, there's different things that I have to justify. We might see her saying she only believes in one thing, but acting another way. You know how we all do that. People think "this and that is BS" but it's because they really want it, and don't have it. Is that what's going on with her? Does she really want all of these traditional things that she acts as if they're so arcane? So, we'll come to find out. I'm sort of finding out along with you. Is that really her truth? Did something just happen that she's just jaded?
How can married couples keep their relationships interesting and avoid falling into the problems the show portrays?
I think one of the things that the show touches on is just how kind of disconnected people can get because our lives are so busy, and we have all these other ways of not really connecting. You could put your kids to sleep, make dinner, clean up the dishes, maybe watch a TV show together and then you go to sleep. You never really turn everything off and just talk. When Grant and I get a minute to spend together, we just go to the bedroom and hang out in the bed and talk for a while. Just turn off everything. Even if it's for 30 minutes or an hour, it's nice to do. As much time as we spend together, if we didn't make an effort, that might not happen. People could feel disconnected, unheard or unappreciated. They leave their spouses prey to someone that will pay attention to them. I think it's really just about paying attention to each other. Everything needs attention. People, children, spouses, girlfriends and boyfriends, they need attention. It's really what it's about. To be heard. Someone told me once that their job as a mother was to witness and comfort their children and family. That's really kind of what it is. Being there and witnessing someone and paying attention to their lives. What's going on with them? How do they feel about their work? How do they feel about their day? How do they feel about themselves? How are they doing?
How does Grant pay attention to you?
Every way. We have a pretty connected life, particularly having a newborn. He makes coffee every day, and I come to him with my fears and my insecurities and he talks me through those. I bring to him things that concern me and we talk to those things together. He also does nice things for me, and takes care of me. He really show his love in that way. Even little things, like taking care of my car, going to get something that we need and dealing with it. It's nice. At the end of the day, it's all the little things. He got the baby the other day when I was beyond exhausted, and he put her to sleep without even waking me up. That was nice.
September 10, 2019 7:55PM
You had a baby in March! How is Eloise doing?
Thank you! She's good. I fell asleep yesterday while I was running lines. I was on the phone running lines with someone and the next thing I knew, the person said "Hello?". I had fallen asleep!