After premiering on FX last year and garnering numerous accolades from television critics – including the moniker “the perfect love story of our time” – You’re the Worst is moving to FXX to bolster the network’s comedy offerings in its sophomore season.
Jimmy (Chris Geere) is still as narcissistic and self-absorbed as ever, and with the impetuous and self-destructive Gretchen (Aya Cash) now living under the same roof, audiences can look forward to the same brand of hilarity and awkwardness, just dialed up a few notches.
Earlier this week during a conference call with fellow journalists, we caught up with Chris and Aya to ask them about working on Season 2, and how their real-life relationship experiences manifest onscreen.
Right from the beginning of Season 2, we can tell that cohabitation is going to be a big challenge for Jimmy and Gretchen. How have your own experiences with cohabitation helped inform your characters on the show?
Chris Geere: I think it’s the biggest step that a couple can make. It’s a huge compromise, putting your lives together like that. I found it very difficult. I was alwaysallowed to leave me wet towel on the bed when I lived on my own but when I moved in with my now wife, that seemed to be a problem. That was my experience with that kind of thing.
With Jimmy and Gretchen, I think Jimmy’s such a selfish guy that this is doubly hard for him to find space for her in his life. We really explore that in the first couple of episodes. We make a joke out of it with the trash can and the trash bags in the corner. But how it works in the end with that compromise is great. I’m really glad they portrayed it that way.
Aya Cash: I like to eat in bed. My husband doesn’t like that. And when we first moved in together he would walk around and he would touch anything that was mine and he would go “What’s this? Where does this go?” And finally I said “This is my stuff. It lives here now.” So I think everyone can identify with that.
And I think what Chris is saying is true. It’s actually the biggest step in a relationship, I think even moreso than marriage. Marriage is much more of a psychological step, but in terms of the reality of how your life changes with someone, moving in is even bigger.
Chris Geere: You realize once you’ve moved in with someone after a couple of week’s you’re going to have to give up on a certain part of your previous life, that independence and doing whatever you want whenever you do it. To give that up for anyone is very tricky. But for these two self-absorbed people it’s doubly hard.
There’s a great quote from the show that talks about how Gretchen and Jimmy’s relationship is only going to end one way. Do you think that people like Gretchen and Jimmy, who may not be right for each other, can still have a lasting relationship?
Aya Cash: I actually think Jimmy and Gretchen are right for each other. I think the point of that speech is not that they’re wrong for each other, it’s that nobody can possibly make a relationship work in this day and age. I mean, some of this is very realistic: we live in a culture of divorce, and of quick, easy casual sex with Tinder or whatever.
So I feel like it’s more a comment on that than, like, why would we even try? I think the truth is that you can only learn some things in relationships with another person. Sometimes that’s friendship and often that is romantic love, because it’s the thing that demands the most of you. And therefore there’s only certain things you can learn about yourself when you are in a romantic relationship.
I think there’s a sort of idea, which is actually what my husband said to me when we were deciding to get married or not. I never believed in marriage really, and he said, “Look, even if it doesn’t work out, I will have wanted to have been married to you.” Like, let’s try this thing and see if it works, and it’s not to say we’ll just get out of it so easy, but it’s – who knows what will happen? And that’s the realistic approach and in some ways I think that’s more romantic. And I think the thing with Jimmy and Gretchen is they’re going into something that they believe will end badly, but it’s worth it to go through the journey together even if it doesn’t work out. And I think that’s actually like the most romantic thing that they could do.
Chris Geere: Yes, I love that. That’s brilliantly put, Mrs. Cash.
Aya Cash: Thanks, Chris!
Chris Geere: One of my favorite phrases – which someone has always given me every time I’ve ever broken up with someone before – is, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” And at the end of a relationship it’s actually quite a comforting thing to hear. I think you have to take that leap of faith and you have to go through that hardness, and the battle that is every relationship. Single-handedly the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life is marriage, but it’s also the most rewarding as well.
And people these days I think are braver. There are so many options available in terms of trying to find someone, but people are using their instincts more. They’re being far more instinctive than they’ve ever been and they won’t waste anyone’s time if the relationship doesn’t look like it’s working, but if it does they’ll really pursue it and they’ll dive in, and that diving in thing is something that Jimmy and Gretchen – well I can only speak to Jimmy really, has never – he’s never done before. So to do this is such a brave choice, and you can only respect them both for doing that.
One of the funniest sequences from the new season features Jimmy and Gretchen hanging out in a mall. Can you talk about your experience on set for that day?
Chris Geere: When we were filming this whole sequence, there was so many different parts to it – especially for the montage bit, it felt like we were there forever. But it reminded me of when I was fifteen and I used to go to the mall on a Saturday with my friends and just goof around. And I think that’s a really endearing quality of both these people, who are a publicist and a novelist going to the mall and mucking around. That’s what the show is all about, that we can have something mindlessly comedic like that and five minutes later they’re pouring their hearts out about something. It’s a privilege for us to play.
Aya Cash: We definitely behave like teenagers as actors on the day. I got my keys taken away for my scooter because I wouldn’t stop driving around. We introduced Chris to the joys of American eating. He had Cinnabon for the first time and Wetzel’s Pretzels. We ended up eating so much crap that day.
Chris Geere: There was this thing called Orange Julius, which I’ve never had before, and it had more sugar in it than anything I’ve ever had in my life.
Do you have roles that you dream about, or directors you’d love to work with?
Chris Geere: I have always wanted – since being a young boy and becoming an actor and even now – I would love to have a go at The Doctor in Doctor Who. That’s what my kind of dream role would be. And to be James Bond and Doctor Who. No one has done that before.
Aya Cash: That’s amazing! I wanna be James Bond and Doctor Who – can I just take your answer? [laughs] My dream role is to have someone I believe in write me my dream role and that’s what I find exciting. I’d love Stephen Falk or any of the writers to write me a show when You’re The Worst is done. The people that I respect and think are great are the people I want to create new work with.
You guys have some great guest stars coming in this season, like Justin Kirk and Tara Summers. These are folks you don’t get to work with on a regular basis, so what was the experience like being on set with them?
Aya Cash: We love the guest stars. When we shot the pilot Kether [Donohue] turned to me and said, “We have to promise to be nice to the guest stars.” And I turned to her and said, “Of course, because we’re not monsters.” But as people guest star on shows you sometimes get treated as bottom of the barrel. You don’t know the set, you don’t know the tone, you don’t know people’s relationships, so you come on and sometimes people don’t even introduce themselves to you.
And we’re a very friendly cast. I remember hanging out with Tara and Justin and they’re like, “You’re so friendly!” And I was like, “Oh, and I’m the least friendly.” And, of course, Chris walked on 20 minutes later and immediately bear hugs both of them. And they were like, “Wow, you were right!” And I was like “Yeah, I don’t touch immediately. But we’re all nice.”
Chris Geere: Yeah, the guests really kept me on my toes this year – not that I would ever drop the ball in any way. But so many of the scenes are between Aya and myself, and we’re so comfortable that when another energy comes on set, it’s wonderful.
If there was another show that you could have a chance to guest star on, what would it be?
Aya Cash: Oh my God, I watch so much TV, there are so many. Rectify comes to mind immediately, and Veep. I’d love to go play with the Broad City girls – I think that would be a blast, and I think they’re great. I’d love to do an Amy Schumer sketch… you’re going to have to interrupt me. Humans, Mr. Robot… Chris, please talk now.
Chris Geere: I’d like to be a guest on Doctor Who that turns into Doctor Who.
You’re the Worst airs on Wednesday nights, exclusively on FXX.