Casey Wilson on Parodying the Self-Parodying
Casey Wilson has made a name from herself by being one of the funniest women in the room- whether it was on SNL for her 2-year run, or on Happy Endings, where she played Penny Hartz.
Casey is one of the most in-demand comedians in Hollywood at the moment, with movies such as Bride Wars and Ass Backwards under her belt, and countless guest performances on shows like Comedy Bang Bang.
Soon, Casey will be appearing on Hulu in Hotwives of Orlando, a parody of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise.
I recently sat down with Casey to discuss what it’s like to make fun of the already absurd.
Karen: Where did the idea come from for Ass Backwards? How do you find a new angle on something as ridiculous as pageants?
Casey: Pageants are already ridiculous and sad, I think. The idea for the movie came from wanting to write characters based on who we (Casey and Co-star June Diane Raphael) were in our early twenties, which was blissfully unaware of reality in every way. Something about pageants just gelled with that world. We loved the idea [spoiler alert] that these girls had been pageant girls, and identified as losers in their world, because they never won, and in the end, when they lose again, they throw a tantrum like a 2-year-old would, but they accept that they are losers, and that is a huge step forward.
Karen: Were you surprised by the positive reaction Ass Backwards received?
Casey: I am so happy if anyone has seen it, and I’m so proud of the movie. I just hope that it resonates with the marginalized and that people like it.
Karen: Let’s talk about your legendary love of the Real Housewives franchise. I know you throw viewing parties at your house, and you’re really into it. Who’s your favorite character from which franchise?
Casey: All time is most likely Phaedra Parks from Atlanta. She’s so insane, but I love her. Of course, Vicki Gunvalson from Orange County. The more insane, the better, in my mind. I love Nene Leakes, of course.
Karen: How do you feel about Kenya? I think she has reinvigorated the Atlanta franchise.
Casey: I know. I feel like Orange County are almost too normal for my tastes this year. We’ve got Ramona and Sonja in New York, but when they get too normal, I start to worry.
I actually went on Watch What Happens Live and I got paired with Ramona. I don’t know what I thought I was going to do, maybe address her insanity, but anyway, I fell under her spell and thought she was lovely. I don’t have it in me to go off. I always look at their eyes and I can’t.
Karen: So let’s talk about Hotwives of Orlando. This must have been a dream role for you.
Casey: The idea was Paul Scheer’s baby, and Danielle and Danna who wrote it. They were going off on the insanity of the Housewives and how it’s ripe for parody.
Karen: How was it playing your character?
Casey: It was so silly, and the writing is so funny. I have so much admiration for them, because it’s already self-parody, but they managed to take it up another notch.
Karen: Orlando is sort of an unglamorous place, so how does that play into the show?
Casey: Instead of holding a peach, there’s an alligator. Just crawling across the screen. I play Tawny St John and I am married to an older man (he’s actually not that old, I just want him to be on his deathbed so I can take his joey and marry my trainer.)
I’m a rich Orlando housewife who has her own charity. My charity is called Classy Canines, and it’s to help get high heeled shoes for dogs, because I don’t want dogs to have to walk across the sidewalk barefoot.
Karen: Who does your character have beef with?
Casey: EVERYONE! I think my character is kind of a mic of Kenya Moore and Gretchen Rossi and Tamra Barney.
Karen: Please answer a question that everyone who is a lover of Happy Endings would like answered: Is there any chance that Happy Endings will be rebooted?
Casey: No, there’s not. We were really holding out for USA Network and then that fell through the night before we thought it was good. At this point, everyone’s scattered. I think that ship has sailed. I hope it can have a second life on Netflix or Hulu, though?
Karen: If there had been a season 4 of Happy Endings, what would you have liked to see happen?
Casey: For some reason, I always pictured Penny and Max living out some kind of Grey Gardens scenario. Penny and Max maybe made some weird suicide pact.
Karen: You did an impression of Dolly Parton on Drunk History that was very popular. Has she seen it?
Casey: If she has, she hasn’t called me! I went to see her with Lizzy Caplan. We went to Palm Springs to see her at a Casino and we were the youngest people there by a lot. I wanted to shout at these people because they kept seated during her show. I was like “GET UP! This is DOLLY PARTON!”
We got to take a photo with her and we didn’t have a chance to ask her anything. We just had to get in and get out.