Kaitlin Olson on Comedy Auditions: “You want to have a really heightened version of yourself, but not go into cartoon-land”

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Actress Kaitlin Olson

“I think people who are trying too hard, sometimes I get that that’s nerves when you’re auditioning. But that is, unfortunately, a little off-putting.” – Kaitlin Olson

Now that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has reached its thirteenth season, it’s fair to say it’s one of the most successful television comedy series of all time. Even as she has branched out to other projects, star Kaitlin Olson has remained an integral part of the baker’s dozen seasons as “Sweet Dee” Reynolds, the aspiring actress with no clear ability to act whatsoever. In a conversation with IndieWire, Olson spoke about the importance of being comfortable with oneself in comedy and the importance of chemistry.

When asked what could be off-putting about working with another actor in comedy, Olson explains that one aspect that gets in the way is when actors aren’t comfortable with themselves. She explains:

I think people who are trying too hard, sometimes I get that that’s nerves when you’re auditioning. But that is, unfortunately, a little off-putting. Because you just feel like, ‘Oh, that’s going to be a lot to handle.’ People who are comfortable in their own skin typically don’t have as much of an ego.

I remember Sofia [Black-D’Elia] came in and was very casual and calm, said ‘hi,’ and just sort of started acting. That’s really what you want in an audition. It’s a hard thing with comedy. It’s a very fine line, people overdoing it and turning into cartoon characters. You want to have a really heightened version of yourself, but not go into cartoon-land.

One aspect that has helped It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia succeed as one of the longest-running live-action comedy television shows of all time is the chemistry between the cast members (including Olson’s co-star and real-life husband, Rob McElhenney). Olson points out that it isn’t uncommon, remarking, “I guess people do that in movies a lot, cast their friends over and over and have different groups, and you just know that you’re going to vibe well together.”

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