Kathryn Hahn on Trying Not to Pre-Plan Scenes and Being “Weirdly Lucky” in Her Career

“I don’t like to come into anything too pre-planned. I do a ton of work beforehand, but I don’t wanna have anything set because you find it so much in the other person’s eyes” – Kathryn Hahn

You most likely would recognize Kathryn Hahn from Anchorman, Step Brothers, Bad Moms, and other hit comedy movies, but the Emmy Award-nominated actress has also appeared in some substantial dramatic roles. This includes the HBO series I Know This Much is True, in which she stars opposite Mark Ruffalo, who plays a pair of identical twin brothers. Hahn portrays the ex-wife of one of the brothers. She spoke with Collider, Hahn speaks on being able to inhabit a character for longer on a television series and why she feels “weirdly lucky” that she has been cast in a variety of different projects of a wide range of genres.

Though Hahn mostly acts in movies, she does appreciate being able to inhabit a character longer on a series. Regarding that, she also talks about her preparation for the role, saying:

I don’t like to come into anything too pre-planned. I do a ton of work beforehand, but I don’t wanna have anything set because you find it so much in the other person’s eyes and in just being in the space that your fellow artisans have made for you, in terms of the set and the props and the costumes, and being with your director for the first time.

This limited series space really appeals to me, in those creative ways, because you can take your time for things to land and simmer, in a way that sometimes you don’t have in a feature, or maybe even an open-ended series, where things are being written as it’s happening. It’s hard to control that, or fit into it.

An example of Hahn finding something to “simmer” in is working with her fellow actors. She explains, “It’s not intellectual and it’s not talking it to death. It’s just something can seep in, and then you can let it go. When you’re in the scene, all you really need is your partner in front of you. In this case, it was just looking at Mark Ruffalo as Dominick. I found most of it in just looking at him. Even if you don’t know, as an audience member, that kind of stuff adds texture and history and weight. I think all that stuff is really important.”

In addition to I Know This Much is True, Hahn also voices a character on the animated series Central Park. She notes how appreciative she is to have so many varied acting opportunities, remarking, “It’s really crazy that I’m able to do these wildly different genres and wildly different things. I don’t take any of it for granted. I know how easy it is to be pigeonholed. I just feel really weirdly lucky that I’ve been able to escape under the radar and flip around. That’s been a real joy. That’s why I wanted to do all of this, in the first place, back when I was a kid, putting on plays. Being able to jump into so many different genres and being asked to do so many different things has been a real joy. I don’t take it for granted.”

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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