Noël Wells is fast becoming a comedic actress to watch. Her starring role alongside Aziz Ansari in his Netflix series, Master of None, has audiences in stitches. Created by Ansari and Alan Yang, Master of None focuses on Dev, a 30 year old actor who is trying to make his way in New York. Wells plays the part of Rachel, a girl Dev hooks up with in the first episode and then later begins dating.
It’s a simple enough concept, but the show explores many current affairs, including racism, feminism, extra-marital affairs and the exploitation of women in the acting industry, all the while delivering great comedy. It works!
Wells explains that she actually got the audition for the part of Rachel after an initial meeting with Ansari went badly (she thought). “I had met with [Aziz and his team] when they were about to start writing the show. I thought that the meeting went terribly and that I would never see them again. So when I got the audition three months later, I thought, well, I have nothing to lose.”
“The reviews [for Master of None] have been just so insane,” she adds.” “I’ve been joking that I might start my own backlash just to keep myself on my toes.”
Her ‘nothing to lose’ attitude has certainly paid dividends. Prior to landing Master of None, Wells was perhaps best known as a featured player on Saturday Night Live, but after just one season, the decision was made not to renew her contract.
“I auditioned for S.N.L. two years before I got on the show,” Wells explains. “And I remember the first time thinking, I know for sure I’m not going to get this. But I had this feeling that I would be back. The whole situation is kind of a bummer how it turned out, but I have to be proud of myself.”
“I don’t think there was any particular reason why it ended; it was just a complicated time,” she says of the decision not to renew her contract. “But I definitely knew when I didn’t come back that it was going to be O.K., even though I was heartbroken.”