By Jeangagnon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

SPECIAL GUEST: Desmin Borges (You're The Worst). Returning for a second visit is actor Desmin Borges from FXX's hit show You're The Worst. In this episode we talk David Bowie, creativity, clinical depression, PTSD, improv comedy, 70s Steven Spielberg, The Situation, and all manner of Sunday Funday hijinks. Warning, some adult language, so keep this one away from the kiddies... Recorded on 1/11/2016.


You can download the episode here, or an even higher quality copy here...


Mike & Matt's Recommended Reading:

You're The Worst on

You're The Worst on IMDB

You're The Worst Red Band Trailer

You're The Worst on Wikipedia

You're The Worst on Twitter

You're The Worst on Facebook

Desmin Borges on IMDB

Desmin Borges on Twitter

Episode 143 - Worst Love, where Matt and Mike reviewed You're The Worst (2/5/2015)

Episode 156 - Even More Of The Worst, Desmin's first guest appearance with us (3/24/2015)

Bonus Extra - Off-Mic With Desmin Borges, an extra bit of the conversation we had with Desmin, after the regular episode was done (recorded 1/11/2016)



Alpha: Welcome to another episode of Robot Overlordz, episode #238. On the show we take a look at how society is changing, everything from pop culture reviews to political commentary, technology trends to social norms, all in about thirty minutes or less, every Tuesday and Thursday.

Mike Johnston: Greetings cyborgs, robots, and natural humans. I’m Mike Johnston.

Matt Bolton: And I’m Matt Bolton, and tonight our guest is Desmin Borges, who is one of the stars of the very funny FXX show, “You’re the Worst.” Welcome, Desmin.

Desmin Borges: What’s up, guys? How’s it going?

MB: It’s good! I have a voice this time, so I can actually talk. [laughs]

DB: Well, you sound so less sexy, dude.

MB: [laughs] Last time I was going for that smoky quality, you know.

DB: Yeah, man! You know, David Bowie expected the smoky. I don’t know what the hell that was supposed to mean. I was trying to incorporate the horribleness of David Bowie no longer being with us into it, but I don’t think that was the appropriate time for that. [laughs]

MB: [laughs]

MJ: No, that totally worked for me. I mean, you know, obviously everybody misses Bowie, but you know, you’ve just gotta keep moving on.

DB: Yeah.

MB: He was what, 70?

MJ: I think 69, wasn’t he?

DB: He might’ve planned it. Did you hear, he had a musical going on here at New York Theatre Workshop called “Lazarus,” and in one of the songs it basically was a foreshadowing of how he died.

MB: Oh, wow.

DB: Yeah.

MJ: Wasn’t it like 18 months, I think, that he was battling cancer?

DB: Yeah, yeah. I had no idea about that.

MJ: Yeah, I don’t think anyone did. But depending on when he wrote that, he could’ve had an idea that this might’ve been coming.

DB: Sure. I just think that must’ve been a very therapeutic—if it was, if he knew that the end was coming, to then write something about it that would kind of live on within that musical—that must’ve been A) freaky but B) really therapeutic.

MB: Yeah.

MJ: Yeah. Well, and the release of his album too—I mean, not that you would intend it necessarily, but it kind of coincided pretty well, and I’m sure it’s not going to hurt album sales, to be kind of the realist for a minute.

DB: No, it’s like the same thing when Michael Jackson passed, right? Like all of a sudden all of his albums had crazy numbers that they hadn’t had in years and years and years, like right after he passed away. That’s kind of what happens, though. You know, because I think it takes a lot for generations who don’t know what the artist was like the way we remember them in previous generations—moments like this bring them into it and then they get to discover the artist, even though they’re gone, like they’re brand new.

MJ: Oh, definitely. Definitely.

DB: So, now everyone… I heard some kid on the subway a couple days ago be like, “Oh man, I’m so glad The Beatles are on Spotify now! I had never heard ‘Strawberry Fields’!”

MB: [laughs]

DB: [laughs] I chuckled to myself. It was one of those moments where you’re like a fly on the wall, where no one was supposed to hear that, man, but it was just a really, really funny moment. And “Strawberry Fields” out of everything… 

MB: [laughs] Wow. Yeah, makes me feel old. Good.

DB: [laughs] That’s the way to start it off.

MJ: Yeah, I saw something today on Twitter that was like, “If you want to feel old, just think about Will Smith is now the age that the uncle was on ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.’”

DB: Oh shit, is he really? He’s as old as Uncle Phil?

MJ: Yeah. Yeah, I saw that today and I was like, “Damn…” I remember that show being on, and it was quite late in the ‘ol career.

DB: Yeah, yeah. You know, I’m surprised they haven’t done a reboot with his son yet.

MJ: Yeah, well don’t give them any ideas. [laughs]

MB: Well did you see, too, Sylvester Stallone is the same age in this new “Creed” movie that Burgess Meredith was in the original “Rocky.”

MJ: Ooh, that hurts.

DB: Well, no wonder he forgot to thank Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan in his acceptance speech. But he did thank his imaginary best friend: Rocky Balboa.

MB: [laughs]

MJ: [laughs]

MB: It was a pretty good movie, “Creed.”

DB: It was. I very much enjoyed it, and I really like the style in which they shot all of the fights.

MB: Yeah.

DB: I thought they were like…it seemed like they were really battling. I don’t know if you guys saw the video that was circulating, from when they were shooting, when Michael B. Jordan actually got knocked the fuck out.

MB: No!

DB: Oh yeah, there was this video, it might’ve been taken down now, but it came across my Twitter feed and I checked it out. I didn’t repost it because it was just kind of scary to me, but he got hit once and he hit the mat, and dude did not move.

MB: Oh…

MJ: Wow.

MB: There was a story from I think it was “Rocky III” when they were filming, and Sylvester Stallone, at the time he was in the best shape of his life, he was like 3% body fat or whatever, and they had Sugar Ray Leonard on set training him, and Sylvester Stallone talked him into actually “Hey, let’s go a round.”

DB: Oh no…

MB: And actually box—you know, because he had been doing this, this was his third movie and he had been training, and he thought he knew what he was doing. Sugar Ray broke his collarbone and fucked him all up.

DB: Oh…

MB: Almost immediately. So… [laughs]

DB: [laughs]

MB: That was the last time he did that…

DB: Oh man… You want to know what’s really funny is there was a picture, it’s so weird, it was like right after he won the Golden Globe, someone tweeted out this photo, a naked photo of Sylvester Stallone. And I don’t ever remember, like, that being a thing. Did he pose naked for a magazine at some point?

MB: Yeah, before “Rocky” he did a porno.

MJ: [laughs]

DB: Oh my god… A Ron Jeremy porno?

MB: [laughs] It was just a low-budget porn.

DB: Him and Ron Jeremy could’ve been like a spin-off on Mario and Luigi.

MB: [laughs]

MJ: [laughs]

MB: You didn’t go to the Golden Globes last night, did you?

DB: No, no, I’m here in New York, man. It’s cold.

MB: Yeah.

DB: I really enjoyed Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue.

MB: Oh, I thought it was hilarious.

DB: Yeah, he’s super funny. I just love how he keeps on sticking it to the Hollywood Foreign Press, like calling them dumbasses for continuing to ask him to host.

MB: [laughs] Well, he makes fun of literally everybody.

DB: Yeah, yeah. I love it when he does it. It’s kind of like no holes barred, you know? It’s like anyone could be roasted at any given moment.

MB: Yeah, you could see some expressions when he would mention somebody’s name and they would get this real nervous look on their face, like they didn’t know what was coming.

DB: Like, “Oh shit, what did I do this year?”

MJ: [laughs]

DB: Go into the rolodex of the stupid shit that they said or did throughout the entire year and be like “Here it comes. It’s coming back to haunt me.” [laughs]

MB: Just got done with season 2 of “You’re the Worst.” You know, it was another fantastic season. Were you surprised a little bit by the fact that it was more serious in season 2 than season 1?

DB: No, not really, ‘cause we get the scripts—you know, we block shoot four episodes at a time, so we get four episodes at a time, so we get them kind of in acts; we get the first act, the second act, and the third act… And, you know, before we start shooting, Stephen always sits down with each one of us and talks about the scope and the shape of where the character and the storyline is going individually and as a whole, so we all kind of knew what was happening. We knew that the clinical depression arc was going to play a large factor within the storyline, and then we all knew that we were going to be going off on individual tangents and then meeting back up again in that final episode. I think what I was most surprised about was how much room everybody still had to play within that cloud of a storyline that was hanging over the entire season. I guess you really never know. Every time we read an episode, we were like, “Oh my god, this is so much better than the previous episode!” and we were like really, really feeling it. And then the moments, you know, like “I didn’t know it was a school” sort of thing, like we were starting to get really dark jokes in there as well. So, I was just so surprised how much of the humor really, really played through even with that whole tonal shift that was going on.

MB: Yeah, I thought Aya did an amazing job with the whole depression thing. [laughs] She spent a lot of the time kind of laying on the couch or laying on the floor or whatever, just curled up. You know, I would assume a lot of her shoots were probably fairly easy, just kind of curl up in a ball and sleep… [laughs]

DB: [laughs] You would think that, but I think being immobile and kind of sedentary quite a bit, I mean that starts to kind of… Plus, like, the inner life that she was creating and that she was dealing with… I’m not going to speak for her, you know, but I think it was probably harder to do those scenes of being completely nonverbal and it’s just reaction shots rather than being in something and reacting to something and saying something, you know. The opportunity to keep your energy up and to continue fighting for something, to continue telling the story, is so much easier when you actually get to play a really active role in it. But when you’re completely reactive and that reactive, reactive is building, building, building until that moment where she blew the hell up and then it was kind of like a roller coaster from there… I mean it paid off so well, but I would think as an actor it’s probably pretty hard for, like, “Alright, we’re going to do another shot with you laying down crying,” and not really getting to say what you want to say or let that emotion out on whoever you want to let it out on. So, she kind of put on a master class for us all season long.

MJ: Yeah, it seemed like a really brave portrayal of a serious issue that a lot of times doesn’t seem like TV in general has really—it seems like it’s much more been dealt with in film than on TV, and particularly kind of a weird choice for a comedy.

DB: Yeah, well, you know, I think we’re falling into this whole subgenre of, I don’t know, what are they calling it now, dramedy? “Transparent” nominated for a comedy series—totally not a comedy. I watched both seasons in 48 hours. The first season when it came out, I was done in a day, the second season when it came out, done in a day. I mean, there are things that are funny about the show, but I don’t think it’s necessarily like you can define it as a comedy. Same thing with, like, “Orange is the New Black.” Used to be comedy, then last year for awards season it was in the drama categories, and now it’s like back to the comedy again this year. I think that’s like one of the really cool things about having so many platforms in which there’s good television on, and really ample and invigorating storytelling going on, because people are shying away from having to put a bow on anything and they’re just trying to tell the best damn story that they know how to tell. Which, you know, once you get a nice base of fans that are willing to follow your characters wherever, and they trust you to go on that ride, and then you just kind of take them, and then obviously it works out. It worked out with our show, it’s definitely working out with “Orange is the New Black” and “Transparent”—even “Master of None.” Did you guys catch that on Netflix, the Aziz Ansari show?

MB: I didn’t, no.

DB: It’s really great. It falls into that RomCom category—nothing is dark or real as clinical depression or transformation like in “Transparent,” but there’s some good, serious moments going on. I think for like real comedy to really hit home, there has to be a nice, healthy balance of drama with it.

MB: Yeah, no, I think it’s interesting the way 15-20 years ago you had either your shows were on one of the four major networks or it just wasn’t on. I mean, there were no real alternatives. And now stations like FX, where you can, you know, you may not be able to push the envelope as much as you can on HBO, but you can get further in. You get a lot more of these—hopefully this doesn’t sound like an insult—but it’s more of a niche show.

DB: Oh, sure.

MJ: But it’s true to life.

MB: Yeah.

MJ: That’s what gets me. I mean, you guys on “You’re the Worst,” you made the choice to really show depression how it actually is. All too often, in comedies anyway, that would’ve been played for laughs, like, “Oh, ha-ha-ha,” and then brush it aside. And you really dove deep, almost to the point where it, at points, was hard to come along as an audience, and yet there were still elements that took it out of that, so it kind of kept us going. But I thought it was a really brave choice.

DB: Right. Stephen’s such a genius and our writing staff is so good that they’re able to intertwine just such realistic levels of humanity with kind of these over-the-top B and C subplots that are going on and it all still feels like it’s all still happening at the exact time in the exact same city. You know, we started a little bit with it with Edgar’s case, with PTSD. I mean, we never show Edgar making fun of it because he knows that it’s not a game, it’s not really a funny issue. The commentary that we make on it is like the overall commentary about how our society feels about it, where they just kind of brush it off or they think it’s, you know, not necessarily something they want to deal with and as soon as it comes up they do everything they can to skirt away from that issue rather than helping the people who are dealing with it, and that’s what’s happening with the three of them vs. Edgar with that. And then I think this year they really got to hit home with the clinical depression.

MB: Well I thought the Jimmy character, too, kind of represented—Chris Geere, obviously—how everybody else in society kind of deals with depression. It’s more of a “Well the hell is wrong with you? Snap out of it!” type of an attitude, and I thought that portion of it was cool, the way they dealt with him kind of dealing with. Because as the show went on, I almost felt more sorry for Jimmy just because of what he was having to deal with.

DB: Right. Well, you know, I don’t know what statistically that reaction is, but I feel maybe 4-5 out of 10 people who are in relationships that are dealing with clinical depression, I feel like that’s a very normal, quick, guttural sort of reaction that you can have to that, you know? Like maybe they just need a spark, maybe they just need a jump, you know, “Snap out of it man,” like that sort of thing. One thing that I thought was really great about it was how he was continually persistent in trying to help even though at times he wasn’t physically actually helping.

MB: Right.

DB: Does that make sense?

MB: That was kind of what I was—I think he reacted the way most people would react in that situation, where you’re trying to help; you think you’re helping because you’re trying to do whatever you think will get them to snap out of it, but you just don’t know.

DB: Right. And then who would’ve thought the very last thing that she needed at that point was for someone not to be combative and to push back, but to actually take her in. I’d be interested to hear from other people. I know there were definitely people who were very vocal about it after the episode aired, on blogs and on their own social media, about their experiences with clinical depression. But I wonder if any of them who saw the ending, if they tried to, you know, infiltrate that into the relationship and maybe that hopefully helped them a little bit if they were unsure of how to deal with it, if they were going through Jimmy’s side and going through Jimmy’s perspective.

MB: Yeah, I thought all four of you guys, the four main characters, really got to—obviously the first season was more straight up comedy, but you guys really seemed to push the acting chops a lot more this season, season 2, just kind of pushing the entire story forward.

DB: Like I said, we’re all very lucky to be in the position that Stephen and the writers are just going to keep pushing the ball forward. I mean, I think I’ve heard Stephen say in a couple different interviews it’s like having a large beautiful piano in front of you and then only playing the black keys. When you have these depths with the people that he’s chosen to help him tell this story, if you don’t play all of the keys, you’re not really going to get the full scope of what it can be. And so far, I think we’re playing all the keys.

MB: Yeah, no, I definitely think so, too. One of the episodes I did definitely want to ask you about was the second “Sunday Funday.”

DB: Oh yeah…

MB: [laughs]

MJ: Love “Sunday Funday.” [laughs]

MB: With the haunted house and the whole… The first “Sunday Funday” I thought was probably the best episode for season 1, and then the second one I thought was fantastic, too. Did you guys actually film in a real haunted house?

DB: No man, that was our art department. We were, like, south of downtown LA in like a warehouse-y sort of district, and they put the haunted house together. So it was like in three different sort of warehouses, and that was all art, and our DPs, and everybody, and our director, Wendy Stanzler who was directing that episode, man. They were killing it. We were seeing things on the monitor… I mean, we were scared at different points while we were in there, and then we’d see it on the monitor and we were like, “Oh man, that shit is freaky!” [laughs] And it was like so cool, because once we read it we were like, “Oh, this could kind of be a film within itself, like just this section of it.” I think it’s only like nine minutes of the entire episode, but those nine minutes, it’s really like nothing else that we’ve shot. And then it’s kind of funny that we go into like episode 9, that LCD Soundsystem episode, where we kind of have two episodes back to back that are absolutely nothing like anything else we’ve done so far. Even though episode 8 was “Sunday Funday” and it was part of that world, the haunted house part was really like nothing else we’d ever done.

MJ: Plus I think it gave you one of the weirdest sex scenes ever in a comedy.

MB: [laughs]

DB: [laughs] Oh man, when Stephen told me that I was going to be The Situation, I just looked at him and I just started bursting out laughing. And he was like, “And you’re going to be fucking ‘70s Steven Spielberg from behind,” and I was like, “What?!” And he started telling me about how, you know, Edgar was going to meet Dorothy through improv comedy… And I just think it’s so funny, because everyone says we’re in the golden age of TV now, and you have the film nerds beforehand basically talking about how television is what film used to be in the ‘70s, and then they walk in and you have The Situation fucking a 1970s Steven Spielberg. [laughs] For Edgar, I’m sure it was a huge relief. I mean, that was the first time in three years, man. He can move forward with plenty of things in life now.

MB: [laughs] Yeah, no, after hearing you say that, I’m just amazed that that whole thing was shot on—just based on the set and all the things, I just assumed it was like a permanent haunted house or something. It’s just amazing that they built that.

DB: It’s based on a haunted house that’s in San Diego, where you really sign your rights away. They can do anything except for break your bones or kill you, but everything is kind of a go. And the part where Vernon, where they put the thing in his mouth, the rat shit or whatever, and then he throws up all over the place—that place actually does shit like that.

MB: Oh, wow.

DB: Yeah. I watched like a clip for it that Stephen sent to us and I was like, “You’re kidding me…” Because I had been to scary haunted houses before, but I had never been involved in some shit like that. And when I saw it—I mean literally this dude, they put whatever it is in his mouth and seconds later he puked all over the place. And then he just kept on running, and he kept on going through it, and it was like… [laughs] I really loved the part where the ninjas came from the sky and just bungee-ed Dorothy and Edgar up. I just thought that was so cool. That was probably, like, one of the coolest stunt things I’ve ever gotten to film.

MB: Yeah, that was really awesome. So you actually got to do it? That was you, not a stunt double?

DB: Oh, yeah, yeah, no, we did all our own stunts in that one. I think the only time we haven’t done our own stunt was in the first “Sunday Funday” when… Oh, I don’t even think they showed that.

MB: When he’s in the shopping cart?

DB: Yeah, when he’s in the shopping cart. I know we used stunt doubles for that, but they didn’t even end up showing Aya and I rolling off the shopping cart. They, like, cut to us jumping off, and then they cut to Chris’ face, and then they cut to us already on the ground, looking up at him. But we did use stunt doubles for that, but I don’t think you end up seeing enough of the stunt to kind of warrant that. So yeah, we did all our own stunts with this one.

MB: That’s awesome. I thought the “Sunday Funday” was fantastic. This is kind of my own stupidity, but after Jimmy had dressed up as whatever character he was supposed to be dressed up as…

DB: [laughs]

MB: …Whatever that was. I actually went on IMDb and I’m, like, looking up this TV show to see if it was—and it wasn’t even a real show.

DB: Oh, no. No, not at all. But you should’ve seen how much Chris Geere lit up as soon as he put on those pants and the jacket, with the sideburns. At some point, he was just… I’ve never seen a better Jim Carrey impersonation at one point. He was going crazy with the things that he was wanting to do while he was in this costume. It was pretty amazing.

MB: I actually wanted to see a show with his character that he was supposed to be playing. [laughs]

DB: Oh, it’s Beatrice and somebody. Heathrow?

MB: Yeah, something like that, and he plays some governor, or I don’t remember.

DB: No, he’s a cobbler, or he’s undercover as a cobbler.

MJ: Wasn’t he a deacon?

DB: A deacon! A deacon! Yeah, there it is. That’s so ridiculous. [laughs]

MJ: There’s that little clip of it I think in the episode where Jimmy is kind of sitting with the bartender.

DB: Oh yeah, they watched the Christmas episode, like the “never before seen on TV.”

MJ: The holiday special.

DB: Yeah, yeah, the holiday special! Yeah, that’s funny. And, you know, it’s so funny to have ridiculous shit like that in the exact same season where we’re talking about clinical depression.

MB: You had talked about that LCD Soundsystem episode. I honestly, when that episode came on, I actually went to the DVR—I thought I had recorded the wrong show. Because it goes so long without you seeing any of the main characters in that episode, so I thought, “Well maybe I accidentally recorded something else.”

DB: Oh, you weren’t alone. There were so many people that were responding on social media, freaking out, because we were all tweeting live for that episode, and we were all just staying very, very quiet because, you know, that was one where you didn’t really want to give too much away and talk about anything, especially within like the first 12 minutes. Like, half of that episode is not anybody but Rob and Lexi. It was a pretty amazing experience for me to watch the response rate as quickly as it was happening on Twitter. And everyone thought the same thing, they really thought that, “Oh man, did they put another television show in this slot?” or that they accidentally were recording the wrong channel.

MB: Oh, good, well at least I’m not alone in my stupidity then.

DB: No, no, we were all there with you, brother. We were all supporting you.

MB: [laughs] Well, good. So, obviously the next season, season 3 is coming out—season 2 came out in the fall, the new season is coming out in the summer, correct? Or no?

DB: I think they said that. You know, I don’t know. I would assume if that’s what FX said, then that’s probably what’s going to happen.

MB: Yeah, you’re only on the show. [laughs]

DB: [laughs] Yeah. No, you know, when they announced it was summer, we were like, “Oh cool, it’s coming out in the summer.” That’s the first that we had heard of it, as well, coming out in the summer. They keep their plans tip-top confidential secret over there.

MB: Well you’ve lost your lead-in show too, so.

DB: Well, yeah, and then they have new shows that are coming in and that are coming out, so, you know, who knows what the pairings going to be like, who knows what night it’s going to be on now, whether we’ll stay on Wednesdays. I know we’re staying on FXX. That’s the only thing that I know for sure.

MB: Oh, okay. I always thought it would be a decent pairing with like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

DB: Yeah, yeah. But the thing is is that their new season is just starting now in January, so I don’t know if, shooting-wise, we’ll ever be able to make that work. It would be awesome, though. I’m such a huge fan of all those cats over there. I think “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is definitely one of my favorite comedies on television for the past, like, I don’t know, what, 6-7 years? Eight years?

MB: It’s been on for quite a while.

DB: Yeah, actually I think they’re in season 10. It’s so sneaky slow and good. Well, ‘cause like the first 3 seasons, no one knew anything about it, it kind of snuck right in there. And now, you know, it’s a mainstay for me. I can’t wait ‘till this new season begins.

MB: Yeah, no, it’ll be great. So season 3, you have no idea which way the story is going to go or anything?

DB: No, they just started writing.

MB: Oh, wow.

DB: Yeah, at the beginning of the new year. And they write the entire season before we start shooting it, which a lot of off-network shows kind of run that model, whereas network you’re just 3 or 4 episodes ahead of what you have airing at that time. So, I’m very interested to hear and see what Stephen and the writers put together.

MB: [laughs] Yeah, I’d like to see them explore the Edgar and Dorothy story a little bit.

DB: Yeah, I’m really glad we got to stay together. At the end of the season when Stephen was getting interviewed after, he said something about how originally I think he had Edgar and Dorothy splitting up, and then he decided that that wasn’t the right move and he decided to keep ‘em together. You know, Collette’s an amazing actress, I absolutely love working with her, so that’s music to my ears that we’re at least going to have more time to play together on set.

MJ: That’s another one of those things that I thought was kind of a brave choice in the course of the story, that Edgar and Dorothy’s relationship, your average comedy would kind of go for the break. And yet that whole sequence where you pull up to her basically and come running up, and she’s like, “We just had a fight. It’s part of relationships.” That really rang true to me, I guess.

DB: Yeah. No, thank you, I appreciate that. That was one of those moments as an actor where I actually kind of approached that scene different than I do other scenes because I wanted it to be as fresh and right off the tip of my tongue and kind of not knowing where I’m going with it, and I think the way that it was written really allowed me to kind of do that. And it’s kind of funny that—well, funny in an odd sort of way—that of course Edgar thought that they had broke up. We’re sitting there and I tell her I can’t move in with her and I’m drinking that scotch in the kitchen, I really thought that I was, like, totally, totally breaking up with her. And I guess it’s just Edgar’s inexperience to be like, “No man, that’s just a fight. That’s what happens. You’re supposed to come get me.”

MJ: Yeah, the whole Edgar/Dorothy pairing I thought went really well in season 2. I’m curious, did you have any experience yourself with improv comedy, or is that something that they kind of pulled from your background to write you into? Or was that sort of a new acting challenge for you? Because I thought you did fantastic with it.

DB: Oh, thank you, thank you. No, I’ve always been very much in love with improv and a student of improv. The acting school that I went to in Chicago, the theatre school at DePaul University, our whole first entire year of acting is all through improv, we don’t even actually touch text until the second year. So, I’m very comfortable playing out the scene with any sort of structure, whether it’s very loose or it’s very tight, and growing up in the Chicago scene, I got to see my fair share of amazing improvisers. And I always kind of look forward to projects where you get to kind of do one for you. You know, a lot of the times we’ll get it this way, we’ll get it that way, and then it’s like, “Alright, alright, just take it and kind of see where it goes.” Sometimes you get some of the best moments that happen, whether it’s just a look or it’s like an improvised line here or there that just kind of add and bolster the story. I mean specifically within Stephen’s world, we don’t do a lot of improvising on set. I think we did more this year because of the storyline, but other than that I really look forward to it when we get the opportunity to just kind of play around and see what magic we can create right off the cuff.

MB: Have you ever done actual improv, that Second City type of…?

DB: No, you know, I was never a student there at Second City or—

MB: I didn’t mean them—yeah, okay.

DB: No, no, no, in general. I mean, I use it very much within my audition process quite a bit depending on what things that I’m auditioning for. Sometimes you can tell that you’re dealing with a script or a project that’s very open to improvisation, and so I get to keep it fresh for me that way. But do I ever do it in front of people that are paying money to see me do it? Not yet. I feel like it’s something that I’m going to be doing more because a couple of our writers on the show were at iO West, and Allan McLeod, who plays Paul on the show, he’s an improviser there and we’ve talked about me coming in and doing stuff with their sketch team or just playing on a Tuesday night in front of a live audience. So this time around when I’m in LA, I think I’m going to take advantage of that invitation and do it as much as possible.

MB: Cool. Very cool. I know we’re getting short here on time. What projects are you working on? Are you in anything in New York?

DB: Yeah, I just got done shooting on this independent film called “Carrie Pilby,” about this 19-year-old phenomenon who graduated from Harvard at the age of 18 and lives in New York and is kind of very socially awkward. It’s played by Bel Powley, who played the lead in “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” which was a pretty popular film at Sundance and everywhere. And Vanessa Bayer is in it, and Nathan Lane is in it, and Jason Ritter is in it, so it’s got a really good grouping of folks. It was fun ‘cause all my scenes were with Vanessa and Bel, so it was really nice to get to play with them for a while. And I just finished shooting that last week, so I’m really excited for them to get that into the editing room and get that out, because I think it’s going to be a pretty dope film. And then I worked on another independent movie in LA with Henry Barrial, who was the director for this other independent film I did, “The House That Jack Built.” But it’s set in LA around this guy who’s in his 40s, he’s married, he has two kids, and he just lost his record store and so he starts driving like an UberX to kind of make money, and he gets to meet all these different people. And I’m one of the drivers that he picks up, and then we have a pretty awesome relationship. And Patrick Fabian, who is on “Better Call Saul,” plays the lead role in that. That was two really awesome projects that I got to work on so far during the hiatus. And we’ll see if anything comes up within the next couple of months, hopefully some things will hit. But then pretty soon we’re going to be back to “You’re the Worst” land, and that’s, you know, really what I’m looking forward to.

MB: Yeah, I think we all are, so. [laughs]

DB: [laughs]

MB: I know I am. It’s one of the few shows I look forward to.

MJ: Yeah, keep up the good work.

DB: Oh, thanks guys. Appreciate it. Alright gentlemen, well have a good evening.

MB: Enjoy some college football, and we’ll talk to you soon.

DB: Talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

MJ: Thanks, Desmin.

DB: Thank you.

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MB: Thanks.


Image Credit: By Jeangagnon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons