Joely Adams is an actress.
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I'm Lauren Adams.
I play Gretchen Chalker on Netflix's UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT and am the devoted follower of Savior Rick's Spooky Church of the Scary-pocalypse.
I was born and raised in Maryland, went to Elon University in NC for College, then moved to California to do some regions theatre before moving to New York and pursuing improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade.
I'm here at reddit NYC with Victoria. AMA!
Edit: Thanks so much for all your questions! This was so much fun. I'll continue lurking on /r/KimmySchmidt... so crank up the good work!
Workout tips: It's important that you're on the crank for anywhere from 10-24 hours a day, straight.
It's also important that your crank is hooked up to a large power generator for best results.
You will see improvements.
And the gif - a friend emailed it to me! It made my WHOLE Easter weekend.
You're great as Gretchen! How is it working for Tina Fey? I feel like I would be so intimidated.
I was VERY intimidated at first.
But she's great to work for.
She's SO kind and super professional and just really knows comedy. It's been an amazing experience.
It's a total dream! Haha!
Hi Lauren! Here's a Welcome to reddit lase for you! Link Now for the question: Tell the truth, as cool as NYC is, don't you kinda miss the North Carolina BBQ you got down here in Alamance County?
I am totally freaking out!!
That is amazing!!
VICTORIA NOTE: If you send it to me, I'll make sure she receives it.
And I will take a selfie with it, and I will POST IT BACK!!
UH. SHOUT OUT TO ALAMANCE COUNTY. BIG UPS TO ALAMANCE. That's where Elon is.
This may polarize some people, but North Carolina bbq is my favorite kind of bbq.
I like the vinegar-based sauce. It just doesn't feel as "heavy" for some reason.
I admire your courage to pursue your dreams. At what point did you "quit your day job" and how did you muster up the courage to do so?
I booked KIMMY SCHMIDT almost 10 years from the day I graduated college.
And for most of those years I was working in the restaurant industry.
Quitting my day job was really scary. But a lot of people who had done it before me said "If you make space, then the universe will fill it in with something wonderful." And that was very true for me.
Almost from the second that I quit, I started booking acting work on a regular basis.
NOT that I'm advocating that people quit their day jobs - but if you have the financial stability to do so, go follow your dreams!
How do you think you'd act if you were in a cult?
Depends on the cult, really.
I like to think - because I"m a Leo, and I'm an oldest child, and I'm somewhat bossy - that I would maybe fall into a little bit of a Kimmy role, in trying to keep everyone together, keep everyone happy, and keep survival happening.
I would get very sick of beans.
I like to think that I would be more skeptical. I don't think I could totally drink the Kool-Aid. I might take a sip, but I wouldn't chug it.
Hi Lauren! I love Unbreakable. It's a very new and unique kind of comedy with a hilarious plot based off of strange and typically horrifying circumstance. Do you think the show is going to delve deeper into emotional/social/psychological issues as seasons progress?
I have no idea.
It's totally all up to our writers (who, as you can tell from season one, are crazy geniuses. They're incredible).
And whatever they plan to do with season two is going to be awesome.
Never knew the spelling bit! It is now officially canon!!!
Also, relevantly, you should check this out if u haven't already: http://imgur.com/FT8ehZa
Someone posted it on here.
That's really awesome.
I had not seen that. I missed some that i DEFINITELY knew. I'm disappointed in myself.
Oh my god, I'd love to see Gretchen spend a day in New York with Titus. Can this please be a webisode?
If you have Tina Fey or Robert Carlock's email addresses, please feel free to pitch this to them!
Do you know the lyrics to Pinot Noir?
I can probably name all of them, just out of order.
That's all I've got. If anyone knows the rest (NO GOOGLE) I will give you one hundred bugs.
And the correct spelling is "Peeno Noir" because it is an ode to black penis.
Here's the most important question you're gonna get.. How handsome is Jon Hamm in person?
He is... as handsome as you would imagine.
He's a VERY handsome gentleman.
And I was so surprised that he IS so tall. I thought they were just making him look like a giant on MAD MEN. But he's very tall.
He's a total pro. First take, so good.
If you could sit down with the character you're playing, what would you say or try to achieve?
I would try to get her out of the cult, for sure. That's step one.
Step two: I'm going to try to get her to update her 'do.
And step three; I think this is really the source of all the problems, and just doing this might solve problems 1 and 2, but just getting her some good self-esteem.
Trying to get her to enjoy any sort of fun pop culture would maybe do it. So a RuPaul's Drag Race, or maybe a Real Housewives, or trying to get her to love a Beyonce video... also just giving her over to Titus (the character) might be a good thing.
Do you watch game of thrones? And If so who's your favorite character?
I DO watch Game of Thrones.
And...I think Arya's my favorite character.
She's a tiny badass.
And Needle is the coolest name. It's such an unassuming but powerful tool - just like her!
It's so good!
It's hard to pick though, there are so many great characters.
Do you try to avoid reading what people are writing about you online or do you sometimes frequent communities like /r/KimmySchmidt? (That was my shameless way of plugging the subreddit.)
Do I answer honestly?
I check out the subreddit pretty regularly.
I don't mind reading what people write about me or the show online because... it's feedback. So if it's good feedback, great, if it's bad feedback, I can say...
Hi Lauren- you were great in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!! What's your favorite vacation spot and why?
I went twice in 2014. It... is... beautiful. It has great beaches. Rainforests. Beautiful national parks. Good food. Everyone I encountered there was kind, and welcoming. And it look like JURASSIC PARK.
When we flew in the first time, my boyfriend had the JURASSIC theme song prepped on his phone when we were landing, so it was like ba-na-na-na-na, ba-na-na-na-na.
Do you get a lot of hate mail from people in Indiana for the way your show depicts hoosiers?
I have good friends from Indiana, and they've never expressed any disdain for the way Indiana is depicted. I think they can laugh at the way Indiana is depicted as much as anyone can laugh about the depiction of their state. Feel free to put some good Maryland burns in response to this! I can take it!
Lots of talented improv actors in Unbreakable, but it also has a really tight, polished feel. Was there much improvising during filming or did you stick pretty true to the script?
True to the script all the way.
Tina, Robert, and our writers write a really tight, incredible script that is so joke-driven and has so much good material in it that there is NO room for whatever nonsense I have to say.
sounds like you have the best boyfriend EVER! no seriously, i am freaking out over Jurassic Park song.
He's pretty great!
He made me watch JURASSIC PARK for the first time last year.
It was scary!
That movie is NOT for kids! It's too scary! It's so scary!
But I liked it.
But it's scary. I don't know if I can see JURASSIC WORLD in the theater - what if I pee my pants?
Hey Lauren! I really liked that bit you did on David Letterman a while ago. How did that come about? What was it like doing a bit on the show?
That was a surreal experience. I was sitting in the actual guest chair.
Across from David Letterman.
I know I"ll never get to actually go on the show WITH David Letterman, so it felt really good to get to do that, even if it's as a character.
Which celebrity would you most want to get in a screaming match with?
What celeb would I want to get in a screaming match with!?
You could have 2 schools of thought here. Who would be a good person who'd fight back. Someone who's no-bullshit.
Judge Judy. Cuz she would just hand your ass to you. It'd be a fair fight.
Or would it be fun to... get in a fight with Oprah? If you caught her during a Deepak-Oprah meditation challenge, she'd be totally chill, but if you caught her in-between those...
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
I love pizza.
If I'm REALLY going for pizza, I'm just doing a straight cheese.
If we're doing toppings... prosciutto... I like artichokes... I like peppers and onions... there's not a lot I won't say no to other than anchovies.
Don't tell the Ninja Turtles.
If you were a cult leader, what would your cult be called?
I'll do one for Gretchen and one for Lauren.
If Lauren Adams is starting a cult... "The Congregation of Like Minds."
And then it's just a bunch of like-minded people basically having a cool pizza party.
For Gretchen, "Savior Rick's Spooky Church of the Scary-pocalypse."
Because she's brainwashed.
At what point did you find out the show was going to be a Netflix Original? Did this change your role on the show much?
I found out the day after we wrapped shooting season 1. So it didn't really change my role in the show at all.
We also found out at the same time that we were getting picked up for a second season, so it was super thrilling - like, THE BEST news.
I absolutely LOVE the show and hope to see more in the near future! My question is What was your favorite scene to film if any?
I loved when the Mole Women got trapped back in the bunker. It was such a great heightened way to finish up the season, and I just though the jokes they wrote for all of us were really excellent - just spot on for each character. And it felt really ensemble-y to have the four of us working off of each other.
Hey you're great on Kimmy Schmidt! 14 years is a long time to be stuck somewhere, trust me I grew up in Cleveland. LOL!!!! What would your ideal Haunted House look like? Follow-up have you ever been to Cleveland?
I hate Haunted Houses.
In fact, I hate being scared altogether.
It's really... if I know that there's a surprise coming up, it makes me super-anxious.
So knowing I'm walking through a house, and there are things that are going to pop out at me, is SO anxiety inducing for me.
I peed my pants at the last haunted house I went to.
I was an adult.
I have been to Cleveland. Loved the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Had really good guacamole at a Mexican restaurant there that had goat cheese in it.
That makes me feel super polarized. - person who briefly lived in North Carolina
I think I know who you are.
So watch your back.
Does the theme song get stuck in your head? Do you sing it in the car? In the shower? To your cat?
I check yes on all of these things, btw. Females are strong as hell.
Well, now it's stuck in my head, so thanks for that.
I heard it for the first time when I saw the episodes at our screening we had. And I danced to it in my seat then. And then when I saw all the episodes on Netflix, I never skipped the credits.
Hi, Lauren! I absolutely love the show. Do you have any particularly memorable stories from working on the set? Also, do you have any former classmates from the UCB who are doing anything cool now?
When we're in the airshaft, trying to re-break out of the bunker, it's two separate shots. So one shot is each individual with a stunt person wearing the appropriate Mole Woman's pants pretending to step on their shoulders, and the wide-shot is Sarah Chase (aka Cyndee) up in a rig (like on a crane) standing on Sol Miranda's (aka Donna Maria's) shoulders, and Ellie (aka Kimmy) sitting underneath her feet. So they could get a wide crane-shot of the stack of women. Sarah was up there in that harness for... quite some time.
She was an awesome sport about it.
I came up in the UCB with TONS of people who are doing great stuff. In my UCB Generation, it's Sasheer Zamata, Kate McKinnon, Alison Rich, and Natasha Rothwell, who all work on SNL... Abbie Jacobson and Alana Glazer came up in UBC at the same time that I did and they're the geniuses behind BROAD CITY... I was actually an intern at UBC when Ellie was on Harold Night, which makes me sound much younger than I am!
how is Ellie Kemper to work with? are you..."friends" sorta say?
Ellie is great to work with.
She's a total pro. SO funny. So positive! She's the best. Also, great to have her as the lead because she's definitely setting a great example of what everyone should be like at work.
Hey Lauren! You are so funny, I hope to see you more in the second season of Kimmy. I read you are a big sports fan- did you watch the NCAA championship, who were you rooting for?
I wanna know who told you I'm a big sports fan!
I DID watch a couple games in the NCAA championship.
I was rooting for Notre Dame, because they're from Indiana.
For the final 4 Championship, I was rooting for Wisconsin, just because they were the underdogs (technically).
I dream of pursuing comedy, in fact I really want to study at the UCB. I really admire people like you who just move across the country to do it. I don't care about making a living from it, all I care about is that I'm doing comedy that I'm proud of and enjoying, even if it's in my spare time for free (although of course I'd prefer to make a living from it). And right now I'm not doing anything except joking around with friends. I just feel like I want to dive into it but I'm scared to just move to a city by myself.
How important do you think it is to actually move to city like LA or NY to pursue these types of things? Do you have any advice for someone like me who's kind of scared to just take the plunge and move?
That's the main thing. Just do it.
The GOOD news is that the internet has made comedy so accessible, regardless of where you are. SO even if you're not ready to make the move to a big city right now, just start writing sketches with like-minded friends of yours. And put 'em online.
IF - and WHEN - you do move to a bigger city like NY, LA, Chicago, that has a really great comedy scene, the good news is diving into the comedy community in that city will make it feel less lonely, even if you don't know anyone else there. My closest friends in NYC came from me taking classes at UCB, then performing at UCB.
So get out there. And do it. You won't know until you try. And the sooner you can start doing it, the sooner you can make the rookie mistakes, move past them, and start doing the kind of comedy you want to do.
I'm another Lauren from Maryland! Cecil County, to be specific--the armpit of the state. What part of MD are you from, and do you like Old Bay?
LOVE Old Bay!
Will put it on anything from popcorn to... chicken... french fries, you name it!
I'm from Montgomery County.
I'm guessing you were born in the early 80's, when the boom of Jessica's, Lauren's, and Sarah's happened.
Wait..........a set? I think I may have misunderstood what the show is about.
I don't want to break your heart, but I've never been underground in any capacity other than the New York City Subway.
Maryland represent! Montgomery County here. Any fun MD stories/memories? Congrats on all the success!
That's Montgomery County guys. That's where I'm from.
How do you know I'm from Montgomery County?Who is this?
OOOH! This is a good Maryland story!
My best friend & roommate from college had her graduation party on the Clipper City, which is a sailboat that was in Baltimore Harbor.
All I remember is - I was driving, drove us back to wherever we were staying, and somebody threw up in a Giant bag in my car (Giant is a local supermarket chain in Maryland).
SO that's about as Maryland as it gets. And the Clipper City is now in New York Harbor, they moved it.
I think we call it New York Harbor, right? Down by the seaport?
Lauren, so besides Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt- what is in your Netflix que? Do you like political thrillers?
I like political thrillers a lot.
I did watch a bunch of cult documentaries to prepare for the role...
I also have been a Netflix member since I was gettin' discs. And I remember going - this makes me sound so old - I remember going to the Blockbuster around the corner, because I was watching 24 at the time, because I'd finished discs 1 & 2 of season 4 and I NEEDED to get disc 3...
I'm old school.
What did the bunker smell like?
It just smelled like a set. It's not a real bunker (obviously).
But we're never really fully closed in there - one of the walls is taken off so directors, and assistant directors, and cameras can fit in there.
So it's not as stuffy as you might think.
But if all the walls were on - it's pretty small. Especially for four people.
Corgis or pizza. If you choose one the other will never exist again. Whatcha gonna do?
This is the meanest question anyone has ever asked me.
It's gonna be really tough for me to never have pizza again. But I can never kill all the Corgis. They bring everyone too much joy.
Thanks for the response! I thought that was a funny scene and the cheezy good jokes were good! Good luck on your acting career and see you next season!
Cranks so much! I'm glad you liked the scene.
Hulkmania. Did you have to research for it? Plus, love the show. We love you. You guys are doing an amazing job!!! Thanks for doing this!!!
That's Sarah Chase who's got Hulkamania (she plays Cyndee).
I'll tell you - my brother was a humongous Hulk Hogan fan when we were kids. So I grew up with all the research we needed.
Oh yeah Brother!
I have seen 3 NINJAS: HIGH NOON AT MEGA MOUNTAIN.
I'm from MoCo was what I was trying to say... :) That's wonderful that you are too! We're taking over!
And I feel like a true Marylander has to have a few good stories about coming back from Baltimore.
I mean, we got the best state flag. We DEFINITELY do.
So fun and colorful!
Lord Baltimore fo-eva!
Thanks a lot!
Happy to help!
I think starting is the hardest part.