Posted: 02/14/2009


Interview With Amy Sedaris, Appearing On The Closer

by Laura Tucker

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Amy Sedaris, best known for her role in Strangers With Candy, as well as collaborating with her brother, author David Sedaris, is going to be guesting on an upcoming episode of The Closer, playing Fritz’s sister, a vegan psychic. Recently I had a chance to participate in a conference call with her.

While I normally rewrite interviews into more of a standard paragraph format, I didn’t want to destroy any of Amy’s thoughts in the process. I think by publishing this intervew just as it was spoken that a truer sense of who Amy is can be seen. She was very quick-witted with her answers, knowing exactly what she wanted to say, but would cut herself off mid-sentence to go onto the next thought, throwing in a lot of “you know”s along the way. There were times when it was obvious she didnt’ really want to answer a particular question, and other times when she would brighten with a new thought.

I found Amy to be a very complex and interesting person, and I wanted everyone to meet her just the way I did.

Question: I was wondering what did you find challenging about your role?

Amy Sedaris: Just the fact that it was an hour long drama that was kind of, you know, challenging, and that, you know, and challenging to play a psychic when I didn’t, you know, do a whole lot of, you know research for it. But it was fun because the writers wrote a really good part, and I didn’t have to bring too much of my own stuff to it. Do you know what I mean? So I mean, all of it was challenging. Every job I get is challenging.

Question: I was wondering, not quite on topic, but I read a few months ago, it was reported that you were working on a new project with Paul Dinello for Fox. And I wondered at that point, it was sort of in its early stages, has there been any development on that? Can you talk about that at all?

Amy Sedaris: Yes. We turned in a couple drafts and we’re really happy with it. And so is Fox. And so – but it’s still one of those things when I hear myself talk about it out loud, it doesn’t feel right. So I haven’t really found the right terms to describe it yet. So that’s why I just don’t talk about it.

But we feel good about it. That’s all I can say.

Question: With The Closer, you play the psychic or an intuitionist. Have you ever visited a psychic? And do you have any like crazy, wacky stories about if you have or somebody…

Amy Sedaris: No, I’ve never been to a psychic, but I have a friend whose mom’s an astrologist. And I wasn’t ((inaudible)) out by her, but that’s a whole – I know it’s a different thing than psychic and astrologist really. But no, I’ve never been to one.

But I’m not saying I don’t believe in them. I just, you know, just never been.

Question: Are there any dream shows that you’d like to guest star on? Do you have a favorite show that you would love to be on?

Amy Sedaris: I like the show House a lot. I think that’s a really fun show. And you know of course, shows like 30 Rock. I love 30 Rock, and Ugly Betty I think is fun. When I think of, you know, because they’re in New York, too. It’s fun to shoot a show in New York, just kind of different because you know all the crew members.

Question: When filming The Closer, how was the chemistry on the set? What did you enjoy most about filming the episodes?

Amy Sedaris: Well, the cast and the crew really got along really well. And that’s always a good sign of a good set, you know, because when, you know, working on Strangers with Candy, we always included our crew you know what I mean? They were there for all of it. Sometimes I’d go to them and say, “Hey, I need a funny line. What can I say here?” You know? So it reminded me a lot of a theater set where everyone got along and everyone’s role was to make a really good episode.

So that really made everything a lot easier.

My Queston: Kyra Sedgwick’s character on The Closer is known for being able to get people to confess. How do you think you, meaning Amy, not your character, are at getting people to confess?

Amy Sedaris: For some reason ((inaudible)) good at it. Like, I can get – I can be talking to someone and – for ten minutes, and then walk away from them, and have their entire life. Like a lot of times, people will say, “How did you find that out?” You know, because you find that when you ask somebody something, a lot of times, they’re going to want to tell you because they’re not used to talking about themselves. And then once they know you’re actually listening, they’re going to keep talking. So I’m kind of like the – I’m the kind of person where I get a lot of information out of people.

Question: What was your most memorable moment you had from filming The Closer?

Amy Sedaris: My most memorable moment of filming The Closer? I guess my first day. It’s the first day where I got to meet, well, I got to – you know Fritz is my brother so I got to see him again. I got to see his house and then meeting Brenda because here it’s his woman. It’s his girlfriend and a lot was going on with her and me playing the psychic, you know. It was really like seeing her for the first time.

So I think the first day was probably my favorite and most memorable.

Question: I keep reading about your rabbits and how you make cheese balls and cupcakes from your apartment to sell. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Amy Sedaris: Yes, my rabbit’s sacked out on top of my bed as we speak. She’s just sacked out. She’s exhausted.

And then my cupcakes, I sell at a bakery up the street, but I haven’t made them since the summer just because, you know, butter went up so high, and I just decided I didn’t want my apartment extra hot during the summer. So – and cupcakes are everywhere now. So I haven’t been making them. But I’ll start making them again in a few weeks.

Question: So you’ve done a lot of work with Comedy Central, and you’ve done this piece with TNT and The Closer. Have you noticed – can you tell us about some differences you may have noticed between working for these cable-based programs versus something having a larger network?

Amy Sedaris: Well, the last larger network thing I did was when I did the Jack Spade Show. And they were really loose and fun on that set, so that was my big experience working for a network show.

And then working on TNT and, you know, Comedy Central, they kind of have the same vibe, like you didn’t really get a sense that a lot of grownups were around, but I’m sure they were around. But I didn’t feel any kind of weird pressure or shadows on the set. You know everyone got along and the director was up for input as well as, you know, the crew and the cast. So there’s a lot of communication going on. It just seemed like a very – like everyone trusted each other. So it was all a good experience, but there wasn’t a major difference.

Question: Hey, so if you had to venture a guess, where would you say Jerri Blank is now and what she’s doing?

Amy Sedaris: That’s a really good question. I wonder that sometimes. I think Jerri Blank is working in a hardware store somewhere in Florida.

Question: How important do you feel it is to include humor in oftentimes dramatic shows like The Closer to kind of break up the tension?

Amy Sedaris: Well, I normally don’t like things like that. Like for example, funny cookbooks, jokey cookbooks; you’re not going to take it seriously. And sometimes I’m like, don’t, you know, either commit. It’s going to be dramatic or it’s going to be you know funny. But don’t mix it up.

But I think they do a really good job and I think that’s because they have real actors on the show. Like, Kyra Sedgwick’s a good character and a real actress. And I think that – that’s why they’re allowed to get away with it. Same with Monk. You know, without Tony Shalhoub, forget it, you know. Monk is real and funny and interesting, and I think it’s all thanks for a person who’s driving the bus.

Question: What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?

Amy Sedaris: Oh, my – thank you. I mean, it’s funny, you know. You don’t know you have an audience unless you go out there and meet them. And, you know, on the paperback tour of my book and still, I go around and I didn’t know I had so many people. Like especially people from Strangers with Candy, and the Letterman audience, and you know it just seems like a different you know craft group, so it’s like a nice combination of different people and it’s always nice when you get to actually go and meet them.

Question: I’m a big fan of your book, and I was just wondering if you had any plans for a follow up.

Amy Sedaris: I am. I’m doing a crafts book.

Question: So what we’ve seen is you’ve been the harbinger or the leader in the cupcake craze and crafts. What else are you going to be the pioneer of?

Amy Sedaris: The pioneer of – well, I’m working on a craft book right now. And I haven’t made cupcakes since the summer. I might – I’m thinking about getting out of the cupcake business just because they’re everywhere and they’re very – they can get pricey to make just for the butter, and the eggs, and the milk, and all that ((inaudible)). And then you get cockroaches. And I’m in the process of moving. So I might just not want to get into that and bring cockroaches into my new place.

So I’m just going to keep venturing in the same, you know, just maybe focus a little bit more on craft projects right now than cooking projects.

You can catch Amy on The Closer this Monday, February 16, at 9:00 PM E/P.

Laura Tucker  is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at

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