Interview with Patti Cake$ Bridget Everett
by Bobby Blakey
I love all things hip hop and instantly gravitate to any film that focuses on the subject. Most of the time they are the same old thing, but every so often something comes along that stands out as something fresh and new. The latest that really had me intrigued was Patti Cake$ for its lead and overall story idea. One of the surprising stars in the film is actress Bridget Everett most known for her appearances in Inside Amy Schumer, Lady Dynamite and so much more. Normally known for comedy she takes on a different kind of dramatic role in Patti Cake$ and I had the chance to sit down with her and talk about her dramatic role in this great movie.
Bobby: I know you usually do a lot of comedy so what drew you to this role in Patti Cake$?
Bridget: I actually tried not to do this at first because it was a dramatic role which I had never done before. I loved the script and deep down thought I might be able to do this if they just give me enough time to figure it out. Geremy Jasper, the director was very persistent about asking me to do it and got me to get over myself and I am so happy I did.
Bobby: How do you prepare for a role like this that you are not used too to get your mind and performance in the right place?
Bridget: I tried to just slow down. When I perform my usual stuff I am always so amped up and this is just a different speed you know. I definitely relate to a lot of Barb’s struggles with loneliness, jealousies and resentment and there are moments in my life that I have danced with the devil with some of those. It wasn’t really that hard, but Geremy was really patient with us, especially me as I tried to figure it out. It took a little maneuvering to get to Barb, but once I did I felt like I really understood her.
Bobby: When you take a role like this that is so different than the norm for you was that a bigger challenge regarding the behaviors and wardrobe or was it just the dramatic nature the challenge?
Bridget: It was challenging. When I do comedy and singing I’m in charge and the boss. I decide what I wear and everything. Here you are putting yourself in other people’s hands and you just have to let go which was really hard for me, but Geremy was very clear about what he wanted and patient in how to get it. You are wearing things you would never wear, I had this big old Jersey hair that looked cool, but is not me. Doing those things though, helped me find Barb.
Bobby: Having to go so deep into a role like this that is out of the norm for you has it affected the way you now approach other projects?
Bridget: I just did a pilot for Amazon and I co-created and wrote with Bobcat Goldthwait and I had a lot more confidence and empathy now for the character I was playing. Before I would always just get in my own way and in my head and nervous, but this gave me the confidence to relax and trust other people to let them guide me and constantly be learning. I love singing and everything, but know how to do that so it is time I take these chances with other things.
Bobby: Is there any kind of difference as far as the feeling on set with shooting something like this or shooting comedy?
Bridget: With comedy there are usually a lot of big personalities and when they yell cut people are still being funny which is awesome to be a part of, but this just felt like a little calmer and simpler. I mean we had fun, Danielle is just a like a piece of sunshine in your pocket, she is wonderful. It is a different vibe, but you need that sometimes if you are experiencing darker feelings.
Bobby: You mentioned the pilot and of course you have this, what is it that you look for in a project that sparks that interest for you?
Bridget: First of all it’s if the person would be fun to work with or will I learn something from them. Also if I will learn something as well as not stink up the room. I don’t want to do something that doesn’t immediately feel right. I’m not Meryl Streep, I can’t play some Czechoslovakian nurse maid or something (laughs).
Bobby: Well now I want to see that. (laughs)
Bridget: I have limits! (laughs) Unless someone feels confident in me in some potential that I didn’t know I had then I usually try to go with what is within reach.
Bobby: Now that you have done this are you now more interested in doing more dramatic roles?
Bridget: I like to do what feels right. If it’s a dramatic thing that comes along and it felt good then I would love to do that, but also want to do more touring. Singing is the love of my life. I just want to keep getting better, learning and growing because when I start to feel stuck is when I start to go crazy.
Bobby: So do you have anything else coming up that you want to tell us about?
Bridget: I’m really excited about the pilot I mentioned that kind of marries both the dramatic and comedy styles of me and then I have a movie called Little Evil that was really fun that I did with Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly.
Bobby: Awesome. I loved Patti Cake$ and thought you were great in the film.
Bridget: Oh thank you very much.
Bobby: I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and cannot wait to check out the new show you have coming up.
Bridget: Thanks, it was great chatting with you.
Check out Patti Cake$ in theaters now.