Hope­lessly devoted

Lovesick Re­becca Bunch is awk­wardly ob­ses­sive about get­ting her ex back in mu­si­cal com­edy Crazy Ex-Girl­friend.

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Rachel Bloom is adding a fun mu­si­cal look and sound to TV. Sea­son 1 Satur­days Vuzu AMP (*103) 19:30

Like a lot of young new stars, Rachel Bloom started out mak­ing peo­ple laugh with her com­i­cal YouTube mu­sic videos. That evolved into the premise for a quirky TV se­ries called Crazy Ex- Girl­friend (2015- cur­rent) about young lawyer Re­becca Bunch, who’ll do just about any­thing to get her ex back – in­clud­ing move towns to be closer to him, lie, sleep with his best friend and be­friend his girl­friend. But there’s a twist to this tale: Re­becca is ob­ses­sive, bor­der­line stalk­er­ish and quite crazy, which is the op­po­site of 29-year- old show star/cre­ator Rachel, who’s been hap­pily mar­ried for years.

How sim­i­lar are you to your char­ac­ter? The show is like an emo­tional bi­og­ra­phy of me at my worst. When it came to love, I let my­self be taken over by in­fat­u­a­tion so much that all I cared about was get­ting that one per­son. It made me a worse per­son. I would lie. I was late to class be­cause I would be up at some­one’s apart­ment hours away from where I was sup­posed to be. How good are you as a girl­friend? [Laughs] I’m mar­ried and would like to think that I’m a sane wife. My hubby [co­me­dian Dan Gre­gor] and I have been to­gether for seven years. He’s a won­der­ful per­son and be­ing with him has been steady­ing. It’s made me a way bet­ter per­son, as I think the per­son you’re meant to be with should do. Like I’m more like my­self now with him, if that makes any sense. But this fear of be­ing crazy, I think that I have ten­den­cies towards anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion. It’s re­ally scary when those take over. Love was of­ten a way for me to escape be­ing sad and escape the fact that I wasn’t happy, and so the fear of los­ing con­trol over my own mind is why I like to fix­ate on crazy char­ac­ters. Have you ever been a crazy ex? These crazy char­ac­ters are like a wish ful­fil­ment for me. I was al­ways feel­ing crazy inside but I had enough self-aware­ness to go: Crazy char­ac­ter Re­becca can turn even a bor­ing fam­ily feast into a sing-song oc­ca­sion. “don’t seem as crazy as you are inside”. So I hold things back. The last time that I saw an ex, I got on my knees and just begged him to love me again. It was the most hu­mil­i­at­ing and pa­thetic thing. I iden­tify with the idea of love mak­ing you pa­thetic and I’m ashamed of the ways that love made me pa­thetic be­cause I’m oth­er­wise a fem­i­nist and a strong, em­pow­ered woman. Be­ing like “Please love me! Why don’t you love me?”… to this day I re­gret not punch­ing him in the face. It’s what I re­ally wish I could have done. So a lot of the crazy, ballsy stuff that Re­becca does, she has less of a so­cial fil­ter than I do. I envy it. I wish I had punched that guy in the face or gone with my gut in­stead of try­ing to keep all my emo­tions from bub­bling to the sur­face. So what’s your def­i­ni­tion of crazy? Let­ting your im­pulses take over where you have no con­trol of them. And love? There are dif­fer­ent types of love; this show is about ob­ses­sive love. I think this is about in­fat­u­a­tion, which is very dif­fer­ent from the type of love I have with my hus­band. If I sum­marised love, it’s an in­tan­gi­ble magic bond. Tell us about be­ing a YouTube video sen­sa­tion. Ev­ery­one around me was do­ing it – writ­ing and per­form­ing their own work and start­ing the YouTube thing, so I did it too. You can buy a nice cam­era for not too much. The first mu­sic video that I made cost $2 000. I got a cin­e­matog­ra­pher friend with lights and it looked pro­fes­sional. Now you can shoot it on your cell­phone! And how much of this show do you ac­tu­ally write? Towards the be­gin­ning, I was writ­ing most of it. Now I will usu­ally do a pass on the draft and give notes. Most of the songs are still writ­ten by me. Each writer has a dif­fer­ent episode, so it’s their episode. I still give notes. NB! See more on p65.

Our celebrity cor­re­spon­dent

Mar­garet Gardiner is a mem­ber of the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press As­so­ci­a­tion. Born in SA, the former Miss Uni­verse win­ner now lives in LA. She’s writ­ten two books and reg­u­larly in­ter­views show­biz’s big­gest stars.

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