Busy tonight: Hol­ly­wood vet­eran and In­sta­gram sen­sa­tion Busy Philipps has found a new plat­form to have her say

Hol­ly­wood vet­eran and In­sta­gram sen­sa­tion Busy Philipps has found a new plat­form to have her say,

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Contents - writes HOLLY BYRNES

BUSY Philipps walks on stage for E! net­work’s in­ter­na­tional press panel, still glued to her mo­bile phone.

An­swer­ing ques­tions about her new late-night talk show, Busy Tonight, on the back­lot of Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, she an­swers in that rapid-fire, sound­bite way it seems all Amer­i­cans do.

Con­fi­dent, yet slightly ag­i­tated as she fusses with the thigh-high split of her Rachel Comey flo­ral dress, she looks, well, busy.

Her en­ergy is hy­per­ac­tive, while her can­dour about “the feast and famine” of her 20year ca­reer is re­fresh­ing.

She knows most peo­ple in this au­di­ence would recog­nise her from Daw­son’s Creek, the teen se­ries where she met her best friend and red car­pet buddy, Michelle Wil­liams, back in 2001.

Or maybe they were fans of Freaks and Geeks, her break­through role at age

19, which she put back on ev­ery­one’s radar re­cently, when she al­leged in her new book, This Will Only Hurt A Lit­tle, that her co-star James Franco had phys­i­cally as­saulted her on set.

Per­haps they’d checked her In­sta­gram sto­ries, where for the past few years her

1.4 mil­lion fol­low­ers have been en­ter­tained and en­gaged by her mix of re­luc­tant work­out videos; wine and whine ses­sions on every­thing from US pol­i­tics to the seis­mic shift which has re­cently hit Hol­ly­wood; as well as hi­lar­i­ous par­ent­ing mo­ments with her screen­writer hus­band Marc Sil­ver­stein and their two daugh­ters – Birdie, 10, and Cricket, 5.

It’s th­ese short so­cial me­dia films that helped Philipps find her tribe, and Tina Fey’s pro­duc­tion com­pany Lit­tle Stranger seek her out about work­ing to­gether on de­vel­op­ing a TV project.

The 39-year-old didn’t much like what Fey first had in mind, but – as she writes in her book – be­lieved she “was pos­sessed by the ghost of latenight pi­o­neer Merv Grif­fin,” and so pitched her­self as host of her own show.

As she saw it, with all that was go­ing wrong in the world, she wanted “to just chat about fun, dumb stuff and like, chill,” she says with a laugh.

“And to hear some celebri­ties talk about fun stuff,” she adds, mak­ing good on that with guests so far in­clud­ing Ju­lia Roberts, Kris­ten Bell and Mindy Kal­ing.

“It’s not with­out its mo­ments of hav­ing teeth … but it’s my goal to re­ally put as much pos­i­tiv­ity out into the world right now as I can.”

The lounge room set was in­spired by her love of ’90s sit­coms; and she of­ten slips into a “fancy dress women in Mal­ibu wear” which her chil­dren call “Mr Night­dress.” Oh, and there are spicy mar­gar­i­tas for stars to sip on as they chat.

But when I play devil’s ad­vo­cate and ask if she risks be­ing dis­missed as the friv­o­lous fe­male in this times­lot – when her male coun­ter­parts have made some pow­er­ful state­ments on Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump dur­ing their “po­lit­i­cal deep dive” of the day’s news – she fires up.

“Ac­tu­ally,” she says, mak­ing rare eye con­tact, “my whole feel­ing about my­self as a fem­i­nist any­way, is that my be­ing a fem­i­nist doesn’t mean that I need to be­have like a man. My be­ing a fem­i­nist means I need to em­brace the very fe­male parts of my­self and cel­e­brate those. I sort of

rail against the idea that the only way to be taken se­ri­ously is to em­u­late what men do. And I don’t think it’s friv­o­lous. I don’t think the things women care about are friv­o­lous. I think it de­serves its own plat­form.”

Find­ing her voice “pre­dated” #MeToo and the Time’s Up move­ment, but she ad­mits her own painful his­tory has been trig­gered by the Trump era.

“I think there was a col­lec­tive shift of con­scious­ness and for me it timed more to Don­ald Trump tak­ing the world stage as he did be­cause with his elec­tion I felt, as a sur­vivor of sex­ual as­sault, as a woman, that I was be­ing given the mes­sage that there was a large part of this coun­try that just doesn’t f---ing care about me. Doesn’t care about my ex­pe­ri­ence, or they’re will­ing to set aside bla­tant misog­yny and sex­ism for their own per­sonal in­ter­est and to me that was my break­ing point. I just couldn’t com­pre­hend it. I didn’t think that that would be true,” she de­spairs.

With other view­ers like her look­ing to es­cape at the end of the day, she quite lit­er­ally is of­fer­ing a sooth­ing lul­laby of a show – singing a song ev­ery night. “It’s OK to care about refugee chil­dren be­ing held at the bor­ders and then also do a face mask and like, have fun,” she says. “Oth­er­wise your brain is go­ing to break. We’re reach­ing a point where so many peo­ple feel so over­whelmed by world events that they’re hav­ing a hard time sort of un­plug­ging from it. I wanted this show to be a lit­tle, nice mo­ment at the end of your day where you can re­lax, have a glass of wine and chill the f--- out.” BUSY TONIGHT 10PM, MON­DAY-THURS­DAY, FOX­TEL’S E!

Above, Busy Philipps wears her “Mr Night­dress” on the set of her late-night talk show Busy Tonight; be­low, with one of her high-pro­file guests Kris­ten Bell.

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