Keeping it together
Think she’s got it sorted? HOLLY BYRNES talks Togetherness with effortlessly glamorous Amanda Peet
AMANDA Peet is the kind of woman who can carry off that awkward
Seinfeld- style sneakers and jeans look which, if he’s honest, never really worked even for Jerry.
In a Los Angeles hotel suite, ready to talk about her role in a new HBO drama series Togetherness, she’s a picture of Californian cool (sunkissed, shiny hair pulled effortlessly up into a ponytail), with a touch of the New Yorker that she is (wearing those aforementioned fancy trainers and dark denim pants).
As striking as the 42-year-old is – iceblue eyes pop under her college-girl fringe – she doesn’t strike you as one who agonised over what she was going to wear today.
Weeks after giving birth to her third child (a son, Henry), she’s back to work doing press interviews and even glamming up for the Golden Globes, where she walked the red carpet with her husband,
Thrones writer and producer David Benioff.
That appearance – in a loosefitting, J Mendel gown – landed her on plenty of worst-dressed lists, but from the photos of her laughing like a hyena at the after parties with best friend American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson, she didn’t seem to care.
That lack of ego appears to have made an impression on her new TV family, as Togetherness co-creator and director Jay Duplass explains.
“A lot of you people might think of Amanda in this way … that she’s very composed, super-modelesque, just very New Yorkie. You’re also looking at the most hilarious human being on the planet. When we were about to shoot that boob scene [in the second episode], someone [Peet] was in the other room screaming out, ‘Who wants to see 42-year-old boobs?’ We were laughing our asses off.”
Asked about his comments, and the guffawing which followed her partial nudity, Peet keeps it real.
“I think it’s vital to stay in a comic place if you’re going to take your clothes off at age 42 after breastfeeding two children. Otherwise it’s just tragic.”
The scene – and Peet’s willingness to go there – says a lot about the series: not your usual, confected picture of women in suburban situ, but populated by people who can be raw and honest in a flinchingly candid, but often not-even-trying-tobe funny way.
Peet plays Tina Morris, a suddenly-single 30-something forced to move in with her sister Michelle (Melanie Lynskey) and her husband Brett (Mark Duplass), who have also taken in his out-of-work actor friend, Alex (Steve Zissis).
Despite the crappy cards she’s been dealt, Tina seems the eternal optimist, taking on the cheerleader role in the household, even if she admits in a dark moment that singledom and booming biological clock have her constantly in a state of internal panic.
Refreshingly, the married sister doesn’t have it much better. She’s bored stupid and going stir crazy as a stay-at-home mum, with a cringingly hit-and-miss sex life that is driving a wedge between her and her equally frustrated-by-life husband.
“Everybody struggles, married or single … nobody has a hall pass. It’s a cost/benefit thing. To be married has its beautiful parts and parts that make life so much easier and there are parts that are harder,” Peet says.
She recognises that pressure on single women too.
“I had a relationship end when I was 30 and I was totally, completely panicked about having a child.
“Now I think it’s really funny, but at that time, I was in quite a state.”