TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Kathryn Hahn

Join us as we dig in the archives and revisit our conversation with Kathryn Hahn. You’ve seen her in comedy films like Step Brothers, the Anchorman movies, and many more. These days you can catch her on HBO’s Mrs. Fletcher. But when Hahn joined us a couple years ago she starred in Amazon’s I Love Dick, based on the Chris Klaus book by the same name. Hahn and Jesse talk about the inherently feminist space that I Love Dick inhabits, and the deeply complex character that Kathryn plays on the show. She talks about working with Jill Soloway, and the special and deeply creative environment that Soloway creates on set.

Transcript

jesse thorn

Hey, all. Jesse, here. We’re getting near the end of the year. I wanted to thank you for listening to Bullseye. Making our show isn’t easy. We’ve got a very small staff that works tirelessly to book guests and edit interviews and keep things running smoothly. It is hard work that takes time, money, and effort. It’s also incredibly rewarding. When I hear it that a guest is an NPR listener, already, it means a lot. And it means something to know that you’re listening, as well. So, I’ll get to the point. If you wanna show your gratitude, this holiday season, consider supporting the NPR Member Station in your area. Any amount. It’s the single most effective way to keep shows like Bullseye going. It’ll make a huge difference to public radio in your community. It makes a huge difference to us, too. To get started with your donation to an NPR Member Station, visit donate.NPR.org/bullseye or just text the word “bullseye” to the number 49648. We’ll send you a text message with a link where you can find your local station and make your contribution. Message and data rates may apply. You can visit NPR.org/smsterms for privacy and text message terms.

music

Gentle, trilling music with a steady drumbeat plays under the dialogue.

promo

Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

jesse

Jesse Thorn. It’s Bullseye!

music

“Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team plays. A fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

jesse

Kathryn Hahn is an actress. She’s been in comedy films like Stepbrothers and the Anchorman movies. Many more. On TV, she starred in the NBC series, Crossing Jordan. She also was on Parks and Rec. She played Jennifer Barkley, the political consultant. Lately, she’s taken on more dramatic parts. She had a great role on Transparent, the Jill Soloway series on Amazon. Last year, she starred opposite Paul Giamatti in Private Life: a quiet, existential film about relationships, middle age, and infertility. And now, she’s starring in her own series. Mrs. Fletcher debuted on HBO a couple months ago. Kathryn stars as the title character—a middle-aged divorcee whose life changes dramatically after her only son starts college as a freshman. [Music fades out.] It’s a sad, touching, sometimes very funny story about sexuality, parenthood, and midlife crises. When we talked in 2017, she’d just starred in I Love Dick, a TV show based on the Chris Kraus book of the same name. Kathryn plays Chris: a New Yorker who moves to Marfa, Texas with her husband, played by Griffin Dunne. There, she meets Dick, played by Kevin Bacon. Dick is an artist. He runs an institute, in town. He’s also condescending and withholding. Nevertheless, Kathryn’s character becomes infatuated with him, and starts writing him letters. Here’s a clip from the new series. In this scene from the first episode, the two have just met for the first time, at an art reception.

sound effect

Music swells and fades.

clip

Chris Kraus: Hi. I’m Chris Kraus. Dick: Well, hello, Chris Kraus. Chris: Dick, right? Dick: That’s me. Chris: [Beat.] Uh, I’ve heard a lot about you, Dick. [Chuckles uncomfortably.] Love—love that you just go by Dick. Because usually someone would… you know, if one is born a Richard they would—Rich, Rick, Richie, Ricky. There’s so many— Dick: It’s just Dick. Chris: Is it possible that I saw you on a horse, yesterday? Dick: Yeah, I have a ranch just outside of town. Chris: Oh. How—how big? [Whispered.] I’m curious. Dick: You wanna know how big? [Beat.] My ranch is? [Beat.] No more polite to ask a rancher the size of his acreage than to ask a lady her age. Chris: Duly noted.

sound effect

Music swells and fades.

jesse

One quick heads up about what you’re about to hear. Jill Soloway, the television writer, now uses they/them pronouns. And when we recorded this interview, they were still using she/her pronouns. So, if you hear Kathryn and I using them, that’s why. Kathryn Hahn, welcome to Bullseye. It’s great to have you on the show.

kathryn hahn

Thanks for having me! [Kathryn hums a couple agreements as Jesse speaks.]

jesse

I’ve been interviewing people for a long time and I’ve interviewed many, many writers and filmmakers in entertainment. And the thing that I most am terrified of hearing, is this thing that you hear all too often. Which is—as far as I’m concerned—which is, like, “At the end of the day, I’m just a storyteller.” And I feel like when you—when I have read or heard an interview with Jill Soloway, the creator of I Love Dick, what you hear instead is like, “No, I am not just a storyteller. Here is the ideological framework of my entire—the ethos that drives this entire operation.” And that is amazing, to me. And a totally refreshing joy.

kathryn

[Emphatically] Yes!

jesse

However, I wonder what it’s like for you—as an actor who has this much narrower and more specific job of portraying a character.

kathryn

Yes, it’s an—that is an awesome question, because it—it definitely did come up. I knew, going into it, that I’d never heard of the book before, that it’s based on. The I Love Dick, by Chris Kraus. But, obviously, there is a lot of—you know, it’s lauded as a feminist cult classic. It’s inspired, like, so many women. It’s an incredible book, itself. So, I—and I also knew that she wanted to explore the female gaze, who gets to talk and why—which is a quote from the book—there’s a lot of big politicizing around this. So, you’re right. As an actor, my job—like, as Chris Kraus had said, when she was writing the—when she was putting—when she was writing the letters, to the actual Dick, when she—you know, back when this was written. You know. She calls it “autofiction”. Back when she was writing these actual letters to this actual man named Dick, she wasn’t thinking of it as a [laughing] feminist book. You know what I mean? She just had an urge to put her thoughts to pen. And to—I mean, to “pen”, exactly. To paper. And—so, in the same way, for this I had to really, like, just ferret [laughs] into this kind of myopic tunnel that was, you know… that was, you know—it felt like this pinprick light at the very end of it was Dick. This, you know, cowboy image played by—you know—Kevin Bacon, in our show. So, yeah. That was the only—I couldn’t—if I stepped outside of it, there was too much of a nudge-nudge-wink-wink. Also, I didn’t want there to be—and I don’t think any of us wanted there to be any kind of halo around this… about—around this character. That I just—you know, the thing that attracted me most to the material is that it was just—she was so without apology. So, without [laughing] shame. So troublesome. Totally contradictory and maddening. You know. Hilarious. So messy. All the, like, delicious stuff as an actor. Something from—to chew on. And so, I just didn’t want to, you know, I don’t think any of us wanted to, like, put her in any sort of pedestal in any way, ‘cause it would have detracted from, like, the guts of it. For sure.

jesse

Have you ever had the—any kind of corollary experience or any experience that you… drew on when you were thinking about or preparing for this, to your character on this show’s interest in/obsession with—it’s a sort of odd, specific obsession—with… Dick? Like, have you ever been that into somebody?

kathryn

Yeah! Well, you know, it’s interesting. I mean, you start back at the very beginning and you think, “Oh, I wrote a diary.” You know what I mean? Like, what was that need to have an addressee, to put all of my most intimate thoughts—you know what I mean? [Jesse agrees.] Whose diary? I would certainly say I had a big old crush on Jesus, when I was in catholic school. I’m not gonna lie to you. And that would— [Jesse breaks into laughter.] We put that—we put that into the show.

crosstalk

Kathryn: But he was, like—he— Jesse: There’s—yeah, there’s some Sex Jesus in the show.

kathryn

There was—he definitely was, uh, food for thought for my—I was in love. [Beat.] I mean, I’ve had—you know, it’s so intense. Wore a little bride outfit. [Clears throat.] When I got—you know, for my first communion. You know. Got married. Um. So, yeah. That was a big one, for me, growing up. For sure. And, yeah, there is just like—it is—it’s just an interesting… you know. It is—you just… there is something about, like, that looking for—just—not only just respect, but respect—but, you know, to feel attractive. To feel looked at. And get that kind of approval from, in my case—as a cis, you know, white, straight woman—from, you know, whatever Dick “means”—in quotes, around it. Then yeah. Of course. Of course. Many times.

jesse

I feel like I read Jill Soloway talking about the reaction that she had, that many people she knew had, to reading the book—which was, “I wanna go out and make things and I wanna go out and… do uh, adult activities. [Kathryn laughs.] And, um. I don’t know!

kathryn

When you say, “adult activities”, I imagine shuffleboard. [They both laugh.]

jesse

[Through laughter.] You’re just like, “What, tax returns?!”

kathryn

[Through laughter.] Right. Exactly!

crosstalk

Jesse: Um, no. I’m—I’m talking about amorous— Kathryn: Yeees! Jesse: Romantic, amorous activities. So— Kathryn: Fine.

jesse

I think that one of the things that Jill Soloway’s work has often focused on, is reversing the male gaze. And part of that is about—or asserting the female gaze—and part of that is about the simple fact that, you know, women are taught to experience sexuality, culturally—their own sexuality—as something that is almost received.

kathryn

Right! Yes.

jesse

Um. And so, that—your character… Chris is able to… just assert her—like, have a sexuality that is about her choice and her looking outward—is a big deal. And that is deeply tied in with the idea of the assertion that one is an artist. [Kathryn agrees.] And not just the subject of art.

kathryn

Yeah! Yeah. She wants to—she is demanding to—yeah. She’s—to drive her own narrative. Also, but—you know—and she’s a complicated character. Which I love about it, too. Is that, again, talking about the halo. Like, she’s dismissive of other women’s work. Like, she’s petty. She’s really jealous. Like, she was—I mean, she’s a—she’s a total, complicated, awesome mess. And that’s also what I love about Jill’s work—what I’ve always loved about it, is that she has an ability to step outside and just, kind of, a little bit make fun of pretense or any kind of—if preciousness starts to, like, sink in at all, she has a way of diffusing it. Which is always, like—I really appreciate. ‘Cause this is pretty heady stuff.

jesse

I wanna talk to you for a minute about what is special about your relationship with Jill Soloway. Because, you know, besides the fact that she gave you the lead in a movie—in Afternoon Delight—and obviously values what you do well. What is different about the actual process of being on Jill Soloway’s set? Whether it’s television or movies—from being on the set of, you know—

crosstalk

Kathryn: Anything else. Jesse: An NBC sitcom or a broad comedy movie or any of the other many things that you’ve done.

kathryn

Well. I’ve certainly had, like, many fulfilling creative experiences, as an actor. But there is something about this world. ‘Cause this is now my third rodeo, with her. For the most part, it’s the same core crew since Afternoon Delight. Same DP. This man, Jimmy Frohna, who’s unbelievable. He’s like family, at this point. And—you know, he’s so instrumental to the making of the thing, I can’t even describe it. And for the most part the same editors kind of work on all of them, and so they know exactly what they’re looking for and what to, kind of, mine. It’s different because there isn’t—there isn’t a division of, like, cast and crew. I can’t describe it. Like, usually you’ll start something, in a normal set, and you’ll rehearse it. Crew’ll come in and throw down marks. And then they’ll give it to the crew to light. And then give it back to the cast. So, there’s this weird, kind of like, energy shift between the cast and the crew as the day goes on. And in this, it kind of—everyone starts on the same, like—same kind of democratic playing field. It just feels like the great equalizer. And so, everyone—you start the day feeling like you’ve set an intention of what we’re all gonna make, together. It’s the same—like, I come from the theatre. So, it just feels like common sense. Like… like, you know, the circus feeling. Like we couldn’t, you know, if we weren’t there for the guy setting up the tent we would—you know—you know, we couldn’t do it. The show couldn’t go—so, we all know that we’re in it together. And that kind of, like, putting on a show in a barn feeling—for some reason, you just—the stakes go away from it and you just—so you feel like you’re completely without fear. I don’t know if that makes sense at all. You just feel like it’s such a creative safety net. You don’t feel like someone with a stopwatch freaking out, wringing their hands together, panicking that we’re not getting something. Like, you don’t ever start a scene thinking, “Oh, I’m gonna get it wrong.” Ever. Like, you just—you just start, and you find it.

jesse

We’ll wrap up with Kathryn Hahn after a short break. Stay with us. It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

music

Bouncy interstitial music plays.

jesse

Support for this podcast and the following message come from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. In 1980, with a few thousand dollars and used dairy equipment, Ken Grossman founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Ken’s award-winning ales propelled him from home-brewer to craft-brewer. Today, Ken and his family still own 100% of the company: one of the most successful, independent craft breweries in America. More at SierraNevada.com. [Music fades out.]

promo

Music: Upbeat guitar plays. Ophira Eisenberg: This week, on Ask Me Another, we challenge singer Paula Cole to a game about birds. But not before she quizzes us! Paula Cole: [Whistling a birdcall.] Audience: [Applauds.] Paula: [Laughs.] Ophira: Uuh. Mourning dove. Paula: Yes! Ophira: Yeah. Paula: Yeeeeah! Ophira: This and more on NPR’s Ask Me Another. Listen now.

jesse

Hey, it’s Jesse. The year is drawing to a close. And remember that now is the perfect time to give to your local NPR Member Station. You can make a difference in your community, keep public radio going, by giving at donate.npr.org/bullseye. Again, that’s donate.npr.org/bullseye. And thanks!

promo

Music: Upbeat rock plays in the background. Announcer: Dead Pilots Society brings you exclusive readings of comedy pilots that were never made, featuring actors like Patton Oswalt— Patton Oswalt: So, the vampire from the future sleeps in the dude’s studio during the day, and they hunt monsters at night. It’s Blade meets The Odd Couple! [Audience laughs] Announcer: —Adam Scott and Jane Levy— Jane Levy: Come on, Cory. She’s too serious, too business-y. She doesn’t know the hokey-pokey. Adam Scott: Well, she’ll learn what it’s all about. [Audience laughs.] Announcer: —Busy Philipps and Dave Koechner.  Dave Koechner: Maybe this is family. Busy Philipps: My Uncle Tal, who showed his wiener to Cinderella at Disneyland, is family. Do you want him staying with us? [Light audience laughter.] Dave: He did stay with us, for three months. Busy: And he was a delight! [Audience laughs harder.] Announcer: A new pilot every month, only on Dead Pilots Society from Maximum Fun.

jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest is Kathryn Hahn, the actor and comedian. She’s been on Crossing Jordan, Parks and Recreation, Transparent. She also has her own show on HBO these days, called Mrs. Fletcher. When we talked in 2017, she’d just wrapped a miniseries for Amazon called I Love Dick. Dick, by the way, a character played by Kevin Bacon. I wanna play another clip from I Love Dick. And this is also from the pilot episode. And Chris, um—I guess, Kathryn Hahn’s character—is having dinner with her husband and with Dick. And they’ve just gotten into the restaurant. He was already sitting there. And Dick is, as we listen, about to pull out a chair for Chris. [Kathryn hums in acknowledgment.] And Chris is, uh… not unlike me right now: distinctly inarticulate. [Kathryn laughs.]

sound effect

Music swells and fades.

clip

[The sounds of a busy restaurant: clinking plates, muted conversation, the rustle of feet and chairs on the floor.] Dick: Hello. Chris: Oh—hi! Sylvère: Found him. Chris: Yes! Sylvère: At long last. Chris: The only one! [The sound of a chair being pulled out.] Oh, thank you. Wow! See, this is a… a real—a real gentleman. Don’t you dare yank this out, make me fall on my [censored]. [She laughs.] Dick: I’m sorry? Chris: It’s a—just a dumb joke. [Beat.] Oh, wow. Here we go. [Beat.] Dick: Don’t we have a… tasting menu, tonight? Hope you’re okay with rabbit. Chris: Oh great, I love rabbit. I’m a big game hitter. Sylvère: I’ve never seen her eat game, in my life. Chris: Well, I’m not—I’m not—[laughs awkwardly] I don’t eat—I’m not—alright. Okay. Not a big, big, big, big game hitter. I’m a big, little game hitter. Like, I—I love… Cornish hens.

sound effect

Music swells and fades.

jesse

[Laughing softly.] That’s a—that’s pretty much as big as the—as big as the comedy gets, in the show.

kathryn

[Struggling through laughter.] Yes! [Beat.] I don’t know! There’s a couple of other—[dissolves into laughter again.]

jesse

Are you aware of sort of modulating your comic tone and comic instincts? You’ve done so much great work doing big comedy. And you’ve also done a lot of work as a serious, dramatic actress. And this was really… this is really on the edge of those things.

kathryn

Yeah. It’s a different gas, on the pedal, for sure. I’m about—I’m about to go start Bad Moms 2, and that’s obviously gonna be, like, a different amount of gas. [Jesse chuckles and then Kathryn laughs.] But yeah. So, it—this also just felt… uh, if it—because the stakes were so—I don’t know! It’s like, there were—it didn’t… sometimes you know when something’s funny and sometimes you don’t. And I—or you’re not aware until afterwards of how it is perceived—like how it was caught, I guess, by the camera? And so, that happened a lot, in this series, for me. That I sometimes feel like I’m pretty in control of laughs, but in this one it was like, “Oh!” I didn’t really—I was out of control of some of the laughs. In a good way, I think. But…

jesse

Did you think you funny when you started acting?

kathryn

I knew I was a class clown, for sure. And I think it was like, I grew up in a house full of boys and I think that that was like—you know. It was Fart Joke City, USA. [Jesse chuckles.] That was just, like, how we—[laughing] you know? Like, talked to each other! But I think, um—but I went to school nothing thinking I was gonna be a—I mean, I—you know, I didn’t do sketch. I didn’t do improv or anything like that. I thought I was—you know, I was always the class clown, I guess. But I didn’t go into it wanting to be a comedian.

jesse

Did you have any of that same reaction, working on this, that people sometimes describe—or reading the book—that people sometimes describe having when they read I Love Dick?

kathryn

For sure. I mean, I had never—I had never heard of I Love Dick, before Jill—you know, had suggested it. And I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard about it, before. I was—couldn’t put it down. I just—yeah. I think Jill has described it this way and I feel really similarly: like, you just put it down and you’re like, I—you just feel inspired. You just wanna make something. You just really wanna make something. And it’s just—that’s an exciting—um, yeah. It just felt really bombastic. It felt like—it just—what I love—it just felt so punk in the way that it was like… here’s this woman that is unapologetic. She is without shame. She’s so contradictory. She’s so maddening. Like, you really wanna, like, read the book through—like—you know, your fingers at certain points. It’s so cringy. Which is, like, kind of how I love my comedy anyway. And so bombastic. And so loud. And so vulnerable. And there’s a power in how, like, raw it is and how vulnerable it is. That there is… it’s impossible not to feel, kind of, galvanized by it. It’s also—just feels somewhat radical that—the book, I’m talking about—like, it just feels somewhat radical that it was out of this, like, really embarrassing set of circumstances. Like the failure of her film and, you know, kind of being the wife of a Holocaust scholar. Like, [huffs a sharp laugh] being financially dependent. Just, like, not—like, just through these horrible, embarrassing embers of this, like, horrible failure that she is able to use that as an—as her, like… source of inspiration. And it’s like—you know, she’s not pretending to—she doesn’t not own it. [Laughs.] Which I think also feels really good. And there is a lot. I think it’s a really human thing, is like—you know, failure—that, it’s through that, like, horrible, abject failure that it’s—that you find, sometimes, the—there’s the embers burning, in that. That you have to have it.

jesse

Are you, yourself, a shameless or a shameful person?

kathryn

Oh, I’m a recovering catholic, so I’m for sure shameful.

jesse

[Laughs.] Of what are you shameful?

kathryn

[Laughs.] I mean—I’m just one of those peeps that, at the end of the day, I’m like, [groaning] “Ooh, god. Hoooow did I—what did I—you know, uuugh.” I used to be—I used to be much more concerned… with how I was perceived. Or, you know what I mean? Like—and just as I’ve become older, I’ve just certainly—and become a mother—I’ve certainly got, you know. A big case of the “screw it”s, for sure. [Jesse laughs.] It just—it’s less and less important. Like, you’re—you know, what becomes more important, because—I just wish I had read this when I was—when I was—20 years ago. Because it does release you from the “good girl” idea. You know? Whatever that means. For sure, I spent a lot of time trying to be something that I wasn’t. Or I’ve—as I’ve tried to describe it, before—I think I was, like, pretending to be normal. Instead of just, like, letting our own individual freak flags [laughing] fly! It’s like—that there’s actually some that I’ve—you know, wish I hadn’t been trying so hard to meet some sort of totally unachievable, like, expectation that I put on myself, for sure. But also, like, societal. Like, you know. That your worth is how you’re viewed—attractive-wise. All that crap that, like, you just realize is such nonsense! And put on us from something else.

jesse

Can I ask you about being a parent?

kathryn

Yeah!

jesse

You have two kids. [Kathryn confirms.] Right? Two kids?

kathryn

Two kids, yeah. Seven and ten. [Kathryn agrees several times as Jesse speaks.]

jesse

And I know, because my wife does a podcast about parenting, that especially for mothers, it’s easy to lose your sense of self, in parenting? Or it can be. And that seems, to me, like a… a related theme to the themes of I Love Dick. To assert your own identity in the context of a family and in the context of a world where—you know—sometimes the world is defining you and sometimes you are defining yourself, in relationship to someone else. Which is to say, your kids. And I wonder if you ever felt that way about being a parent? That you—you know—that you lose yourself in your kids?

kathryn

Certainly, early on. For sure. Like, you can’t even see—you can’t see clearly. I would, like, have these—I remember having, like, phantom—these nightmares where I would just, like, wake up and clutch at my chest, because I had thought that I was holding my son and he’d fallen off the bed. And he was, like, no—you know, he was in his little co-sleeper, totally fine. But yeah, there was—it feels like they’re a limb. Like a phantom limb. Or—I don’t even know if your wife remembers this—but I really do remember having, like, phantom baby feelings, after they were born. Both of them. Still feeling—like I’d feel them in my tummy kicking around. It’s a trip! My—I feel like my creative life—sorry I’m stuttering, ‘cause I’m trying to word it—but I feel like, weirdly enough, like my whole self, creatively, kind of—I didn’t feel like I was, like, really bringing my whole self to the table, creatively, until after I had kids. And maybe it’s also because that’s when I hooked up with Jill Soloway and we started working together. And she saw something in me that no other director… really had given me that chance to do, before. But I certainly feel like, creatively, it’s been… I am so much the richer for it. And I don’t know why. Like, it—I haven’t—I’m still trying to, like, connect those dots. Because it does feel like I have—I’m grateful and I feel like I’m, like, lucky enough to have an outlet for a lot of those feelings—where I know a lot of women don’t. You know what I mean? Like, I just—and I know that those feelings have to go somewhere and so, I—I can also understand, like, and have a deep empathy for people that lose—that all that energy goes into the child. Because they don’t have another outlet for it. And so, I get it from all sides. It’s also, like, a really quick amount of time. Which I didn’t anticipate. That—I mean, I don’t know if your wife feels this, but—that you’re actually, like… I don’t know. They’re seven and ten and the thing that they never tell you, that I was really surprised by, is that they just need you more and more every year. Like, I always thought the hard part was gonna be the real, real beginnings and then, like, once we laid the foundation. But it turns out, they’re—they just need you more and more. I’m so, like—I—it is constant morning, for me, that—of, like, missing the day that just happened. ‘Cause it’s like—you’re, like, instantly nostalgic for, like, yesterday. ‘Cause it goes so fast.

kathryn

Like, I remember specifically, like spooning my little boy when he was like three and being like, “Oh my god, I don’t have that much more of these.” And now that’s like—you know. Now he’s like, [pitching her voice low and mumbling] “Um. Can you close the door? I’m gonna take a shower.” I’m like, “Oh! Okay.” [Laughs.] Totally understandable, but also, like, oh my god! That’s just—that just happened! [Groaning.] Aye yai yai. Anyway. [Jesse laughs.] I don’t know if that answers—I don’t know if that answered your question in any way. But it is—yes. Of course, you can lose your—yes. Of course. But I also think even if you didn’t have children, like—and that was not in your cards, either because you just, for whatever the reason, you’re a woman without children—which is, you know… I think that there is, like, that there is something about us… you know, a reckoning of a certain age of just looking back and being like—for any of us. You know. It’s also just like, being in the 40’s.

jesse

Can we talk, for a minute, about you being a kid borderline romantically in love with Jesus Christ?

kathryn

Yeah!

jesse

Like, can you describe [starting to laugh] the circumstances? I guess?

kathryn

Sure. I mean, it’s also—you know, Jill’s used a bunch—you know, of course, ‘cause it’s the—Jill and the writers, we—this is something that we mined for the show, as well, for Chris Kraus. ‘Cause we all found it, like, you know—very… compelling. And there’s so many, like… I can’t remember the name of that nun. There’s, like, a famous nun that wrote basically love letters. Yeah, no. I think it was just because he was, like—you know—really cute. And he—[breaks into laughter] and he was—he was really kind. He had, like, decent eyes. [They both laugh.] I mean, I remember going to a sleepover party, when I was—oh, third grade? And there was, like—you know, I went to this school that was, like, pretty culturally catholic. I can—if I can describe it that way. Like, it was kind of the cheapest private education, but it was also culturally, like, important to my family. Because that was, like, socially the network that they had. So, they knew—everybody knew each other, and it was—but, you know, we went to mass every week and it was like a—you know. But I was confirmed, I went—you know—went through all of it. But in third grade, I went to this—to a sleepover at my friend’s house and there were a couple girls that we didn’t know that were friends of the birthday girl, from—like—another, you know, from her preschool or something. And these two girls were really, really, really deeply religious. And they couldn’t go to bed without praying. Like, the two of them side-by-side, like, on their knees praying very deeply. And I went up and I, like, pretended to be as deep into it as they were. Because it looked so romantic. Like, they were just so—so I was like, you know, hands together, like, look—like, really furrowed brow, just like really talking to Jesus. Like, not really knowing what was going on, but just knowing that it looked—I was really into that amount of passion and that amount of—just that amount of [laughing] passion. And that amount of faith, like, was pretty intense, to me. [Music fades in.] Even though, like, half of me was kind of like, “My knees hurt.” [Laughs.]

jesse

Kathryn Hahn, I’m so—I’m so grateful to you for coming on the show. Thank you so much for doing that.

kathryn

Oh my god, this was really, really fun! Thank you!

music

Dreamy music plays.

jesse

Kathryn Hahn, from 2017. She’s currently starring on Mrs. Fletcher, which you can watch now, on HBO.

music

Interstitial music plays.

jesse

That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye produced at MaximumFun.org world headquarters, overlooking beautiful MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California—where a woman has been feeding birds at the lake, except that every time she reached into her bag to give them seeds, she’d raise her hand up high and slam the seeds down! Like some kind of wizard making a smoke bomb! Or possibly like a bird Emeril Legasse. “BAM!” Show’s produced by speaking into microphones. Our producer is Kevin Ferguson. He’s the one who wrote that Emeril Legasse material. Jesus Ambrosio is our associate producer. We have help, sometimes, from Casey O’Brien. Our production fellows are Jordan Kauwling and Melissa Dueñas. Our interstitial music is by DJW, Dan Wally. Our theme song is by the great, British band, The Go! Team. Our thanks to them and their label, Memphis Industries, for letting us use that song. You should buy their records. They rule. One last thing. We’ve got a lot of interviews in two decades of Bullseye. They’re all online at MaximumFun.org. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. YouTube is an easy way to catch an interview that you missed, or if you wanna share an interview that you missed on social media, we put them all there on YouTube. Just search for Bullseye with Jesse Thorn on any of those platforms. I think that’s about it. Just remember: all great radio hosts have a signature sign off.

promo

Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

Get in touch with the show

People

Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

Share this show

New? Start here...