Kat Dennings tries to get back together with friends in ‘Dollface’
Sometimes when relationships suffer a breakup they lose more than someone to text 40 times a day. Hulu’s new fantasy comedy, “Dollface,” tries to close the gap that’s left when someone figures out 50 ways to leave their lover.
The series stars Kat Dennings as Jules, who tries to rekindle old friendships when the light of her life sputters out. Dennings, best remembered as the sassy waitress in the Brooklyn diner from “2 Broke Girls,” recalls, “When I was younger in my 20s — which is the ages of our characters — I took on more of my boyfriend’s or partner’s life,” she says.
“I wanted him to think I was more wise than I was, or whatever. When you’re in love you just, you act nuts. In the particular relationship … I was friends with his friends, I was very much in his circle. I kind of fit myself into his circle of friends, and in turn, I kind of lost touch with — I mean I don’t really have a huge group. I was home-schooled and then I didn’t go to college, so I have friends, but they’re sprinkled. They don’t really know each other, they don’t really have a ‘root,’” she says.
“So I lost touch with a lot of those people, and it was a real loss for me at the time. I didn’t even realize. And so I really wanted to tell that perspective because I don’t think we see that a lot. And I have a lot of guy friends who’ve gone through this exact thing as well. When you’re in love and you want that person to think you’re amazing and you kind of realize four years later, you’re like, ‘Uhh, whaa? Who am I? What happened?’”
Not only did she embrace his friends, she relinquished one of her own besties, she says. “I went through a friendship breakup, I call it, with one of my closest friends during that relationship as well. And we’ve talked — this is years and years ago — but we’ve talked through all that. And I feel real dumb now. But it’s a good learning experience and I think — hopefully watching the show will help people feel not as alone in that, if they’ve gone through it.”
“It’s really her driving the story in terms of getting back together with her friends,” says creator executive producer Jordan Weiss. “But that’s definitely something that all four of the main characters go through, and we meet some of their other love interests, and (see) them trying to balance the different issues they have that might be different than Jules’s in their own relationships.”
When “2 Broke Girls” ended in 2017 after six seasons, Dennings says she was in search of something completely different. “The shows that I watch are pretty much single-camera half-hour comedies,” she says.
“That’s my ‘comfort’ television. So, I was like, ‘Oh, if I could pick the dream thing to do, let’s pretend it exists. What would it be?’ And it was THIS really. I really tried actively to make Jules very different from anything I’d ever played.
“And she’s not similar to me in a lot of ways, but I’ve been through what she’s going through … That journey of being in a long relationship, that relationship ending and realizing you’ve kind of lost yourself and a lot of your friends. I’ve experienced this exact thing. So I thought it was a really interesting relatable story.”
While pals can help during life’s little catastrophes, so can families, says Dennings, 33.
“I’m also very lucky enough to be close to my family, and that’s been my area of comfort my whole life, more so than even my friends,” she says.
“And as I’ve become more of an adult, I’ve turned more to my friends because my mom doesn’t want to hear all that from me.”
“I think what’s fun about our show is that a lot of these issues that we portray on this show, I, myself, have gone through a million-and-twelve times over,” says Brenda Song (“Secret Obsession”), who portrays the spunky Madison.
“It feels very real. There’s so many times where I read these scripts and I’m, like, ‘Oh, I’ve done this.’ Or, ‘Oh, I thought of that.’ And that’s what’s been really fun about this is that it feels sort of — I mean, obviously, it’s heightened, but it’s all very organic, and real issues that I think people can relate to — guys too.”
The show is unusual in that most of the cast and crew are women, though the men do have their day with the comedy hijinks.
“This is a first for me to work on such a female-driven show,” says Song, 32. “And I love it. Because it felt, I mean, it sounds so cheesy, but every single day was like going to camp with your friends. We’re in the makeup trailer eating, chatting all day, and then we just continue to chat onto set. And then on set, they’d call ‘Action’ and we’d just continue chatting.”
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