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Interview: Vanessa Bayer on the Inspiration for and the Joy of Making ‘I Love That For You’

Vanessa Bayer as Joanna Gold in I LOVE THAT FOR YOU, "Impeccable She Casuals". Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME.

After spending a number of years on Saturday Night Live, Emmy nominee Vanessa Bayer is trying something new, serving as co-creator, executive producer, and star of Showtime’s I Love That For You. The comedy series is loosely based on her own experiences of having cancer as a child and gives her a spectacular platform to anchor a series with unexpected heart that features a number of superb performances.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Bayer to, among other things, clarify what is – and what isn’t – true to life:

“I think there’s something humorous in the idea that you can use those traumatic experiences to get perks. I’ve always wanted to do something about that…Those things are organic to my life. The lying about having cancer and some of the other things, not as true, but definitely the idea that I used my childhood leukemia to get perks, and also the idea that, when I was sick, I missed out on a lot of emotional, developmental things, and it made me have to catch up in the world of dating and everything. I think we’ve made Joanna a little more stunted than me in that world, but just the idea that there were a lot of becoming-an-adult things I had to catch up on once I became an adult.”

On its cringe-worthy nature, Bayer expressed:

“I hope it’s not too hard to watch. I think that’s always something that I’ve done with my comedy. I’ve always thought it was fun to do sort of slightly cringe-y kinds of things. We definitely wanted to play with that, my co-creator Jeremy Beiler and I wrote together a lot when we were both at SNL, and we loved writing somewhat, I guess, cringe-y things for me. I just think that there’s something really fun with that and I hope that people can watch it.”

Listen to the full conversation below:

Season one of I Love That For You is streaming on Showtime, with new episodes premiering Sunday nights at 8:30pm through June 19th.  

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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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