HBO Max’s comedy series Hacks works so well for many reasons, with the pairing of Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder as two women at very different points in their careers one of its best assets. But another crucial element is Paul W. Downs, who pulls double duty as a costar, portraying Jimmy, Deborah and Ava’s manager who brings them together, and as co-creator of the series.
Awards Radar had the chance to speak once again with the delightful Downs, who seems more honest and kind than his character, about Jimmy’s game-changing workplace decisions in season two, fabulous guest stars, and what’s to come in season three and beyond.
On whether Jimmy’s big move was a triumph or a stumble, Downs said:
“Definitely a triumph. While Jimmy is a member of the industry, he’s very renegade in a way. He’s not your typical manager. He really didn’t fit in at Latitude, which is so bro-ey. They called him Captain Planet. Even though he had legacy status there, it was not a place he totally fit in. Same with Kayla. Meg’s character also doesn’t totally fit in. They’re such a weird, odd couple in that way, that they’re inside the industry but also outside. His support of the Deborah Vance character is a manifestation of that. I felt like it was a real win for both of them to walk out and strike out on their own, especially in support of Deborah. And Ava!”
On his involvement with storylines that don’t have anything to do with Jimmy:
“We pitched the show as a character study of Deborah Vance, but also about the ecosystem of somebody like her. Somebody rich and famous, and what that entails, and all the people that are in her world. We really like to pitch stories in the writers’ room that really showcase all the actors that we have in the ensemble, and also get to expand the world for Deborah Vance.”
Watch the full conversation below:
Seasons one and two of Hacks are streaming on HBO Max.