Welcome to the pilot episode of the TV Topics podcast. Host Steven Prusakowski is your TV guide along with co-host Abe Friedtanzer (also joined by Danny Jarabek) who will walk you through the TV landscape each episode. For episode one we also have a special guest who happens to be one of Hollywood’s most versatile actresses.
You will know our guest star/channel surfer from her work on Apple TV+’s Physical, the hilarious hit film Bridesmaids, FX’s Damages and much, much more. Of course, it’s the remarkable Rose Byrne. Rose sits on the TV Topics couch as we bounce around what is and has been on her TV experience – from her favorite primetime show as a kid, to what show made her cry most recently (it’s a good one), to her TV guilty pleasure, and lots more. Rose gave us some really thoughtful awesome answers across the board. We also take a break from her trip down TV memory lane to deep dive into her must-watch work as the Sheila Rubin on Physical. It is a fascinating conversation fans of the series or just Rose herself will love. Listen to it in its entirety below.
Rose’s character on Physical is not easy to describe, she is part Jane Fonda, part Walter White (without all the killing) and something unlike anything you have seen on television before. During her time on the TV Topics couch she explained what makes her character Sheila so unique:
“I do think she’s mercurial. I’m constantly needing to retarget. When someone’s has such a serious illness for so long and suffers from an addictive disease it is almost unknowable who they are. Particularly once in the early stages of recovery. It was like there were two different Sheila’s – the Sheila with her illness and her Sheila in her full-start recovery. And then, in her recovery, it has been a real evolution and an experience; It is something I’ve just leaned on Annie Weisman (show creator) for, day to day as always the touchstone for what that looks like and sounds like – and who she is without it and who she is with it – and the depiction of both. Every episode there’s so many challenges and it’s so scary what I have to do. I don’t want to screw it up. There’s nothing I want for – I’m spoiled. I’ve never had a job like that.”
On Physical, Rose’s Sheila has two voices, the external one that usually says what people want to hear and the internal one that says just about everything you are not supposed to say out loud. It is a brilliant quality of the character allowing viewers to get into Sheila’s head, tapping into the inner conflict of her eating disorder, exploring her shocking thoughts and loads of humor. It is a tough balance to find, but the writers and Rose nail it. Rose gave us her take on that inner voice that fills her head as he face often says something completely different:
“It really taps into something, and it’s hard for people but it makes me laugh. Also to find that release valve of the humor just being let out a little bit here and there; there’s no other way to go but laugh. I think the humor of the show really is sometimes often overlooked because of the nature of what what we’re looking at and dealing with. But there is so much humor in the show and it’s through humor these sort of things can be highlighted and dealt with. I think it can be often overlooked sometimes because of the nature of the piece – it asks a lot or allows people to be uncomfortable, which I enjoy but not all of it. There’s also some much lighter stuff about it. But Sheila, yeah, she’s will keep you guessing.“
There is no conversation we enjoy more than talking about what you’re watching. So in addition to her discussing her work on Physical, Rose was great fun as we explored her history with TV – not acting on it, but rather watching it. Perhaps the most surprising answer was about what show made her cry last. (We won’t spoil it, you can hear it below.)
When discussing what goto show for a her laugh Rose named some of TV’s all-time best:
“It’s Seinfeld. I just love it. Whether it’s a meme on Instagram, or it really is like, those characters are kind of perfect, and the whole setup – it’s an iconic show. It’s impossible to make it. TV’s so hard, you know? I love revisiting that. I really liked Girls – the Lena Dunham show – that was another show that I was really enamored with and found very interesting and relatable in many ways. That was definitely another one. But in terms of revisiting, I would have to say Seinfeld – like many other people, I am sure
yeah. All the supporting actors, I mean, from Bryan Cranston to Wayne Knight – he’s Newman, those just wonderful comedic supporting actors – it captured a moment in time. Another one is probably the British The Office – that I often revisit – that is the absolute most uncomfortable show ever made and the most brilliant.”
Thank you to Rose for taking a seat on the TV Topics Podcast couch. Check out her incredible work on Physical (which will premiere season 3 in August) and Platonic both on Apple TV+. Be sure to listen to our full delightful conversation (above).
Future episodes of TV Topics will feature more of your favorite actors and actresses, who will also discuss their relationship with TV. Other non-guest episodes will focus on Emmys talk, spotlighting must-watch TV series and performances that may not be on your radar, what we’re watching and more. If you love television and good conversations, you’ll love TV Topics. Our next guest will be House of the Dragon star, Paddy Considine.
If you would like to be a guest on TV Topics, reach out to Steven Prusakowski.