Somebody Somewhere Season 2 | Official Teaser | HBO

AVC: How much of a priority was it for you to shine a light on this part of the country that you’re from, which isn’t depicted on TV a ton?


JH: This is gonna sound like a flippant answer, but I didn’t have any choices. [Laughs] That’s what the gift of this show is for me, is like, I didn’t have any choices. It wasn’t like “It’s important for me to do this,” it was like “It’s important for me to get health insurance. Is there some job that will help me get health insurance?”

BE: I think that’s kind of the pool that we’re swimming in. We got real lucky.

JH: Which is not to say that I don’t think this is super important—I would absolutely watch this show even if I weren’t on the show. Maybe not if I had auditioned. [Laughs]


BE: [Laughs] Touché.

JH: But I love the focus—there are queer people who are members of churches. There are people in the Midwest who are trans, who are in their 40s and drifting around, looking for a donut.


BE: Oh god, that sounds wonderful. Drifting around, looking for a donut. That’s gonna be the spinoff series.

JH: What I’m trying to say is, I think it’s important, but I’m just grateful that Bridget was generous enough to create other characters that are three-dimensional to be with her. I mean, she could have just done a show—


BE: Nobody wants to see this the whole time. You gotta give a little boom boom pow. I think it’s a richer world, the more you see of everybody. You have a lot of talented people, so highlight them, showcase them. I’ve worked on things before, just sort of as an associate—if you have a lot of talent around you, let those voices be heard. Let it sing. Let it rip.

AVC: A lot of the shows I see that are set in this Midwest/Great Plains world feel very trope-y, with stereotypical depictions. This show doesn’t feel that way.


BE: We worked really hard to make it not feel like that, so I’m glad you think that.

AVC: What kind of work did you do to make it feel like that?

BE: Well, you don’t wanna make it outwardly political, you’re not trying to look down on people. You know, it’s just different people in a different place—or, the same people in a different place, really. Since I’m from Manhattan [Kansas], I feel very committed to trying to make it as Kansas-y as possible. My family still lives there, there are people I love there, and it’s a little different than New York, so I wanna show that side of it—we all wanna show that side of it—but the environment of the political world, and just the world in general, is so hostile, there’s no reason to put that on our show. We want our show to be not snarky, but kind of wear its heart on its sleeve and let that be cool again. Is that cool again? Probably not.


AVC: I think it’s cool in that, you know, people do talk about politics, but it’s not the only thing anyone ever talks about. You just talk about bullshit, sometimes, with your friends.

BE: Yeah, yeah. It’s political in itself just to have all these people existing on HBO in lead roles. That’s pretty cool I think.


JH: Certainly uncommon.

BE: Not everybody is as pretty as we are.

JH: Thank God.

AVC: Bridget, you’re credited as a writer on a couple episodes of this season, and you weren’t last season, right?


BE: Right, but I was there, every day.

AVC: Was there much of a transition into this season into that role? Was it even different, or were you just credited differently?


BE: I think I’m credited differently, but I have a big stake in this. [Laughs] The things that Sam goes through are the things that I have been through, the Kansas part of it … It didn’t really matter about not having my name on the writing thing, but I’m glad it is this time because I really have given a lot of myself over to the show, so I’m happy to have that. But what really matters most is that people see it, and they like it, and we get to keep doing it.

JH: Amen.

BE: Why am I pushing so hard to get a season three? I like doing this; this is like the best job I’ve ever had!


AVC: Jeff, obviously Sam is a lot like [Bridget], but you’ve said how Joel is kind of a nicer version of you?

JH: Yeah. [Laughs]

BE: That’s a lie, this guy’s the nicest person in the room!

AVC: Have you felt like the character has changed you at all?

JH: That’s interesting … yeah. I mean I think that I haven’t ever really played a character that was—I don’t think I’ve ever really played someone nice before. For whatever reason, all of my characters are really angry. I think I’m like Joel; I think he’s just a more perfect version of me. He’s able to see, “Oh, you need this, and I’m going to help you get it.”


AVC: How has your relationship as co-stars and friends changed? Has it changed?

BE: We don’t speak. I don’t care to.

JH: [Laughs]

AVC: This is all a show for me right now.

BE: It’s all a show. If I could right now, I would take that pillow, I would put it across his face and say, “Not one more word.” [Laughs] No, we get along like toast and butter. One’s crispy, the other one melts. I don’t know.


JH: Also, we lived together while we were shooting both seasons, and that helps chemistry onscreen, when you’re building chemistry offscreen, too.

BE: One time—I don’t wanna spoil it, but Sam and Joel have a couple little hiccups in season two—I saw Jeff after and he’s like, “Are you, like, really mad at me?” [Laughs] I was like, no! But some of those scenes, you can’t be doing them and come back and be like, “Hey girl!” [Mimes sobbing] “Hey girl!” You know, when you’re not classically trained, you just go and rip off whatever personal trauma you can to deliver in the moment, and go, “I’ll see you when we’re on the couch having a tiny ’tini to tuck ourselves in.”


AVC: Do you actually have the tiny ’tinis?

BE: We treat ourselves from time to time.

JH: Not every night.

BE: Not every night. I try not to drink too much while I’m working.

AVC: Right, the designated non-drinking days.

BE: DNDNs, designated non-drinking nights. I had one of those last night so I’d be sharp and fresh for you. It’s really working, right? Also, I’m zooming off a little bit of Magnolia Bakery. Thank you very much, HBO.


AVC: What did you get?

JH: Banana pudding, that’s what I got.

BE: Just a little bit of blueberry cheesecake. It’s a cheat day. Murray just said that season two was a cheat day. [Laughs]

Bridget Everett, Jeff Hiller
Bridget Everett, Jeff Hiller
Photo: Sandy Morris/HBO

AVC: You sort of touched on this earlier, about making sure that there are queer characters in Kansas because that’s reality. As of this morning, there are 10 bills in Kansas aimed at anti-trans legislation, I think there are over 400 nationwide. Did you make more of a point of including that in season two? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think in season one, you don’t necessarily identify Fred as a trans man, and you come right out in season two, like, “This is his identity.” It felt a little bit more explicit.


BE: Honestly, when we were talking about ideas for season two, I was like “I think Fred should get married.” Because it seems like something that Murray would do. [Laughs] You know, it wasn’t really meant to be political, it just felt like something crazy that he might do.

JH: It felt real to the character.

BE: It felt real to the character. And I think it will have some weight, especially now, as you’re saying. I mean, what’s happening now is bonkers. It feels like in the last six months or something, it feels like the thing. I don’t think people realize the real-life consequences, because maybe they don’t know the people they’re talking about. Maybe somebody’ll watch the show and it’ll change some minds, I don’t know. I know that for some people I know from Kansas, these are people that they don’t see every day, and they’re in love with them.


I don’t know what the answer is. All I know is I love the character of Fred, I love the character Joel, I love the people in the world. It’s real life. Get out of the fucking way, let people live their life. What the fuck? [Jeff] can say it better than that. I’m gonna go to Capitol Hill, “What the fuck guys? What the fuck? What the fuck?”

JH: This is the “What the fuck?” bill.

BE: “Is that your rebuttal?” “Yeah! What the fuck?”

JH: Reclaiming my fuck. [Laughs]

BE: [Laughs] Reclaiming my fuck! Oh, we’re gonna get that tattooed.

JH: I think also—I’m not in the writers’ room, so I don’t completely know this—it doesn’t feel like they’re coming from a place of ‘Let’s be radical!’ It feels like they’re coming from a place of “Let’s be real and authentic.” I also feel like so many of these anti-trans bills, and they’ve been around for a while—it’s all a distraction.


AVC: You had to film this season without Mike Hagerty, who passed away last year. I think you deal with it in a very sweet, simple way. I was curious what the conversation was around addressing that.

BE: Well, the idea of what we ended up doing with the character came from Caroline Strauss. At first, I was like, “I don’t know.” It didn’t make sense to me at first. But I slept on it and thought about it and decided, “This is actually a great way to keep him with us.” Because he’s part of the original DNA of the show. His heart and his humor were instrumental in the success of the first season, and we miss him. A lot. He was very special.


JH: He was very good on camera—you know that. But he was also this beautiful human being off camera, too. They rewrote [the season] truly three weeks before we started shooting. They had to completely rewrite the entire season while they were grieving. I think they did such a beautiful job of remembering him, and honoring him, and keeping him with us.

BE: We loved him.

AVC: I wanted to touch on the music. Obviously, music is a huge part of this show. I was thrilled with the Chloe x Halle “Ungodly Hour” needle drop in the first episode. How did that happen? Is that a song that you guys listen to behind the scenes?


BE: Are you familiar with the drug marijuana?

AVC: Heard of it, yeah.

BE: We had a house party at the ding-dong dorm, and our refrigerator played music. So we put on “Ungodly Hour” on the refrigerator, turned down the lights, and did the “Holler At Me” dance.


JH: By the way, Bridget choreographed, conceived, and explained that all via, like, 30 seconds.

BE: But it felt really transformative in the moment, and we had people from the crew and the cast… You know, the magic gets made at the ding-dong dorm, and then we put it onscreen, and hope for the best.


AVC: Is the ding-dong dorm where you guys lived?

JH: Oh yeah, that’s what we called the place. I guess we gotta back it up a bit. [Laughs] “No, it’s a sexy bar in Chicago.”


BE: It’s where three ding dongs lived during season two.