Interview: Alison Becker Talks “Bubble,” Escapism, and New Short Film

Image courtesy of Kaelan Barowsky

Alison Becker is a “writer/comedian/actor/producer” but is perhaps best known to audiences as Shauna Malway-Tweep from NBC’s beloved Parks and Recreation. She also stars as Morgan (the badass “imp” hunter) on Maximum Fun’s hit scripted podcast Bubble. She took a minute out of her busy schedule to take a deep dive into Bubble, the importance of escapism, and to tell us about her award winning short film Control. 

Nerds and Beyond: How did you come to be a part of Bubble?

Alison Becker: Writer Jordan Morris and I had been on a sketch comedy team together years ago at Upright Citizens Brigade. We’ve remained friends and when he asked me to join Bubble, I was so excited! I love his work.

Nerds and Beyond: What was the process of acting in a scripted podcast like this like?

Alison Becker: Jordan had asked me to do a staged reading of the pilot before we did the podcast so I was familiar with the character. Plus, I knew most of the other cast members so being in the booth for the recording was so fun. We recorded the first season over two days so it was a lot of work but such a dream to work with this group.

Nerds and Beyond: For our readers that are unfamiliar with Bubble, how would you describe it?

Alison Becker: It’s like a sci-fi Portlandia. It’s a comedy about people living in a literal bubble on a hostile planet. The bubble is a hipster paradise, with expensive coffee shops and pub trivia nights but also poisonous imps that can attack you at any moment.

Nerds and Beyond: How would you describe your character?

Alison Becker: She’s a badass imp killer who gets hired through an app called “Huntr.”

Nerds and Beyond: What drew you to Morgan? Do you see yourself in her in anyway?

Alison Becker: For sure. She’s really tough on the outside but inside, she’s a little broken. Morgan grew up outside of the bubble, on a hostile planet, so she’s been killing imps since she was a kid. But deep down, she longs for a normal, simple family.

Nerds and Beyond: Bubble has been called “Buffy meets Broad City”, what is it like to get play a badass monster hunter?

Alison Becker: So fun. I love the battle scenes, but my favorite stuff is when Morgan gets sincere.

Nerds and Beyond: There’s a lot of commentary and jokes in the show about gentrified/gentrifying “hipster” communities and our gig economy, which scene or moment resonated the most with you?

Alison Becker: I love the episode where we’re trying to get our star rating up on the “Huntr” app. It’s such a great commentary on our gig economy world, that even people who are literally saving your life don’t get a good rating unless they do it with “pizazz.”

Nerds and Beyond: Why do you think horror and monsters (both in the existential sense and the monsters that will kill you sense) resonates so strongly in our current social climate?

Alison Becker: Have you seen our President? Horror is not only an escape, but a needed respite to see the good guys take out the bad guys. Because that’s not happening IRL right now.

Nerds and Beyond: What are your favorite moments from the first season?

Alison Becker: Every time Mitch does “the Sting” (editors note: “the Sting” is like a monster based super power from when the character was bitten by one of the imps), I f***ing love it.

Image courtesy of Alison Becker

 

Nerds and Beyond: Your recent film, Control, that you wrote and starred in, has won several festival awards (so exciting!) What is Control about and how has the festival experience been?

Alison Becker: Thanks! The festival experience was incredible. I met so many cool filmmakers and got to travel to some rad cities. The film is a dark comedy about suicide, and I was so overwhelmed with the reception. It really speaks to people because so many of us struggle with depression. I wanted the movie to be funny, dark, real and uncomfortable. Sometimes the audience isn’t sure if they’re supposed to laugh or cry and I love that.

Nerds and Beyond: Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can talk about and want to promote?

Alison Becker: I’m hosting a new podcast for the LA Times called “Obsession.” Check it out!

Nerds and Beyond: We have a few quick nerdy questions…

Nerds and Beyond: Favorite movie?

Alison Becker: Bottle Rocket

Nerds and Beyond: Favorite book?

Alison Becker: Wuthering Heights

Nerds and Beyond: Favorite band?

Alison Becker: Bon Jovi

Nerds and Beyond: Favorite word?

Alison Becker: “Pierogi”

Nerds and Beyond: Finally, we have a tradition at Nerds and Beyond that our last question is always: “If you existed as a Jedi in the Star Wars universe, what color would your lightsaber be?”

Alison Becker: Purple, duh.

 

You can listen to the entire first season of Bubble here!

Britt

Britt is a Los Angeles based writer, burlesque performer, and life long nerd. A former drama kid turned playwright and classic ambivert, (shout out fellow ambiverts! There are dozens of us! Dozens!) her love of books, snacks, and cats makes her a Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff leanings. She is a voracious reader, writer, and unapologetic binge-watcher. Her lifelong obsessions include Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Arrested Development, Neil Gaiman, and Frank Herbert's Dune series. Her current obsessions include: Sherlock, Black Mirror, The Great British Baking Show, RuPaul's Drag Race, and Counterpart. She will also gladly talk people's ears off about graphic novels if they let her, which they usually don't. Find Britt on Twitter @MsGeorgiaOQueef

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