Comedian and actor Hannah Einbinder scored her first Emmy nomination on Tuesday, for her breakout turn in Hacks.
The actress sensed from the time she read the pilot that the series was going to be something special. She told Deadline that her nom for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series was “a relief and so lovely,” simply because it showed, once again, how right her gut response was.
“I’m really just glad that [the show] touched people, because it touched me,” she said. “These characters are so dear to me. Especially them being female comics, it’s near and dear to my heart.”
Created by Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky, Hacks centers on the odd couple dynamic between legendary Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and Ava (Einbinder), the entitled 25-year-old comedian she takes under her wing.
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When Einbinder was first approached for the HBO Max show, which premiered in May, she resonated with the idea of playing an “imperfect” female character who’s trying to be better.
“I think because she is a woman, that is—as a character, for some people—a harder pill to swallow. But to me and other non-male people, she’s a real person that we all know,” she said. “So, getting to represent a flawed person who really has good inside of them, in this way, is something that I think is great. It almost, to me, is one step toward undoing these internalized, misogynistic ideas that our culture suffers from.”
While Hacks was recently renewed for a second season, Einbinder said she doesn’t know anything yet about the show’s second chapter. “It’s really beyond me at this point, what will happen,” she said. “But if I know Paul, Lucia and Jen—and I believe I do—it won’t be one to miss.”
Going forward, the actress hopes to see more of the multifaceted dynamic between Deborah and Ava, which leads them to bring out the best in each other, even as they butt heads.
She also hopes to explore acting further, after “falling in love” with it on the HBO Max series. “I definitely feel like I gravitate more towards queer characters,” she said. “I guess a character that exists in my body, and is not traditionally feminine, is sort of the area that I identify with most and think would be cool to see. So, that’s kind of like my vision board in the acting area.”
Then, there’s Einbinder’s career as a stand-up comic, which has been building momentum, since she appeared in the Just for Laughs comedy festival’s New Faces showcase in 2019. The Hacks star is currently doing stand-up all over L.A., and will soon be doing a monthly show at downtown venue Dynasty Typewriter. “Then, I’m just going on the road,” she explained. “I’ve got to go do a couple of comedy festivals and some headlining dates around the country, and just work towards some sort of long-form performance piece.”
For Einbinder, the “long-form piece” in question might well be a stand-up special. “That is, I believe, every comedian’s dream,” she said. “So, certainly, that would be so cool.”
This morning, Hacks scored a total of 15 Emmy nominations. It will also compete in September in the categories of Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series (Jean Smart), Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series (Carl Clemons-Hopkins), Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series (Jane Adams), Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series, Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour), Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Program (Half-Hour), Outstanding Contemporary Costumes, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series (three), Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour) And Animation, and Outstanding Casting For A Comedy Series.