Jen Tullock discussed her work on the spring's breakout drama and her growing list of TV credits a week after the season finale of dropped.
The actor was relaxed during the second season of HBO's, which sees Juliet Rylance's character experience love and romance. "We'll be surprised by these characters' experiences, according to Tullock. "They also have to deal with the difficulties of the time," he says.
The twisty Apple TV+ workplace drama, in which she plays Adam Scott's sister who is literally divided in two, and HBO's noir-y update of one of the most famous lawyers in the country, are two seemingly unexpected moves for an artist who says it's not a fan of staying in any one aisle. Here, she discusses the delicate process of telling queer stories in late-stage films, including how she grows up in Kentucky with Lunchables and old movies, and why the characters on the fringes of Sever
Many people have said that they want their character's house from Severance? Many! We saw Mark and Devon recreate this house on our stages in the Bronx, which was surreal after shooting in the house for so long. Most of the snow was also real. I was shocked by the fact that I was in a Danish horror film.
It's an unusual set piece, too. The office building should be the scariest spot on the show, based on the assumption alone, but the gatherings at the house are distressing.
It's just as suspenseful and creepy. What the show does so wonderfully is let you see how actual human nature is terrifying. These individuals who haven't been severed, they're just as dangerous. Their predilection for selfishness and lying is just as scary as the stuff in the Lumon cult.
How would you get on the stage anyway? I had actually heard of the pilot a minute ago. Super Deluxe was built by Turner. My friend Hannah and I were doing a series there. I remember remember, in passing, seeing the pilot and contemplating, Oh man, that sounds fantastic. Years later, when it came to me from my agents. I didnt initially say anything about Dan. He was like, Let's go get a beer. And we did.
Are you currently living in Los Angeles or New York?
I am ping-ponging. I know I have a car. I have a big gay Subaru, and I have a tiny postal box where all my bills go, which I'm ignored right now. That's the scope of it right now.
How does your growing up in Kentucky influence your artistic dreams?
Im grateful for every lesson we learned from working class Midwest/Southern Kentucky doesn't really know which one it is culture for the time being. At the moment, we were pressed to get our hands on any VHS of old recordings of a Bjork Concert or a Cirque du Soleil. Literally, anything. At the time, we were pressed to get out so desperately. But now that we have, I'm very grateful for it. My friends that grew up
When you have access to every aspect of a culture, you're grabbing at anything in the buffet you can. It's like, "If music fails, I might be able to be a decent writer." Kentucky is such a beautiful city, for many reasons. If I hadn't grown up in a wooded basement, I'd have to learn to eat generic Lunchables. Maybe I'll try to get rid of it a bit.
Right now, you're really going into elite TV dramas, which isn't the dominant topic of your resume. Do you have a particular field that you're aiming?
I'll wait until I'm back to Severance. I was doing weird, Cindy Sherman-y, and Sasha Baron Cohen-y character stuff in New York, where I would spend hours on my own, but only making myself for nothing. I knew that I wanted to be doing films and TV that I felt so hense, and humming. Someone like Olivia Coleman, who was also a character actor, wants to do it.
In the same breath, I don't think I heard anyone refer to Cindy Sherman and Sacha Baron Cohen.
I've been filming these character films for ten years, just for my own shits and giggles. I created a project during a lockdown called "Eggshell." It was about how different white, suburban women in different parts of the country interact with social media and share and overshare. That's kind of the nexus, because they were mockumentary. I was always trying to blur the lines between the art world and the comedy world. I don't think there is a
There are so many reasons to think about Perry Mason's ret-conning in period pieces. But, perhaps, I'm very impressed with how this team developed a queer story in that time. I think it's important to understand that aspirational stories are essential to every reader's life. And, I'm glad to see it here. There's so many curious conversations about it, too.
In that time period, should you have a queer love tale?
I was born on 1970s films that were like, "If we raise them on classic 1930s films, they'll stay close to Jesus!" But my first apologies, he says, got me chastised about seeing them through this fitting. I'm stepping into a character who is openly gay, which I was raised on in 1933, but I became increasingly gay in the evangelical South. I know, however, what I can't stand up for
Yes! Handshakes and dressing carrots! You either get one of two things the tender approach, which my friend Marla calls it "tearful rose sex." You know, two lesbians crying at each other while sharing a quill and writing a haiku. Or you get something that's for the male gaze and feels exploitative.
Before You Know It, which received a warm reception at Sundance back in 2019. I am, and I wrote a film with my friend Frank Winters, that was gradually coming out of the church and then, as an adult, returning to the community and confronting some revisionist history. So, I wanted to try and create a dark comedy that Ill continue to direct. It's a collection of word documents on my computer.
Yes, I have one! It's a collection of essays about childhood mostly being a queer person, dating in the United States. I think I'm attempting to write as much as I can. It's not that good. I think it's because I had a great writer. One of my hobbies is finding people who are smarter than myself.
What you think of when it comes to independent films right now? Three years ago, when you consider what's happening to Sundance films.
I feel that the divide between independent film and Sundance culture at the height of Sundance in the nineties and into the early aughts has greatly altered. You have bigger money, bigger names, and bigger purchases happening at festivals now. It's changed the landscape. I'm privileged to be a part of it. I'm certainly not laboring under the illusion that anyone is granting me money to make these movies. I'll be shooting inexpensive as chips, which is what I'm used
For clarity and length, the interview is edited.