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article imageGwen Hollander talks 'Kidding' on Showtime, technology, Tom Hanks Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 7, 2020 in Entertainment
Actress Gwen Hollander chatted with Digital Journal about being a part of "Kidding," the hit Showtime series, and being an actress in the digital age.
On her plans for 2020, she said, "It's all a bit of a mystery right now, but here are a few things I know. My husband and I produce a show every few months with a couple of our friends called 'The Astonishing Show Show,' it's an evening of puppetry, magic, and music at Rockwell Table and Stage."
"Our next show is on March 8, and it's so much fun. At some point this year my next episode of 'Future Man' will be on Hulu; they haven't announced a drop date for their third and final season yet. And I will hopefully start to work on the one-woman show that I've been threatening to do for so long," she said.
On being a part of Kidding on Showtime, she said, "Honestly, I'm so honored to be a part of it. It's so special, and I don't think I've ever seen anything even remotely like it. I've certainly never worked on anything like it. It's some of the best and most unique storytelling I've ever seen, and I would say that even if I had no connection to it whatsoever... so the fact that I had anything at all to do with even the tiniest piece of it is mind-blowing to me."
Regarding the impact of technology on the entertainment industry, she said, "It's kinda changed everything. When I started as a kid, headshots were black and white and shot on film, and submissions were mailed in an envelope with a stamp. Even just the proliferation of digital photography has been monumental; these days if you have an iPhone you can take a great photo, or you can make a movie.
"Everything is done on the computer: your agents submit and pitch electronically, you get your auditions via email (no more fax machines), you don't even really need to print out your headshots anymore. It's all about a digital thumbnail. Streaming services now provide what seems like an infinite amount of content, which is great and means more opportunity for everyone in all areas of the business. And social media and YouTube have kind of leveled the playing field: anyone with an Internet connection and/or an iPhone has a place to share original content, and once it's out there anything can happen. It's wild," she exclaimed.
On being an actress in the digital age, she said, "It's so interesting. Things have been changing so rapidly in the past 10 years. Social media and streaming services have really revolutionized every aspect of the business."
When asked how she uses technology in her daily routine as an actress, she said, "In every single way. All communications are digital, everything is email and text (which is great for me because I've always had telephone anxiety). Social media is, like it or not, a huge part of the business now (personally, I find it a little stressful and it doesn't come naturally to me, but I see how useful it is. I think it's all about finding how it can work for each individual person in a healthy way."
"Also, so many auditions are via self-tape these days, so actors have had to become very savvy about lighting, sound, editing, and everything else involved in that, which is great because at that point you kinda realize you might as well be creating your own content," she said.
She listed Tom Hanks as her dream acting partner. "I've loved Tom Hanks since I was a little kid and it would be a dream to work with him. For the most part, I love anyone who makes me laugh. John Mulaney, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Bill Hader, Leslie Mann, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, John C. Reilly. Honestly, there are so many, but those are some that came to mind immediately," she said.
For young and aspiring actors, she encouraged them to "just keep going." "Take class, always be studying. Have things outside of acting that you love. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and lift you up. Be kind and work hard," she underscored.
She concluded about Kidding, "Just to watch it. It's funny and heartbreaking and magical, and you'll feel every possible emotion."
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