For Season 2 of “Crashing,” writer Jamie Lee transitioned into an on-camera role, beating out dozens of other actresses to play one of Pete Holmes’s romantic interests on the HBO comedy.
“I remember it being one of the more fun auditions that I’ve had to do,” Lee said in an interview with TheWrap’s Stuart Brazell, noting that her behind-the-scenes history with Holmes lended itself to their on-screen chemistry. “We were able to riff back and forth.”
The show’s second season premiere, which aired in January, featured a scene between the two characters in which Holmes pauses an escalating romantic situation to ask for consent. The moment received praise from viewers who hailed it as a welcome departure from the horror stories being shared by women in a post-Weinstein Hollywood.
“It feels very long overdue,” Lee said of this current moment. “I think it’s good that there’s sort of a mass recognition right now of inclusiveness and stepping back and listening versus getting defensive.”
But as a comedian and writer-star on a show about stand-up comedy, Lee said increased sensitivity around the issue can make it difficult to find the line.
“It’s tricky. On one hand, people need to laugh more than ever and levity is so important right now,” she said. “And then the other side is that things are not that funny right now.
“Sometimes you want to make jokes about things because it’s your way of coping and it’s your own catharsis, but then you’re like, ‘eh, the audience is not going to be with me on that.’”