Pamela Adlon Tells Tony Hale Why Lunch-Hour Naps Are Crucial to Her ‘Better Things’ Success

TheGrill 2019: “It took an adjustment. I’ve never been in a writers room, let alone run a writers room,” Adlon says

Last Updated: June 6, 2019 @ 3:32 PM

“Veep” star Tony Hale had a question Wednesday for Pamela Adlon, who stars in, writes and directs her FX hit “Better Things”: “At the end of the day, are you just wiped?”

The question came during the comedy spotlight panel at The Grill, TheWrap’s annual summit on entertainment and business. It turns out, Adlon has a routine that keeps it all together.

“I eat lunch for breakfast,” she said. “At lunch, I go to a dark room, I take off my pants and my bra. I throw a piece of black over my eyes. I usually fall asleep for at least 10 minutes. And then I’m great for the rest of the day. If I don’t do that, like, I’ll forget to s—.”

It turns out that Hale’s “Veep” castmates also had routines — to keep from laughing so hard that they couldn’t shoot scenes. He said that the show’s lead, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “digs her nails into her skin to stop from laughing.”

He said she also gave him some helpful advice to keep him from breaking up during scenes.

“She turned to me and said, ‘Tony you know you’re not watching the show, you’re in the show.'”

“Better Things” underwent a dramatic change after its second season when Adlon’s co-creator, Louis CK, was dropped from the show after he admitted sexual misconduct.

Adlon found a silver lining to a horrible situation, going out of her way to hire more women, especially as department heads. She also had to create a writer’s room, and run it herself.

“It took an adjustment. I’ve never been in a writers room, let alone run a writers room,” she said. “The great part about being in charge and having ownership is you can make decisions and be confident in yourself. You’re able to say ‘I’m not doing this without a female key grip.’ I can show the world I live in on my show.”

Hale’s next role may give him the biggest audience of his career: In “Toy Story 4,” he’ll play Forky, a spork having an existential crisis. He’s the biggest new toy to join the phenomenal successful animated franchise… even though he isn’t technically a toy.

Asked if he would like to lead his own show, after winning two Emmys for his supporting role on “Veep,” Hale said he was open to the idea. He said Louis-Dreyfus set a good example on “Veep.”

“Whoever is number one on the call sheet sets the tone for the whole experience, and there’s some people that are number 1 on the call sheet that are very difficult. And everybody just kind of walks on the fear-based, walking on eggshells environment and its such a bummer because it sucks creative energy out of the space,” he said. “What that does is just opens up the creativity and the freedom for people to give ideas and all that kind of stuff. I would love to learn from that example and hopefully implement that somewhere, if possible.”

Click here for more on TheGrill, TheWrap’s annual business and entertainment conference.

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