We caught up with the very funny and talented It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star, Kaitlin Olson and talked briefly about the finer points of “Sweet Dee” as well as her new animated series, Unsupervised for FX. If you haven’t caught up on season 7 of FX’s longest running comedy, please do so and catch Unsupervised on Thursday nights at 10:30 after Archer beginning on on January 19, 2012.
BUZZFOCUS: What can you tell me about Unsupervised?
KAITLIN OLSON: It’s about these two teenagers, Gary (Justin Long) and Joel (David Hornsby). It’s in a high school setting and they have terrible parents. But you would assume, or I would just assume that those characters would then be like jerks, like teenage boys, but they’re not. They’re really sweet and really positive and have a great outlook on life. It just makes it so sweet and sad and funny.
BF: I hear you’re playing multiple characters on the show, who exactly do you play?
KO: Gary has a stepmother, but the father’s run off and the she does not want him at all. She just has to hang around. So I play the step-mom. She gambles, smokes pot. I also play a couple kids in the school, just a bunch of fun, different characters.
At the time, Olson was being coy with some of the additional roles she was playing but she is also playing Danielle, who is described as a girl who is suddenly getting a lot more attention than she is used to, or at least her breasts are. Part of her relishes the attention and she also wishes they could go away so she can be a regular girl again. Her best friend Megan (Kristen Bell) would love to have them.
BF: Now with voice acting, we can’t see the action, you might be acting along with it. Can you talk about that process and your character(s) in that show?
KO: That’s a great question. That’s hard for me because I’m a very physical actor—Glenn and I joke about how much face work I do! I’m not doing it on purpose, but I just gesticulate a lot and my actions are big and that does not necessarily come across in voice over. So it’s been a really interesting process. I’m playing a few characters on it. It’s a very, very funny show. I’m so excited about it and so proud of those guys.
BF: Are you recording that at the same time as Sunny?
KO: No, we’re (It’s Always Sunny) done shooting right now, and we’ll shoot again next spring. We’re recording Unsupervised right now. It’s just a much easier schedule. I’ll go in for an hour and do three different voices for a whole show. So it’s pretty easy. It’s something you can just kind of squeeze in wherever.
BF: Speaking of Sunny, I have to ask, the episode where you guys faked the baby funeral… the picture of the baby–
KO: That was not my baby. No, but the picture, everyone keeps asking if that picture was my baby. I was like, “Absolutely not. That’s horrifying. God, no.”
BF: Is there no dark corner that you guys won’t go tape?
KO: I don’t think we’ve found it yet, for sure. If there is one, we are still looking for it. I think there’s a way to approach any subject that can either make it intolerable or that can make it funny. So we certainly weren’t saying that we think that babies dying are funny, but we spun it so that it does the same classic thing that our characters always do, which is make it about ourselves and do whatever we need to do to get ahead. And that’s funny to us. So I guess, no. I mean the good news is no baby actually died, right, because that wouldn’t be funny. That would cross a line.
BF: I really love your delivery and your intonation or inflection when you deliver lines, especially swear lines on It’s Always Sunny. Is that something that’s written in the script, the exact way that ‘Dee’ says her lines–
KO: That’s so nice.
BF: Or is it something that you’ve brought to the character, honed and developed over the years? Do you think, “This is how Dee would say it.”
KO: They don’t write any direction in at all. It’s all just dialogue. So we kind of just do our own thing with it. I just found that I was swearing so much that I wanted to keep it interesting and not boring.
I’ve said this a lot in the past too. I don’t think that what we’re doing, even though our show is shocking sometimes, we’re not ever looking for shock value because that’s not funny to me. I wouldn’t want to swear just to swear. So I think I’m just trying to keep the swearing funny as well, and kind of do something interesting with it. So that it’s not just swearing for the sake of swearing.
BF: Because what you and Charlie do at times when he peaks up his voice—
KO: He gets real squeaky.
BF: Yes. Those things really stick out to me. I think that’s what I really love about both of your guys’ characters is you don’t know when you’re going to fly off the handle and deliver something so memorable.
KO: Thank you. I appreciate that and I appreciate you noticing. Definitely, like I said, if you just say “fuck” over and over and over and over, either people aren’t going to hear it anymore or it’s going to start to get annoying or it’s going to start to get offensive. So you might as well do something fun with it.