Lauren Lapkus bring the laughs in the all-new Netflix film ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie.’ She spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about working with Zach Galifianakis, the celeb who ‘surprised’ her the most and more.
The fan-favorite Between Two Ferns is back with a new movie, which is now streaming on Netflix. Lauren Lapkus stars as Carol Hunch alongside Zach Galifianakis, Ryan Gaul, and Jiavani Linayao in the hilarious film adaptation of the hit web series. HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Lauren about joining the Between Two Ferns universe. She admitted that the majority of the movie was improv between Lauren and her co-stars and there’s actually “hours and hours and hours” of unused footage that didn’t make it into the 82-minute film. Get us that uncut DVD, ASAP!
Lauren discussed why she thinks the format of Between Two Ferns is such a game-changer for celebrities. She believes the “totally of the cuff format” makes the “celebrity personalities feel more real” rather than the usual “buttoned-up scenario.” She revealed the Oscar winner who impressed her the most by coming up with lines off the top of his head. Lauren also talked about her love of podcasts and why it’s a great outlet for her as a comedian.
How did the role come about for you?
Lauren Lapkus: I’ve worked with Scott Aukerman for the last few years doing Comedy Bang! Bang!, his TV show, and we toured a Comedy Bang Bang in 2016. So we’ve worked together a lot. It came through just like a regular audition. I know that he told me that he had me in mind for the role, but I still had to get in that room and prove it. It’s probably good just to get a chance to improvise with Zach before we started the film.
Was there a script at all or was it pretty much all improv for you guys?
Lauren Lapkus: It was really 80 percent improv. We would get pages that had a loose idea of what we had to get across for certain scenes, especially scenes that were very plot-driven. But we shot so much stuff that didn’t make the cut, that was just straight-up improv for hours and hours and hours of just conversational stuff. Some of it got in and some didn’t. But I think it was really good because we were able to build a total relationship between all the characters and add some depth to the characters that wasn’t necessarily on the page.
There were so many celebrities involved with this. Who was surprisingly the funniest celebrity you came across?
Lauren Lapkus: Oh my, God. Everyone was really down for everything, which was so cool. I think Matthew McConaughey was somebody who really surprised me with how funny he was because he was just riffing with Zach a bunch and he had a bunch of great lines that were just off the top of his head. He was somebody where I didn’t know what to expect with him and he really blew us all away.
Why do you think that Between Two Ferns has captured everyone’s attention and people still love it after all these years with celebrities really wanting to be involved with it?
Lauren Lapkus: I think what’s really cool about it is that it makes these celebrity personalities feel more real. Seeing somebody be willing to get made fun of on such a big platform and roll with it does a lot for them, because I think, as a fan of it from the past 11 years, I just thought it was hilarious to see these people in this kind of format. Usually, we see them in a much more buttoned-up scenario of either being onscreen where you have no idea what the real personality is like or in interviews where they might have to say a certain thing or something like that. This is just a totally off the cuff format where they can be more themselves, I think.
What was it like having Zach as a comedy partner?
Lauren Lapkus: Oh, it was amazing. I’ve always admired him, but being able to improvise with him really showed me just how talented he is. I would just be laughing the entire time that we were working together. It was very hard to keep it together. The film is a physical comedy that was really a masterclass in clowning. He’s just falling with these plants over and over into this dirt and water and he just keeps getting up and keeps falling down. It’s just amazing to see somebody commit so hard.
Is he the same person that he is in Between Two Ferns?
Lauren Lapkus: Thank God, no. He’s much more down to earth and normal.
You’ve been involved in so much comedy. Who were your comedy influences growing up?
Lauren Lapkus: There are so many. But when I was really young, in elementary school, I worshiped SNL and that was the Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Cheri Oteri days. I really wanted to be just like them. Those were my first influences. And then as I got older, I got into Nichols and May. I had some of their records and I loved hearing their dynamic together. I think hearing a man and a woman writing sketches together, performing them, and getting those laughs that were recorded live on these records, that was really neat. Then as I started doing improv myself, it was really the people that I was performing with and watching on stage at Improv Olympic or UCB, those people became very influential to me just seeing people who’ve been doing it for longer than I had and getting to learn from them live. It was very cool.
If you were to do another Between Two Ferns movie, is there a celebrity you would want to come be a part of it?
Lauren Lapkus: Oprah is my big one. That’s my favorite person. So that would be a dream come true. I think there was a point where she was in talks to do something with this. It didn’t work out. So I was holding onto that really tightly, hoping that would happen.
You’re also involved in the podcast world. Why do you find that is such a great outlet for you?
Lauren Lapkus: I think it’s really great because it’s one of the only mediums that exists where you can, as a comedian in this business, you can actually just put something out there and have no filter on it and nobody is going to edit you or sensor you in any way. It’s very cool to have that platform where you can reach so many people at once and do exactly what you want to do with nobody checking it and making sure that it fits some certain standard. I feel like one thing I really have appreciated over the years of doing it is that there are so many people in other parts of the country, or the world, where they don’t have access to an improv stage and they can hear these podcasts and start to get a sense of what that type of comedy is. When you’re not doing stand up, it’s hard to reach such big crowds with this