Over at The Film Sprites' office we have the great privilege of seeing fantastic films and webseries, the majority of which are independently made. One webseries that was most definitely a hit amongst the team was #ATown, created by Elena Weinberg and Mallory Larson. The story of friendship and f*cking up in the best city in the world, it's not only hilarious but also genuinely moving.
We had spoken previously to Elena Weinberg (co-creator) who plays Layla prior to #ATown's release, and was thrilled when Season 1 made us laugh and provided major full-on-snotty-cry-type feels. So imagine our excitement when Elena told us that Season 2 was in the works! More importantly, Season 2 boasts two new writers adding to the mix, Ivy Koehler (who plays Whitney) and Ash Nunley (Avery). Elena says: "With [Ivy and Ash] in the writer's room this season, we really focused on not only propelling Layla and Melanie forward, but expanding some of the supporting roles as well. Both Whitney and Avery are significantly more involved in this season which I'm extremely pleased about...This season feels more like a group of friends hanging out than a duo taking on the world together which I'm really excited for. It gives us an opportunity to showcase our extremely talented friends and evolve as a show."
We knew we had to pick the brains of one of the new writers, and after a Survivor-like battle for the privilege, we got to chat with Ivy Koehler. This talented performer who enjoyed two seasons of National Golf Tournament rankings and started up a local theatre group plays professional socialite Whitney, a pearl-wearing, gourmet-serving gal who gets caught up in Layla and Melanie's shenanigans (and dramas). But make no mistake, this belle can hold her own and Whitney is all heart and as you will see from our interview, so is Ivy.
Whitney’s a really endearing character. What sort of things did you do to prepare yourself for the role and for every role you play?
What I love about acting is getting to take words and bring them to life, so I usually start with what is on the page. I try to read the whole piece from an unbiased position first, and then start asking and answering questions about the character I’m playing. Where is she in life. What is she losing. What is she gaining. What does she binge watch on TV. What does she snack on at 2AM. Whitney was a type of person I knew, but had never played, so I started from scratch and wrote out all of these eccentric “things” about Whitney like she doesn’t use salad dressing and she knows the middle names of all the Kardashians and her toenails are always painted. Being in the writing room for Season 2 has really helped me find her voice.
How would you describe Whitney in your own words?
Whitney is that kind of person who really really cares about her friends…and what THEY think about her.
#ATown is so incredibly funny and with a really tight team on board for every aspect of production. How do you think that impacted on the way the finished season came out?
We all learned so much during Season 1 and I think having such a tight-knit team, allowed us to make mistakes and take risks, not without consequence, but without judgement. It was a collaborative process and we learned quickly how to work with each other on set.
Do you have a favorite scene or episode that really stands out for you?
My favorite scene is when Melanie and Layla are at Mt. Bonnell having this really intimate, very real, soft conversation about their faults in recent days. It’s a nice moment before a great, wild end to the season. We’ve got a couple of those planned for Season 2 that I’m really looking forward to…
Can you share a few secrets about what’s happening with season two (or will you have to kill us)?
I mean, don’t go giving this scoop to Conan or Ellen or Fallon, but I can tell you there is an episode called “Whitney’s Revenge,” people shotgun Lonestars throughout the season, we have a cameo from an principle actor from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a near kidnapping occurs, and to leave you salivating: there is a funeral midseason.
Actor’s Bucket List time: who would you love to work with in future and what projects would you like to work on?
If I could somehow get on the set of Shazam 2, I would die. Also, if Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph want to write another movie I’d be down.
You can learn more about Ivy at her official website.