Pamela Adlon Is Creating ‘Better Things’ On and Off-Screen

IndieWire | 4/20/2019 | Staff
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“I got no sleep and no Emmy!”

It’s the morning after the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards, and Pamela Adlon is tired. Walking through the set, amiably grousing to her chuckling crew, the showrunner, director, writer, producer, and star of “Better Things” has been up since the wee hours of the morning, preparing for the day’s shoot in Baldwin Hills — and that’s after staying out late in support of her FX comedy. Sure, she was nominated for acting, but any chance of a personal victory at the Emmys seems secondary to the exposure she can provide the series just by being there.

Recognition - Line - Sleep - Demeanor - Adlon

Actually, individual recognition might be third in line, behind sleep. Despite her jovial demeanor, Adlon is sick. She took Dayquil this morning to help fight off a lingering, week-long cold, and she coughs into a surgical mask while watching takes with a handful of her producers. It’s only when isolated in this back bedroom, slumped in her director’s chair facing a few iPad monitors, that she shows obvious signs of exhaustion. Out in front of her beloved cast and crew, Adlon is all positive energy.

“As soon as she has to act, direct, [or] coach, it disappears,” said producer Joanne Toll. “It’s all inside her. It’s incredible.”

Production - Season - Set - Shoot - Walk-out

Before production on Season 3 began, she implemented a plastic-free set. During the shoot, she organized a walk-out in support of Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford. And now, she’s setting up educational job fairs for young women and minority filmmakers, so they can see the multitude of professions available to them — and help chip away at the behind-the-scenes diversity gap in Hollywood.

The unique working environment Adlon cultivates is nothing new, nor her superhuman efforts to make “Better Things” one of TV’s best-reviewed programs. But she keeps pushing herself and her collaborators to be more socially conscious,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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