Kate Berlant’s Breakout TV Moment, Excluding Poisoning

It was 9 a.m. PT, and Kate Berlant encountered a “poisoning moment”. The comedian-writer-actor never went to bed after her flight from London landed at LAX at 3am that morning, so she had enough time before our conversation to convince herself that the can of coconut milk she left in the fridge poses a threat to her. Health. “I saw that it was out of date and still using it,” she said. “It’s a few hours now, I’m alive.”

My brain is ready for a conversation about sealed foods that has gone awry, as I recently watched Berlant talk about it—this time as a Abbi Jacobson and Will GrahamUpcoming adaptation of A tournament of its own. Berlant plays the sheltered Shirley Cohen, a Rockford Peach who shares a bed with Jacobson’s Carson Shaw. In one of the final scenes of the season, Carson walks into their room and finds her roommate hovering over a canned table. She said: “I ate from dented cans. “I am not poisoned! Do you realize what that miracle is, Carson? “

Shirley fears what she doesn’t know. So when she discovered Carson – a married woman whose husband went to war – was in a relationship with another player on the team, Shirley was shocked and ultimately inspired to take a scoop. God-know-what coffee and check if weird is, as she believes, contagious. (It can’t.)

Berlant, an experienced indie comic who recently released a stunningly chaotic special sketch Will it kill you to laugh? with comedian scriptwriters John Early, got her biggest TV role in A tournament of its own. Berlant spoke to Vanity Fair via Zoom in on playing the neurotic Nellie of the Peaches and how the show delves into the lives of World War II-era pitchers in ways the 1992 film didn’t dare.

Vanity Fair: The show is extremely physical. How did you prepare for the filming? Have you played baseball before?

Kate Berlant: I’ve never played baseball other than being able to swing a bat or something. But we were given proper baseball training. And it’s fun to stick together. There was definitely a time when I learned to turn around and it was very flexible. It’s just a world where if I hadn’t been on the show, I would never have played baseball or had the chance to learn how to hit the ball.

Have you gone to the baseball game since shooting?

We were on a Pirates game when we were shooting in Pittsburgh. That was really fun. D’Arcy [Carden] first pitch, and that was also the first time I tried White Claw. I’m really excited about all the free food because we have nice box chairs. I was overwhelmed by the amount of free stuff. I thought I only had two White Claws but I ended up doing the banana tree move. I fell. But I’m still fine.

You said that you were a fan of the original movie and that you would watch it a lot growing up. I was curious when I first learned that this film adaptation dealt with issues of race and sexuality. What was your reaction upon receiving the script and discovering the story?

The movie is great, of course, but it’s definitely a homogenized version of what it was like for the women in the league and the women trying to make it into the league. So I’m excited that this is a more nuanced portrait of the time.

In terms of filming, there were a lot of group scenes. What was it like to have to film those?

We really love each other. I know it’s a cliché at this point. I can’t believe I’m like an actress, “it’s fun to go to work every day.” But really, this group is very natural. It really feels like sleep camp. We were just away from home and in a city that neither of us spent much time with.

You must know I am a POOG fans, and I’m listening as you film in the summer heat. It’s huge when you have the Nutribullet.

Oh, my God, thank you for being such a badass. I was blown away by the quality of Nutribullet. I think this is a $100 blender that is performing at a much more expensive price point. I paid out of pocket. That is a crime.

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