If you're a fan of HBO's How To Make It In America then you know that the season finale is this Sunday. Does this break our hearts? Yes. No, we're not sad because we don't know what's going to happen to Ben or Cam, we're sad because we're not going to be seeing our girl Lake Bell on the reg anymore.
It seems like just yesterday we were asking each other who's that girl? But week after week, Lake continued to impress us with her charm, sexy steez, and confidence. In anticipation of the finale this weekend, we got a chance to chat with the busy actress (her web series Children's Hospital just got picked up by Adult Swim!) and talk about her experiences on the show, her preference in men, and working with our favorite lonely stoner...
Interview By Andrew Rivera
Complex: How did you get involved with the show?
Lake Bell: I came on to do a couple of lines in the pilot as the ex-girlfriend and I had a five minute audition at HBO, hung out with the guys, and just left. Then I heard it got picked up and not only was it picked up, but they want you to be a regular on the show and I was like...how did this happen? I only said four lines [Laughs.] but Amen! So they pitched me how they wanted to go about it and it sounded great. So during at one point I sort of said to myself that if I do TV again I really hope it's gonna be an HBO comedy in New York and this sort of fell in my lap and I was like Jesus, I am not going to shutter at this, I'm just gonna thank my lucky stars.
Complex: In what ways are you similar to Rachel?
Lake Bell: I think the show revolves around hustlers, but not like your pimps and hoes hustlers, but like your everyday struggle. I think that the male contingent is represented very well by the boys on the show. So I feel like in some ways I represent the female version of that struggle and considering New York is the hub of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, I think that my character is another version of that hustle which is not necessarily working for the man, but just working underneath somebody who is trying to hustle themselves. Working for a small company is something I relate to with my family. My mom and my brother are both designers with their own small company. So I play a designer and my mom is a design, which is kind of funny. So it's so easy for me to relate to this character because I talk to my mom and my brother and I have another brother actually who is an architect and I mean in this economy it is wildly difficult and especially in New York City where the competition is so steep. So because of them I feel like I come from a honest place.
Complex: In what ways do you differ?
Lake Bell: Well I'm a vegan, but Rachel and I differ in this way where she would put up with something like the guy she's dating kissing another girl and then a guy. Me? Lake? No fucking way! If I'm going out with a guy and he kisses a sexy club girl and then a guy? I wouldn't even care about the guy.
Lake Bell: Yeah because that's just weird and I don't even know—but don't be french kissing a random girl! If I did that with a dude and turned around and said "I'm just really fucked up!" You'd be like, fuck you bitch! I'm outta here!
Complex: You mentioned your family influencing your character. Do they watch the show?
Lake Bell: When my brother saw it, he was energized to see something that kind of spoke to him really personally. He's a designer in New York City. He designs these sliding walls called Ray Doors and I actually tried to plug these doors on an episode. It was the one with the masturbating kid and his brother and I was said "You can get these Ray Doors where you can separate the space and keep the light" but they cut it out in the final edit. I was just trying to pick him up because it's all about the hustle.
Complex: What's your personal preference—a guy like Ben, or a guy like Darren?
Lake Bell: I think every girl in the world knows the Darrens, the guys that are perfect on paper. The problem with that is sometimes it doesn't matter if you're a Ben or a Darren. It's the "it" factor. When you strip away the bonuses, none of that matters if you don't have that weird undefinable "it" factor. I know Rachel is not sure if she and Darren have "it". I think Darren thinks so, but he doesn't even seem like he's paying attention.
Complex: The show is really fashion based. Do you like guys that are into fashion?
Lake Bell: I grew up with designers. I have an eye—I'm attracted to beautiful design elements. So I appreciate a guy who has a point of view in terms of how he puts himself together. So I appreciate it, but it's not a deal breaker. I think it's sexy for a guy to have a point of view on how they represent themselves and say "I like myself enough to put together a nice package". It's also a talent thing. Sometimes guys don't have it, but when they do it's a nice bonus.
Complex: On the show Darren and Rachel go out to a club while they're on ecstasy. Darren makes out with a girl, then a guy, then attempts to make out with a doorman, and then a dog. What's the craziest thing you've witnessed a boyfriend do?
Lake Bell: [Laughs] The craziest thing that has happened is a boyfriend got drunk at one of my first premiere party things. So drunk that he fell over—but not fell over like a trip, just like falling off a plank—and into the lighting design of the party, which then created a domino effect and all of the design elements and lighting just plowed to the ground. It was like a farce! It was like a joke! I couldn't believe it. It was just one of those moments where you're like, "This isn't real."
Complex: What did you do?
Lake Bell: First of all everyone was helping him up and I was like, "I'm not helping that bitch up. He can get up on his own." [Laughs] My publicist at the time looked at me and just goes, "I'll get the car." It was terrible because it was one of my first events.
Complex: On the show Edie has spoken of getting Rachel high and Rachel has done ecstasy. What is your drug history? If you have any.
Lake Bell: Wait, I can't say that! [Laughs] I'm not allowed to say that, am I? I'm not a drug person. I don't like drugs. I went to college in London, so it was kind of the curriculum there [Laughs.] I got it out of my system really young.
Complex: Any bad experiences?
Lake Bell: Yeah, but I can't even talk about them because I'm just excited to be alive [Laughs.]
Complex: What's the relationship of the cast off screen?
Lake Bell: We're really lucky. We just did a bunch of Q&As together and it's evident we're all friends. I'm sure people say that about a lot of shows, but we are friends and in a professional cool way. We all respect each other and there is a sense of camaraderie. I think you need to have that because this is a show about a group of people and how they relate to New York and the hustle. So you need those core people to have a good rapport.
Complex: There is a shot of Kid Cudi's album on Rachel's Iphone right before she rejects Darren's phone call. Are you a fan of his music or was that a plug? And what are you experiences with Cudi off screen?
Lake Bell: Yeah, it was those moments where I wanted to listen to Kid Cudi. I didn't even think they were gonna catch it [Laughs], but yeah I'm a big fan. It's cool because we don't have any scenes together yet, but at the read through we get to know each other and he is so awesome and I'm so glad to have him as a pal. He's definitely become really good friend with the other guys on the show and I sort of got lucky to be on his friend side. But yeah, he's a natural and he's totally playful and he can ad-lib at the perfect time. I hope if there's a next season he can be shown off more because he's really good.
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