The Hulu original series The Hotwives of Orlando is a hilarious and raunchy parody of one of the most popular franchises in reality television. It takes you inside the uber-exclusive and glamorous world of six hot housewives in the sexy city of Orlando, as they fight over pretty much everything, except for their love of shoes, plastic surgery and spending all of their husbands’ money. The seven-episode series stars Casey Wilson, Kristen Schaal, Angela Kinsey, Tymberlee Hill, Andrea Savage, and show creators Dannah Phirman and Danielle Schneider.
During the Hulu portion of the TCA Press Tour, co-stars Casey Wilson (who plays self-obsessed trophy wife, Tawny St. John) and Kristen Schaal (who plays former child star Amanda Simmons) spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about how this show came about, why they wanted to get involved, shooting all seven episodes in seven days, what they think of reality television, and that they could get as outrageous as they wanted. Casey Wilson also talked about the stark contrast of doing numerous takes for her role in director David Fincher’s upcoming film, Gone Girl (in theaters on October 3rd). Check out what they had to say after the jump.
KRISTEN SCHAAL: The show started because Dannah [Phirman] and Danielle [Schneider], the writers, were reading actual dialogue from The Real Housewives franchise at UCB in a show. That evolved into this show.
CASEY WILSON: And I think Paul Scheer, who’s a producer on it, had the idea to do something with it.
SCHAAL: Paul Scheer went up to them and said, “This is great. Let’s make a parody of the Housewives shows.” And then, they got the Burning Love production company, Abominable Pictures involved. And then, Hulu said, “Here’s $5. Make the show.”
WILSON: No, they said, “Here’s $2.” And we said, “We’d love to!”
SCHAAL: I’ve always dreamed about getting to play with these guys.
WILSON: I knew Dannah and Danielle, and they asked me to do it. It’s been so fun. My broad acting style leant itself to this.
Would you ever have taken on a parody like this, if you didn’t know the people behind it and how they would be handling it?
SCHAAL: I would not have done this. I loved Burning Love, and I really do love almost everything Paul Scheer touches. So, as soon as he invited me to do it, I was so excited.
WILSON: I think that’s how these platforms are getting away with this entire thing. I’m saying this in a loving way, but they’re trading on relationships with great people. NTSF and Burning Love are all great comedians who are reaching out to friends and using those relationships to get such great casts. Paul is one of those guys who just knows everybody, and he’s the only person where you’ll be like, “Okay, I’ll do this.” I was changing in Spanx, in front of Stephen Tobolowsky, who’s a very dignified actor. But this was actually really, really, really fun.
SCHAAL: It turns out that the low-budget part of it was frustrating, but it also ended up being a great advantage, in that I got to be closer to everybody because we were all scrapping together. It was good. I got to hang out with people more.
WILSON: You’re not off in your trailer. You’re in a foreclosed upon home that you’re shooting in.
Who are the women that you’re playing in this?
WILSON: My character, Tawny St. John, is a socialite and a gold-digger, who’s married to a man that she’s hoping will die. She’s a great person.
SCHAAL: My character is Amanda Simmons, and she’s the sister of Angela Kinsey’s character, Crystal. She’s a child star, but not really. She’s also an addict. I read an article about the O.J. Simpson trial in Vanity Fair, and how that turned into a reality show. They made a chart about the people you know because of that trial, and that they spawned all of the reality shows we have now, including the Housewives franchise. They all go back to the O.J. trial and their group of friends.
People seem to fall into one of two categories with The Real Housewives, in that they either love to watch them, or they love to make fun of them. Which category do you guys fall into?
WILSON: I’m in both categories.
SCHAAL: I don’t enjoy reality television, at all. I have to say that I get it, though. I watch some of it and I understand why people enjoy it. At the end of a long day, sometimes it’s nice to just have some wine and let something that you have to use no brain power for, and can just let it wash over you, almost like ambience. It’s like modern-day soaps. They’re very easy to follow. I tried to watch it to do this project, and I found myself really bored with the Housewives and the Kardashians, and all of it. I can’t stand it. Nothing is happening, and they act like something is. But Rock of Love with Bret Michaels was fun. He’s a lovable guy.
Did you guys ever get too outrageous and have to tone things down?
WILSON: From what we shot, it seemed like anything was acceptable.
SCHAAL: Because the budget was so small and we only had seven days to make seven episodes, they had to use all of it.
WILSON: Even if it was bad, it was going to be used. All that stuff I’m doing on the grass with the trainer, I thought they’d only use a second of, but they used every frame. I was like, “What am I doing?!” She’s so shameless.
Casey, how much fun was it to work with Stephen Tobolowsky, and develop this crazy relationship between your characters?
WILSON: It’s a complicated relationship. He’s a really great guy, if she would just see what’s in front of her. But, Tawny has deep issues. He’s so great. He is so funny. I really loved working with him. I was so delighted that he was cast, and that he was game to do this. He was there, every day. It wasn’t the easiest conditions, and he was such a trooper. I think he had a great time.
SCHAAL: We really did have to change in front of everyone. There was nowhere to go. I was like, “Can you hand me my bra?”
WILSON: During lunch, I would go sit in my car with my lunch on my lap. Sometimes I’d put my food down and recline my seat for a nap, and then someone would knock on the glass when they were ready to go. That was my trailer. It was really weird.
Casey, what was it like to go do a role in Gone Girl and work with a director like David Fincher, who is so meticulous?
WILSON: It was a different experience, but actually not that different. They put us up in this motel in Missouri, and I feel like our accommodations were on par. We did do more takes on Gone Girl. With this, I’d be ready to rehearse, and we’d be moving on. With Gone Girl, it was 100 takes per line.
SCHAAL: I can’t wait to see it!
WILSON: I have a very small part.
The Hotwives of Orlando is now available on Hulu.