On this week’s podcast episode, we have two guests who are no stranger to the awards circuit: Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, the dynamic duo of “Dead to Me.” (In fact, they were both nominated for lead actress in a comedy at last year’s Emmys.) The pair are expected to fare well when SAG Award nominations are announced.
Both performers made their breakthroughs on television with wildly different depictions of teenagers — Applegate with her turn as can’t-be-bothered Kelly Bundy on “Married … With Children” and Cardellini with hers as shy and brainy Lindsay Weir, who is trying to find her place in high school, in “Freaks and Geeks.” These days, the actresses have teamed as unlikely besties with a deadly streak in the Netflix dark comedy.
Applegate plays Jen Harding, recently widowed, and Cardellini plays Judy Hale, the woman who accidentally killed Jen’s husband in a hit-and-run. Although developed under unusual (and deceptive) circumstances, their friendship blossoms into a mutual dependency and something profound — even as bizarre situations continue to engulf them.
“The trust that we have with each other in life, and on screen, which just happened magically, kind of instantly for us, I’m so grateful for,” Cardellini said. “It’s a gift in my real life and it’s a gift in my professional life. I love when we’re on set together. I couldn’t even hope for a better partner. The idea of playing these two characters — two women [who are] such great and separate and layered and rich characters, and then to be playing them with Christina … it makes it so much fun when we have to do the things that we do. Even the terrible things.”
“We didn’t have to develop it because we were protective of each other from Day One — as women, as friends,” Applegate said. “And when you feel protected, you feel safe enough to go places that you need to go. And I feel like we protected each other on a personal level. That trust let us be able to feel safe of where we had to be and where we had to go as characters, as people. I’m very protective of Linda. I would hurt anyone who hurt Linda. I would take them down … with a ceramic bird.”
(Viewers of the show will get that reference.)
Created by Liz Feldman, the series returned for its second season last May, a few weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be back for a third and final season.