Jimmy and Gretchen are so commitment-phobic and generally awful. (Jimmy hates everything; Gretchen once faked a brain tumor to score Spice Girls tickets.) Yet they’re weirdly lovable at the same time — how do you pull off that balance?
Chris Geere The dialogue is so much fun that I knew I could rant away and people would be on my side. The problem I felt was, every time Jimmy would reveal a bit more of his feelings toward Gretchen, I had to constantly question whether it was too soon. These two are going to take forever to say ”I love you,” so I didn’t want to become too soft too soon.
Aya Cash We’d be so comfortable in a scene, and Chris’ sweetness would come out, and they’d say, ”No, no, no, you guys have to be fighting this!” But in terms of likability, my business is to be true to the character. I trust the writing enough.
Geere I’m equally interested in the people who don’t like us. So many responses so far, especially on social media, have been ”These characters are me!” Part of me is thinking, ”Really?!”
The sex on this series pushes the boundaries, even for basic cable. What was filming the first nude scene like?
Cash Chris and I had decided to do shots of tequila beforehand, but we were so comfortable we completely forgot to drink. We’re both married and [we] respect each other and each other’s partners, so it was sort of not awkward. The most shockingly awkward thing was taking off all my clothes and nobody looking. [Laughs] It usually gets a good reaction!
Geere Oh, they were looking.
Cash You’re wearing ridiculous things. I had pasties and a vagina sticker. I’d write little messages to Chris on the stickers, or draw fake pubic hair. You make it light while also doing your job.
When you know there’s a particularly raunchy scene coming up, do you give your spouses a heads-up?
Geere The first rule is you don’t explain the scenes ahead of time. You let them see it and afterwards hope their response is good.
Cash I have the exact opposite thing with my spouse. My husband was like, ”You did not explain it — if I’d had warning, I wouldn’t have freaked out!”
Geere I had to watch episode 1 with my in-laws.
How did that happen?
Geere Because I’d already seen [the pilot] a few times, I knew exactly the moment I needed to pause it and fast-forward, but I got the pause mark wrong and they saw a little bit of what they shouldn’t have seen. Seeing their faces was a treat!
What are your favorite scenes?
Geere In terms of my enjoyment, I don’t think I can rule out the threesome. It was brilliant. I had two girls on the bed — both really attractive. It was something that I had never done before, and it was such a laugh.
Cash Everyone turned into a frat boy that night. I was ready to kill everyone. [Laughs]
Geere When you’re playing characters who are this f—ed up, you’re given a little bit of gold, and that night was awesome. From an acting point of view, every reaction you see from me is 100 percent genuine. Let me just say that.
Cash I’m acting in that scene. Really f—ing hard.