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Interview with Christine Woods

HBO

Stuart manages to offend most of the women he meets. How is it different with Jessica?

Christine Woods

I think that he does offend Jessica, but it is different. She thinks that he's off his mark a lot of times. But there's just genuine love there. What really attracts people to one another is a sense of humor. She finds Stuart very funny, even when he's not trying to be.

HBO

Do you think there's a romantic future for them?

Christine Woods

I don't think so. You never know. Friendships sometimes do grow into something romantic. But I think that it's just a really genuine relationship. When you're dating someone and you're in a relationship, you have to be on your best behavior. But I think that with Stuart and Jessica, there are no rules or boundaries. They are 100 percent themselves.

HBO

Jessica's love life isn't going much better than Stuart's. Why does she settle on Glenn?

Christine Woods

I think that Jessica is a woman who doesn't necessarily know what she wants. She's driven by the idea of having success as an actor, writer and creative person in Hollywood. She's let the other aspects of her life pass her by a little bit. Up until this point, she hasn't even thought about what she wants in a relationship or even if she wants one.

HBO

Is she starting to reconsider her personal life now?

Christine Woods

She's starting to think about it. I actually think that it's Wade who really makes her think, "Oh wow. You're in a marriage that's falling apart, you have a kid and you've done all this stuff. I haven't done any of that. What does that say about me that I haven't even tried?"

HBO

Jessica's career struggles, specifically her rivalry with Amelia, seems like a comment on the LA entertainment industry. Do you think it's a fair portrayal?

Christine Woods

It's not a portrayal of the average experience, but there's certainly an element of that. The Hollywood industry is a tough business to be in when it's not going as well as you hoped it would. It's really hard to make those major life decisions when you've been trying for 12 years and nothing's really landing for you. That's hard in any industry.

Those moments when Jessica is auditioning and having a nervous breakdown about trying to be good enough, I think that's very accurate for actors. I remember when I was reading these scripts and feeling that some of these situations that Jessica's in -- it's obviously the funhouse version of what could happen - but there are moments that are so real.

HBO

How exaggerated is Jessica's testing for the network pilot?

Christine Woods

That is a 100 percent real life situation. I'm a television actress so I've tested many, many times. You walk in, and that's exactly what it feels like. When we were shooting this scene, I almost broke out in hives. I felt like, "Oh my god, I'm auditioning for this show again and I don't have the job yet and they're going to fire me." It was very intense.

HBO

In this episode, Jessica also says she's considering quitting acting. Do you think she's serious about that?

Christine Woods

I don't know. I think that she's serious about being confused and wanting to have more in her life. She wants to grow and feels stuck. I think as actors we do sometimes have those moments where we're just like, "What? Why am I doing this with my life?" It's not easy. But then immediately you'll see a movie, read a script or hear a song and you're like, "This is exactly why I do this."

HBO

What's your take on her web series?

Christine Woods

I think that what happens when you're working so hard at one particular thing in this business, you feel the pressure to be stellar at everything. Sometimes as a performer you feel a little cornered to create something of your own. That happened to Jessica. But I also think that she thinks it's good. She stands by her work and believes in the fact that she has a voice and she has a point of view.

HBO

Does she stand by her tap routine at Margot's dinner party?

Christine Woods

Oh, Jessica. It's so sad it just doesn't quite land. When we first started going into production, Stephen emailed me and was like, "By chance do you know how to tap dance?" I emailed him back and was like, "Is this is a joke? Quite honestly that is my favorite skill that I've done since childhood." So he had written that storyline of Jessica tap dancing at dinner party embarrassingly before he even knew that I could actually tap. It would have worked had she been terrible, but I think it works even better that she is someone that used to be good at it, or was never really great at it.

HBO

Do you get secondhand embarrassment filming the cringe-worthy scenes?

Christine Woods

One hundred percent. But with things like the tap routine, it's fun to let it all hang out.

HBO

Do you have any advice for anyone trying to pick up a single lady?

Christine Woods

If you're trying to find a good gal, be friendly and be open. The whole "pretending to be a jerk" thing or being standoffish, that only works on the kind of girl you don't want to date. So save it.

Interviews