Gillian Jacobs has some advice for young girls falling in love for the very first time.
“Be kind to yourself,” she says. “It’s okay if these first relationships don’t work out. You’re not really going to care, probably, in 10 years what the people around you thought of you in that moment. It’ll be okay.”
Gillian — best known as flawed hipster activist Britta Perry on the gone-too-soon cult favorite COMMUNITY — has reemerged in one of the most binge-worthy new series on television.
She plays Mickey, the female lead in LOVE, which premiered on Netflix over the weekend.
The ten-episode dramedy — also starring Paul Rust as her socially awkward suitor — takes a warts-and-all look at the reality of being single and in your thirties in 2016.
The prospect of new romance has always made Gillian a bit uncomfortable, she admits in this candid interview with TheTVPage.com:
What do you remember about the first time you were, or maybe thought you were, in love?
Oh my goodness. Well, when you’re little you think you’re in love just when somebody smiles at you. I remember having a lot of hopeless unrequited crushes that felt like love. It’s incredible how every little moment and gesture means the world to you and you can spend hours dissecting small interactions with your friends, replaying moments, and imagining potential future conversations. Then just getting totally tongue-tied when you actually see the person. I was really bad at dating.
Have you gotten better?
Sure, yeah. I mean…experience is a good teacher. I think I’m a little bit better at this point.
What made you so bad?
I didn’t really have a lot of friends so I didn’t have much interaction with boys as a kid. I didn’t really know how to talk to them just like they were other human beings and not a member of a completely different, perhaps, alien race. I didn’t have a lot of good techniques. I remember I liked a boy and I asked him to install a shelf in my locker. He was just sort of walking by me in the hall. Somehow, in my head, maybe that was going to really endear me to him but then he couldn’t figure out how to get it in. He didn’t like me so it was just this girl from his English class that was making him install a shelf in a locker.
This is probably more true to what real love is?
Yeah, totally. A lot of miscommunication, false steps, and hurt feelings. That feels very real to me.
So, LOVE is a documentary for you?
Totally! They just followed me around.
What do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?
As I get older, I value kindness more and more. Compassion, honesty, patience, and obviously a sense of humor. Curiosity about life, I think, is an incredibly attractive quality in both friends and romantic partners. Somebody who’s excited about the world and wants to learn new things… I always find that very appealing. I like to learn about new things.
What aspects of Mickey are you especially identifying with?
Her desire for more. Her wanting to better herself and her fallibility. She is pretty human, right?
What as it about Mickey that really spoke to you?
The fact that she was a vulnerable person who didn’t have it all figured out. I think that was something not exactly the same as Britta or other characters I have played… I have always been drawn to characters who are struggling or want more from their life, but keep getting in their own way. I think that I have certainly seen that in my own life as well, where I am like, “Why aren’t things working out?” Sometimes the answer is me. So I think that is what drew me to Mickey. But she has a really big heart and she wants so much from life that she doesn’t have.
Where would you like to see Mickey go?
I would like to see her figure out what she wants out of her life. I think she doesn’t really have a passion, career-wise. She is doing a job that she kind of finds easy and they let her get away with a lot. But I would like to see her discover what she really loves, feels passionate about or wants.
What have you learned about yourself from embracing this character?
I think that often times the more I make myself vulnerable and admit where I am scared and afraid, I get a really positive response back from people. And they say the same to me. So I think that when you play a character like Mickey, she can’t hide her struggles.
What scares you in your life?
I’m very physically afraid. I’m afraid of physical risk. I have lived in fear of damaging my knees since I was a child because my mom messed up her knees doing aerobics. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been afraid to run. My parents got me a ski lesson when I was little and I refused to ski. I stood in one place the whole time. Told the instructor that it was too dangerous to slide down a hill covered in snow and ice when I was six-years-old. Maybe I should actually …
Wear knee pads?
Yeah. Wear knee pads. [laughs] Get the right shoes. It’s going to be okay. Worst comes to worst, they’ve made great advances in knee replacements. I think I’ll be all right.
Don’t walk in heels. All that kind of thing.
Yeah, exactly. Take these off as soon as I get off the stage.
LOVE is now streaming only on Netflix.
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