Pamela Adlon on 'Better Things' and collaborator Louis C.K.
Better Things co-creator Pamela Adlon tells us about learning to stop second guessing herself and embracing many roles -- writer, director, producer and actor. And yes, we ask her about Louis C.K. We spoke to Adlon just days before the New York Times published a story alleging that C.K., her long-time collaborator, had a history of sexual misconduct.
The timing of this episode of The Business has presented us with an unusual predicament. We talked with Pamela Adlon just days before the New York Times broke a story alleging that her collaborator on Better Things, Louis C.K, had a history of sexual misconduct. Rumors were already swirling and we felt compelled to ask her to address them. You will hear what she had to say before the Times story broke. We circled back to see if she wanted to alter her comments, but got no immediate response. C.K. has since released a statement saying the stories from the five women published in the Times are true.
We do still talk to Adlon her about her award-winning show, and her own experience working in the industry, starting when she was just a kid. Also, a speed-round news banter, where we rip through all kinds of crazy news in these crazy times.
Photo: Pamela Adlon, co-creator and star of Better Things
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In the FX comedy Better Things,Pamela Adlon plays Sam Fox, a working actress and a single mom, raising three daughters.
We talk a lot about the show in our conversation with Adlon, but first, let's do the hard part. When Adlon came in for her interview, we felt compelled to ask her about Louis C.K. This was before the New York Times story broke, but rumors about C.K. had been swirling for years. She was reluctant to discuss him, but said she understood and respected the journalistic imperative. C.K. is co-creator of Better Things, and was a writer on every episode of Season Two.
Here is that exchange.
Kim Masters: You're coming here at a very particular time in Hollywood history, people are telling their stories -- we're publishing a lot of them in the Hollywood Reporter. And your career right now, this beautiful show that you make, emanates from a partnership with someone where there's chatter. And I just have to ask you -- you've worked with Louis for years -- what's your take on it? How do you respond to all this noise?
Pamela Adlon: Well, it hurts to read about things that people are saying about him. All I know is that I know about him as being my partner on a show that is the opposite of any of these kind of horrible, negative things. And he's a person of integrity, he takes care of people, and he's an incredible collaborator. And everybody that I know, knows that about him. He's a good man, and it's painful. It hurts right now, because people should be celebrating him because he's part of my show. We wrote the whole season together. So, it's really hard, and it's confusing, and I hate the whole thing.
Update: Pamela Adlon released a statement on Friday afternoon. "Hi. I'm here. I have to say something. It's so important.
My family and I are devastated and in shock after the admission of abhorrent behavior by my friend and partner, Louis C.K. I feel deep sorrow and empathy for the women who have come forward. I am asking for privacy at this time for myself and my family. I am processing and grieving and hope to say more as soon as I am able."
For the rest of the interview, we dive into Better Things.
The first season of Adlon's FX comedy won a Peabody. Kim Masters serves on the jury for those awards and voted yes for Better Things.
For Adlon, the mother of three girls, running and starring in the semi-autobiographical Better Things on FX feels like a natural place to be in a career that started when she was just a kid.
She tells us about working as a child actor, hitting it big, then going broke as a teen. She later found steady work as a voiceover artist, eventually winning an Emmy for playing Bobby Hill on King of the Hill. But for years, Adlon says she was plagued by self doubt, and would stop herself from going out for parts if she didn't perfectly fit the description of the character.
Now she's cast those doubts aside, and come into her own as co-creator and star of her own critically acclaimed show. She's also fallen in love with directing. She directed every episode of Season Two of Better Things, and hopes to continue to do so in future seasons.
The Season Two finale of Better Things airs on FX on November 16.