INTERVIEW: It’s all in the family on Amazon’s ‘One Mississippi’

One Mississippi stars Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro. The second season is now available on Amazon Prime Video. Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Tig Notaro’s hilarious and touching series, One Mississippi, is back on Amazon Prime Video with a second season of episodes. The show is based on Notaro’s own life and family in Mississippi, and in the new episodes, she journeys on after the death of her mother and develops new relationships along the way.

On the show, Noah Harpster plays Tig’s brother, Remy, based on Notaro’s actual brother. Also, Stephanie Allynne plays the producer of Tig’s radio show, Kate, a role that hits home for the actress because she and Notaro are married in real life.

Recently, Hollywood Soapbox spoke with the cast and creators of One Mississippi. Click here for the interview with Notaro and showrunner Kate Robin, and check out the interview with Harpster and Allynne below.

On working with this cast …

Harpster: “The cast is incredibly warm. The writers are smart. The directors know what they want and are very pleasant. It’s kind of a dream job. You get to float between making people laugh and making people feel, and that’s the dream, right?”

Allynne: “You never do a scene where you’re like, oh God, what’s the point of this? It’s fulfilling to say your lines and have a scene out there, and I get to work with my wife.”

Harpster: “I get to work with her wife, too. I also get to drive a Jeep Wrangler. That’s pretty fun.”

On how much the show is based on real life and how much is fictionalized …

Harpster: “I think it was a question at the beginning. How much? Because her brother is a real person who had these experiences in his childhood, the same that Tig did, so there’s a question at the beginning like, how much should I dig into this? And in talking to Tig, it was like, there were a couple things that you should know and that I think you should just go on your own.

“I think the big thing with it, she said, ‘My brother, though he lives in another part of the country and is not involved in my industry at all, and we don’t have a ton in common, the moment I call him and tell him I need him, he will be here for me. He will drop everything, and he will be here for me, if I asked him to.’ That was the beginning of Remy, I think, and from there, I talked a little bit to other members in Tig’s family just when I met them down in Mississippi. But, for the most part, that’s all I really took. I never spoke to her brother, though I hear he’s lovely, but, yeah, to answer your question, it’s mostly coming through Tig and her perception of her relationship with her brother.”

On her pivotal character of Kate …

Allynne: “You know, it’s interesting because I think in season one, Kate was just sort of this sound engineer. It didn’t totally feel like myself, and then as the relationship between Kate and Tig develop on the show, it’s very true of our life. Some stuff is fictionalized, but the main scenes and ideas are kind of exactly what happened. And it’s very strange to share that information about yourself, and then it’s also strange to be acting but to be playing yourself simultaneously, which I found to be a lot harder than any other acting job I’ve done.”

On filming six episodes with this cast and crew …

Harpster: “I think it’s the nature of it being six episodes. It goes pretty quickly. No, it’s a very happy place to work. I mean, I meant that when I said that. It’s a dream job. There are, of course, just like any production, there are days that are very long, but I feel like everyone on the crew and on the set is of like mind, and comes with positive energy and is a believer in the project. I think Tig’s levity about what it means to tell her story and to make a television show kind of flows throughout the entire cast and crew. It’s really like a very fun, pleasurable place to hang out. In some aspects, it’s a lot different than other productions.”

Allynne: “It’s really great people who are extremely smart and very into the show and into the ideas. They’re not there for a paycheck. They’re not there for something on the résumé. They’re not dialing it in. It goes top to bottom, even directors coming in that just want to serve the material and make the best show, and I feel like, I can’t believe that I’m saying it, but that seems rare. I feel like most things it’s like, OK, let’s get in and get out.”

On what attracts them to a role or TV show …

Allynne: “For myself, I feel like I like when I feel connected to the material, and it’s something that speaks to me and to the world, you know. When there’s something where you’re like, who cares? What’s the point of making this? What’s the point of putting this out there in the world? If I can’t answer that question, then it just feels like, what’s the point of doing it? And this is the exact opposite of that. I feel very lucky to be on something where you can go out to dinner with people, and talk about it all night, and talk about your family and talk about the scenes.”

Harpster: “From the get-go, all you want is a job that you emotionally connect to and you think that the world needs to watch, and I think this has been that for me. That’s the dream, to be able to work on something that you emotionally connect to and think the world will be a better place because of.”

On working with Notaro …

Harpster: “Tig also directed this season, so she’s writing, directing, acting, producing, all the things. Next season, she’ll be doing wardrobe. I think the Tig you see, I mean Stephanie can speak to this way better that I can, but the Tig that I see in the public, and on television, and on stage and the Tig that is behind the monitors on set, it’s all the same person. There’s no like, I’m wearing this hat now. I’m wearing this hat.”

Allynne: “There’s no power trip. For everything that she does, you never really get the sense that she’s doing all those things. She’s very casual, and calm and kind, and so I think it just sets a tone where people feel it’s just calm.”

Harpster: “In thinking about it, I think she’s kind of the curator of the show because she does have her hands in everything, but she kind of walks through the set. And she’ll just see something and be like, ‘That doesn’t look quite right. It should be this, or this line should be tweaked this way.’ Through all of the departments, Tig is curating it is sort of the best way to describe it.”

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com

One Mississippi’s second season is now available on Amazon Prime Video. Click here for more information.

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at Time.com, among other publications. E-mail him at john@hollywoodsoapbox.com

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