“Mostly we would step into a scene with a very similar perspective,” reveals Mireille Enos about working with Bob Odenkirk on “Lucky Hank.” For our recent webchat she continues, “Then it’s just about being super present for the other person, especially at the beginning of an acting relationship. You have to approach it with incredible curiosity. You are learning who that person is.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“Lucky Hank” is an AMC comedy about English department chair Hank (Odenkirk) going through a midlife crisis. Enos plays Hank’s wife Lily, who works at a local high school. She explains, “She’s with a partner I think is the right person to be with. He is very intelligent and really committed to honesty and the truth. She is equally smart but reaches for optimism. Lily helped to lift him and Hank helped ground her.”
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During the season, Lily considers moving to New York for a job. This prospect of a move causes tension in their marriage as Hank struggles with trauma from his estranged father’s return to town. Enos says, “We had to do the shorthand version to build a 25 year relationship. Luckily Bob and I are in long marriages. We have something to draw upon. It’s all about filling the silences with something. As the actors, we know what is in that silence, so then we can play that.”
In one scene, a stranger pretends to be Lily’s husband in a restaurant to avoid getting caught having an affair. Lily decides to melodramatically ‘break-up’ with the man. The scene descends into a self reflection on her own marriage. The actress admits, “I’d never seen that scenario. There were so many different gear shifts. I just had to stay in each moment. The tricky thing was where it clicks over to saying her truth about Hank. We shot it many times and that moment would move slightly in different takes. It was allowing it to be a surprise to her too. It was not what she thought she was doing when she started talking.”
In 2011, Enos received an Emmy nomination for her role in the dark AMC drama “The Killing.” She reflects, “In the really heavy stories I’ve told, I’ve looked for moments to find their hope or humanity. In this, which is a much lighter tone I find ways of grounding Lily so she feels like an actual person.”
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