‘You’re The Worst’ Kether Donohue

Photography Maarten DeBoer

Styling Jordan Grossman | MUA Marina Gravani| Hair Paul Norton

Interview by Brent Lambert

Kether Donohue is the ultimate triple-threat. She can sing, she can act, and she’s one of the funniest women in Hollywood. BELLO had the chance to catch up with Kether by phone where the 31-year-old entertainer: gives us a glimpse of what we can expect from her character Lindsay in the upcoming season of You’re The Worst, tells us what she would do if she could create her own TV series, and recounts the story of one improv moment she had on stage with a tube of lipstick that changed her experience with performing forever.

“He would give these incredible speeches almost everyday during rehearsals,” gushes Kether when we asked her what it was like to work with director Thomas Kail (Broadway’s HAMILTON) on the Grease Live! TV special back in 2016. “The dedication and devotion he has to leadership is something I’ve never seen before, and he is always working hard to perfect his craft.” She adds, “He genuinely cares about his whole team, and in one of his speeches, for example, he described us as being a garden which we water together each day. He really respects and trusts actors’ instincts, and he’s an excellent listener and collaborator.”

Collaborations are nothing new for Kether. After all, her impressive 20-year career has been filled with them. But it’s her role as Lindsay on the FXX comedy, You’re The Worst, that is closest to her heart right now. Lindsay has made fumble after fumble on her road to becoming a functioning adult, but is this brand new fourth season going to be the one that finally gets her on track? “Lindsay has an awesome journey this year,” Kether tells us. “Just like in real life, sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better — you have to reach the worst parts of yourself before you realize you need to change, and I think this is what’s happening to Lindsay right now. She’s realizing she doesn’t want the life that she’s created for herself. In season four she’s really beginning to start her own life and experience autonomy for the first time. We’ve never seen her do this before, so things are on an upswing. She has a job, lives in her own place, and isn’t dependent on Paul. I’m excited for her.”

Excitement is a big part of Kether’s own life these days as well. We asked her if she has any pet projects of her own in the works, and that’s when the conversation turned towards her dream of one day becoming a director herself. Showrunner and YTW creator, Stephen Falk, may have inadvertently accelerated this dream for Kether a couple of years ago when he asked her to take part in his live storytelling show that he organizes at the Virgil, a 1920s saloon and and comedy club here in LA. For each show, Falk invites around seven or eight storytellers to perform a ten-minute story in front of the live audience, and Kether tells us when she performed her own, something unexpected happened.

“That night the theme was ‘Bruised Pride, Out of Control Ego, and Tarnished Reputation.’ So I told a story that was a very vulnerable one about myself that I had never shared with anyone before. The response from the audience was remarkable, and many of them came up to me afterwards to say they related to my experience.” That reaction led Kether to the idea of turning the story into something much bigger. “It’s a story that I loved telling out loud, and I think it could have a life of its own outside that experience. I think it could make an interesting short film, and I would love to direct it.”

It’s this kind of instinct that drives all great performers. And with such a terrific career under her belt — both on stage and in front of the camera — I asked Kether if there was any one moment in particular where she recalls feeling the most ‘in the now’ as an actress. “I remember doing an off-off Broadway show in which I had a really long monologue, and I had some choreography when my character puts her lipstick on as she’s looking in the mirror. One night my lipstick broke off and it started rolling everywhere.” It was a moment that might have sent some actors off the rails, but for Kether it was nothing off the sort. “It was as if the theatre gods had arrived on stage — my instincts kicked in, and I started going after the lipstick as I was doing my monologue. That lipstick moment completely took over and stole the show. I could never have planned it, and the audience loved it. I love those moments that you can’t plan — it’s a gift to the scene, and it’s an opportunity.”

To test her improv skills, BELLO put Kether through the ‘Career Blender Challenge’: take three of your favorite shows, mash them together, and come up with a brand new series where you would have the lead role. “Shark Tank is my favorite show — I love it,” she says. “I also love The Handmaid’s Tale, and I love Big Little Lies, too. So I would call it The Handmaid’s Big Little Tank.” So who exactly would she play in this original new mashup series? “I would play Ann Dowd’s character, and she would put these men in their place [Dowd portrays Aunt Lydia, the vicious instructor and guardian of the Handmaids]. We would throw men in a tank, punish them for their wrongdoings, sentence them, and bring justice [laughing]!”

Being a Hollywood veteran, yet still being so young herself, means Kether has many young girls out there watching her every move, and dreaming of how they, too, can make it in showbiz just like her. We asked Kether what advice she would give them. “I’d tell them to be excited about the ‘lipstick moments,’ embrace the failures and rejections, and just enjoy this really wild ride. I would say: be persistent, don’t ever put yourself in a box, and fearlessly go after everything you want.”

You’re The Worst airs Wednesdays at 10pm ET on FXX.

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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