You’ve been having a crazy time with the success ofDollfaceseason two. What drew you to the role of Izzy?
Reading a script where it felt like the roles were really written by a young woman, and feeling like it was a role that I could play, and that I could see myself in. Typically when I read scripts they don't speak to me as much as this one did. Jordan Weiss, the creator of the show, is exceptionally talented.
Did a lot of Izzy’s anxiety and awkwardness come from you personally?
Totally. I feel like, especially in the second season when I was watching myself, her anxiety was really reflecting my twenties back at me. The self-sabotaging and being so afraid of losing something that you have, that you cause yourself to lose it.
You have such good chemistry with the other girls [Dollfaceco-stars Kat Dennings, Brenda Song and Shay Mitchell], did you know any of them beforehand?
No! I met Brenda in my audition and we were in a waiting room with so many girls, but I recognised her. I was like, “I think that girl's famous!” She was so friendly right away.
One of the scenes I really love from season two is the dance sequence. How much rehearsing did it take?
We rehearsed for a couple of hours in between our scenes, but Kat never got a break from her scenes, so she never got the chance to rehearse. They wrote in that she had a doctor's note, because it would have been unfair; the three of us had so much time to rehearse and she didn't have any. I was shocked, though, everyone's such a good dancer. Brenda and Shay are just naturally like strippers. I don't know how, but they are.
A secret skill. You have such a fun look on the show, too - did you like Izzy’s wardrobe?
I loved it. I don't really like to micromanage, and I like to let other artists do what they're good at, so I just let Melissa [Walker] our costume designer go for it. There was such a love of fashion on the set because of Melissa.
You have your own clothing brand, Sleepover by Esther; what made you want to get into the fashion space?
It started out because I was addicted to tie-dying when I was staying home quarantining, and all my tie-dyes were so bad. My friends were like, “You have no talent at this whatsoever,” but I felt like I had the vision. I've always had my own distinct sense of style that is rooted in comfort. I always have a stomachache, like I cannot wear tight clothes, I need to be comfy and cosy. So a good friend of mine, Lauren Alexander who runs LNA, pointed me in the right direction to get things done professionally.
Who are the designers and stylists that you really love to work with or get inspiration from?
Chris Horan is a stylist who I've been working with, who I think has such a unique, artistic, creative vision for everyone he dresses. I feel like I've been wearing a lot of Ganni lately, but I go from high to low constantly. I'll shop at Tiger Mist. I’m loyal to Gap. I am not above Old Navy and I am not below Celine. I’m also really having a respect moment for Skims. The way they're doing things and turning out consistent, flattering, fun things; they have me at the edge of my seat.
Your mum and dad are a key part of your special; have they always been supportive of your path into comedy and entertainment?
They have never had any ounce of faith in me whatsoever, so the thought of me dropping out of school scared them to death… They were like, “She's going to be living in our basement until the day we die,” which is still on the table. I definitely do not have those parents that are like, “We believe in you”. The thought of that is psychotic to me. When I first went out to dinner with my fiancé and his parents, they were laughing at all the jokes he was making and I didn’t know that parents could biologically find their own child funny. I just thought like, you're their kid, and they think you suck.
Now that you’re working on new material, do you feel like you have a whole second special ready?
That's what I'm building towards with this tour that I'm on right now. I have some material I can't wait to share and get on a special, and then I have other ideas that are kind of forming and building. I have a bit right now where I talk about how to marry a billionaire, so I'm very much on that journey, and I'm really using TikTok as a place to put out seeds of ideas and see how people react. I'm having so much fun, creatively, figuring that out.
You do a million different things – you were a producer on theiCarlyreboot and you have your podcast,Trash Tuesday. Is there one of your hats that you enjoy wearing more than the others?
I think it's different things for different days, but I really love podcasting. And, right now, I really am obsessed with TikTok. I love getting inspired on TikTok. I love posting on it. Right now the main focus is my creative expression, and maybe that's because I discovered weed last year, I don't know. Anything I can just really give my creative spirit to, which can be all of those things on any given day. Even the clothing line. I feel like the clothing line reinvigorated my creativity across the board and I'm so appreciative of that opportunity.
IfDollfacewas to get a season three, what would you want for Izzy?
More dancing. I think it'd be really interesting to see what her life is like overcoming her anxiety and seeing, what does she do? How does she thrive? I think it would be similar to the track that I'm on, where I have finally taken steps towards managing my anxiety. I take Lexapro every day and I use Xanax when I need it. So I would be curious to see how she thrives in different or similar ways to how I am able to thrive with my anxiety under control.