Meet Kathryn Hahn, the class clown
• Known for: Throwing herself on an asexual John C. Reilly in “Step Brothers;” playing Paul Rudd’s fearless campaign manager on “Parks and Recreation.”
• Now: Stealing “We’re the Millers” as an overly gregarious and perky suburban mom.
• Soon: A lead role in “Afternoon Delight;” key roles in Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” Peter Bogdanovich’s “Squirrel to the Nuts” (shooting now) and the just-greenlit Showtime show “Trending Down” with Philip Seymour Hoffman.
On prepping for her character: “For some reason I decided she had to have cumbersome, maternal boobs. So I put on fake big boobs. I grew up in Ohio. I have a very soft spot for this type of woman — open, food always out, always up for a family weekend away at a campground. I just know this woman and love her so much.”
On working with a lot of the same people over and over again (Nick Offerman and Will Ferrell, each twice; Jennifer Aniston, thrice; Paul Rudd, four times):
“You want to work with people you dig, but also people you not only respect but would feel safe with. You have to feel comfortable with grabbing each other’s boobs, for example [as she does to Aniston in “Millers”].”
On being a dramatic actress who never thought of herself as a comic actress:
“I was always the class clown. I’ve never been cast as the ingenue. It was always as the grandma. I should have known that somewhere in there, comedy was in my cards. I’ve been able to go back and forth, which is my favorite thing about my job. I would never deem myself an improv comedian or a stand-up. I’m still waiting for them to go, ‘What are you doing here?’”
On entering the world of comedy:
“They all make it incredibly easy. More than anything they’re the most decent human beings. They’re not on all the time. It’s not exhausting. When I first met Will Ferrell, I was so nervous, even more so than if I had been meeting the president. I didn’t think I could open my mouth because I would never say anything funny ever again. But they just allow freedom in that environment. You can’t make a wrong move. There are no mistakes.”
On Peter Bogdanovich:
“He has that gorgeous cravat on at all times. If it’s hot, he’ll dip it in ice water.”