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Aya Cash: You can't live in this world and not suffer from anxiety

The "You're the Worst" actress talks how she stays sane — and how Gretchen doesn't in season four of the FXX comedy.
In Season 4 of "You're the Worst," Gretchen (Aya Cash) is spiraling after Jimmy ghosted her in the season 3 finale. Photo: Autumn de Wilde/FXX

Where we last left off in “You’re the Worst” — the season three finale — Jimmy (Chris Geere) had just proposed to Gretchen (Aya Cash) and then impulsively driven away, abandoning her on a mountain in LA. The new season, premiering Wednesday, September 6, is all about the eccentric and destructive ways our favorite trash people on TV are (separately) coping with the trauma of the breakup. 

Jimmy has moved to a trailer park for retirees, passing the time drinking whiskey and binge watching “The Fall Guy” with a geriatric misanthrope after his own heart. Gretchen now lives with Lindsay — who miraculously sort of has her shit together, with a job she loves and a friends-with-benefits sitch with Edgar — literally hasn’t left the apartment in three months and has also casually started smoking crack.

Ahead of the season four premiere, we caught up with Aya Cash — who, unlike Gretchen, is very much not a mess — to talk about how she’s staying sane under Trump, her favorite hangs in Brooklyn and her song of the summer. 

The season three finale was pretty traumatic. Have you ever had something awful like that happen to you? 

No, not in that way. But who hasn’t been lied to and cheated on? I’ve been in a relationship with the same person since I was a baby [actor Josh Alexander], so that’s probably helped me avoid those situations.

Do you relate to Gretchen’s struggles with anxiety and depression? 

I don’t know how you can live in this world and not suffer at least a little bit from anxiety and depression.

How are you staying sane under Trump right now?

I’m not? [Laughs] I’m off Twitter, which helps, because at least the news cycle is a little less immediate which is actually also probably what I miss most about Twitter. It’s an attraction and a repulsion. But it’s been helpful to me to not be engaged in the minute-to-minute news. I can learn about it in an hour and it will still happen. 

Do you find Instagram calmer?

Yeah. Is Trump on Instagram? [Laughs] Oh God, what a nightmare. You know we’d see some dick pics eventually. I have compulsive behaviors with it too, it just hasn’t gotten to the extent that I should quit. 

So not “Ingrid Goes West” levels?

I haven’t seen that yet. The only movie I’ve seen this entire summer in theaters because I’ve been so busy is “Girls Trip.” That Tiffany girl is spectacular. 

You're starring in a film at TIFF, “Mary Goes Round.” Can you tell us about that? 

It’s a micro-budget indie with a first-time filmmaker [Molly McGlynn]. I read the script and Skyped with the director and fell madly in love with her. It’s about a woman who is an alcoholic and an addiction counselor. Her life is falling apart when she receives a message from her estranged father to come home and help with her sister who she’s never met, because he’s dying. It’s a coming home story and an addiction story and it’s a really beautiful little movie and they made it for no money, but it looks like it was made for five times what it was. 

You live in Brooklyn currently. Do you ever think about moving to LA?

Not really. I don’t hate L.A. I get to live out here three or four months a year while we’re shooting, but I’m always ready to go home. I feel most at home and most myself in New York. Funny enough, I grew up in San Francisco, but I’ve come to really love seasons and appreciate rain and snow and the turning of the leaves and all that. If I had kids, obviously, you gotta pick a coast, but I feel really lucky I get to do both. 

What are some of your favorite hangs in Brooklyn?

One of my best friends owns a bar called Donna in South Williamsburg, so if I’m going to go to a bar I go there, even though I live nowhere near there. There’s a restaurant called Rucola which was my local. I’m not really a going out kind of person so I don’t have any club recommendations [laughs], but places in my old neighborhood like Mile End and Building on Bond, and BookCourt was my favorite bookstore. Books are Magic opened over the summer and I’m so excited to go back and go to it. 

You’re a big reader. Any favorite recent reads? 

I just finished “Stoner” by John Williams, it was just incredible. I cried at the end and looked around, like, “What am I doing with my life? What’s important?” I had asked for recommendations on Twitter for books and Carrie Coon sent me a list, none of which I’d ever heard of, so I just bought everything she recommended. I just started “The Argonauts” [by Maggie Nelson] and I’m really enjoying that, her structure is very interesting.

 

Hamilton Mixtape part 2

A post shared by Aya Cash (@maybeayacash) on

Most importantly, can we talk about your dog?

Yes! What do you want to know? I’ll talk about my dog all day. Her name is Lucy Tami Cash. Tami is for Tami Taylor on “Friday Night Lights.” We also call her Goose. She’s a 22-pound terrier mix rescue and she’s the love of my life. She’s doing the entire Hamilton mixtape choreographed dance, one by one on Instagram. She has a credit in a movie I did last year in Austin, “F*cking People,” as just “Lucy Cash,” which is mildly upsetting, but I understand the “Tami” might be too much, makes her sound like a country star. [Laughs]

Any music you’ve been into lately?

Every summer I get obsessed with one mildly offensive pop song. This summer it was “I Spy” by Kyle. It’s pretty bad. At one point they say, “All my bitches come in pairs like balls in my nutsack.” So, you know, really, really classy shit. 

Speaking of classy shit, is Gretchen getting a tramp stamp? 

 No! People saw that on Instagram and kept asking. I have one and have to get tattoo cover up every time we film a sex scene because I don’t have permission by the artist — because I was 18, and don’t know who did it — to show it. Every time we have a sex scene, I have an hour in makeup getting covered up, which is a huge pain in the ass. It’s of a giant hawk. My name supposedly means “hawk,” but it also may or may not mean “ouch,” so it works either way. That’s my 18-year-old me in the ‘90s tattoo.