Photography by Therese + Joel
Styling by Marc George. Hair: Kyle Malone at Exclusive Artists Management. Makeup: Angela di Carlo. Shot at Sid Gold's Request Room, NYC
“To see an angry, unpleasant woman and her angry, unpleasant gay friend on television is important,” declares Julie Klausner. In her new Amy Poehler-produced Hulu series, Difficult People, she’s just that type of woman, with her real-life BFF, the gloriously caustic Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street), playing her gay partner in snark. As the pair fume their way through social disasters with about as much aplomb as Larry David or Louis C.K., they’re essentially portraying less successful versions of themselves.
“I think television is so exciting right now because of authenticity,” says Klausner, a New York improv and standup comic most famous for her weekly interview podcast, How Was Your Week? and her dating memoir, I Don’t Care About Your Band. Her new show, which she wrote, thrives on authenticity, as evidenced by her character Julie’s dynamics with her devoted, NPR-producing boyfriend, Arthur (James Urbaniak). “I liked the opportunity to flip the Everybody Loves Raymond model of the understanding female partner of an impossible male lead on its head,” she says.
This is epitomized by an episode in which Julie must persuade an uncomfortable Arthur to have a three-way with Julie and her high school crush. “I’m saying things like, ‘You seem tense,’ ‘Should we take a shower together?’ ‘Do you have enough rosé?’ ” Klausner says. “I think a girl expressing that greedy sexuality as men have done for ages is pretty cool.”
Ultimately, Difficult People flies because of Eichner and Klausner’s camaraderie, which comes from a very real place. “It was important for me to write a representation of a gay man who wasn’t the human equivalent of a small dog in a purse,” Klausner says. “My best friend is gay, and he is the man in my life. Gay men are my heart.”
Difficult People premieres Aug. 5 on Hulu. Watch a teaser below: