Lauren Adams Biography
Lauren Adams born Lauren Conlin Adams is an American actress and improviser living in New York City. known for her role as Gretchen Chalker on the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Lauren Adams Family And Age
She was born August 7, 1982, in Washington, DC, and grew up in Potomac, Maryland. She is 36 years old as of 2018.
No information on her parents or siblings is disclosed to the public. She has kept this field very private.
Lauren Adams Educational Background And Career
Born in Washington D.C., she was raised in Maryland. She moved to New York to work as an actress and comedienne.
She graduated from Elon University in North Carolina with a BFA in 2004. graduated from Elon University in North Carolina
In Netflix’s series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Adams played Gretchen Chalker, a willing, overzealous member of the cult, who believed everything she was told and who failed to adapt to life outside of a cult. Adams also appeared in an episode of The Break with Michelle Wolf entitled “Bad Opinions,” in a skit about the New York Times op-ed section.
Adams has studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade since August 2007 under Bobby Moynihan, Lennon Parham, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Anthony King, and Chris Gethard. At UCB, Lauren performed Oscar bait and was a member of former Maude Team Slow Burn and former Harold Teams Johnny Romance and Sherlock & Cookies. She still performs regularly as a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
Lauren Adams Interview
- Adapted From: http://gothamist.com
Upright Citizens Brigade performer Lauren Adams made the jump from the improv stage to the small screen in Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, landing the role of grateful Mole Woman and noted bunny naysayer Gretchen. We had a few minutes to speak with Lauren about what it was like to work with showrunners Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the city’s vibrant improv scene, and whether or not she’d be willing to join the cult of Jon Hamm.
You have an improv background, right? You’ve done stuff with Upright Citizen’s Brigade?
Yeah, around 2007 is when I started taking classes, and I’ve been a member of house teams and been in sketch shows at the theater, YouTube parody videos, the whole nine yards.
Were you taking classes while [Kimmy Schmidt star] Ellie Kemper was on a team there?
This makes me sound much younger than Ellie which I’m not, we’re the same age, but I was an intern at the theater when she was on Harold night. And so you know, she’s definitely somebody I look up to because she’s so magnetic on stage. So charismatic. And she’s wonderful. She’s also nice because as an intern, you’re sort of scrubbing toilets, and hauling beer, and she was always sweet to us and very nice.
Was there much improv done in the show? It seemed like some of the courtroom scenes might have been improvised.
No. The writers are crazy genius comedy people, every joke is so perfectly written, so they give it all to us. I think Jane [Krakowski] mentioned this in an interview she did earlier, they just write everything so perfectly and the timing is so spot-on. And even like small words, like if I was dropping a word, they’d say “Can you say ‘the’?” And I’m like “Oh I forgot!” But it’s all so important for a really well-crafted joke. So while I can improvise, I’m not doing it on Kimmy Schmidt. All those words, they wrote for me to say. I can’t take credit.
What was it like working with Tina Fey?
Oh, she’s wonderful. She’s so good, to work with her is definitely… at first it’s all surreal, to work with somebody who you’ve been watching for so long. But she’s so warm and approachable, it’s very easy to work with her. Very, very easy. And you know you’re in good hands because she and Robert are just so confident in driving the boat. And they’re right, they know comedy so well. So you always feel safe. That feels weird to say, I always feel very safe.
I know you weren’t really in scenes with Titus Burgess and Jane Krakowski, but did you get to interact with them at all?
Yeah. We were all there at the studio sometimes, and table reads, for sure I’d see them. They’re warm and wonderful people. Titus and I have a couple of crossover friends from before, years ago. He’s great to work near. And Jane as well, she’s so sweet and a pro, and she’s always on top of it. Even at table reads, she’s flawless and a really committed performer. It’s really great to see.
Was the cast told in the beginning that Jon Hamm would be the cult leader?
No, no, no. We had a stand-in for the pilot who was just a dude who played his body, the reverend’s body. And Robert was reading those lines then. We didn’t really know until Jon was signed on. So that was really a surprise for us too!
How did you guys find out?
I think there were whisperings about it. And then Jon Hamm was just there for work. So yeah, it was pretty incredible to be there. He’s a very handsome cult leader.
I was convinced it would be Alec Baldwin, and I was surprised.
Alec Baldwin is another great funny guy. But yeah, Jon Hamm… I was also surprised when I was looking at the show and I was looking at the reactions on Twitter because I hadn’t seen all of them and it was a show I worked on. So I binged them all instantly. People in California had it longer, they had it at midnight, so people could have watched it feasibly all through the night till 7 a.m. in California. And no one had said anything about Jon Hamm. I was so surprised that wasn’t the first thing that got leaked. It was respectful, I think.
So the read-over in the early scenes, it’s him but it’s a body double?
Yeah, it’s not Jon Hamm’s body.
If Jon Hamm started a cult, would you consider joining?
Oh, man. He is very nice, very handsome, and very charismatic. But I would have to say no to all cults.
Just like I don’t know all bunnies, I don’t know all cults. So I’m gonna have to put a firm no on all cults for me for membership.
There have been a lot of #hottakes on the internet about the show’s alleged racism, like the character of Dong, and the Native Americans. What was your take on that?
My take on it is, like I said, I think Tina and Robert are amazing comedic minds and geniuses and they’ve brought us so much amazing comedy. In the same breath that [the media] would call the show racist, they would be like, “Isn’t it great that we’re seeing all of these diverse, different voices on TV that aren’t just white men?” So some of it to me feels like clickbait, which happens on the internet, you know, especially if people want to get hits and views and stuff like that.
I would say that I totally trust Tina and Robert, and I think that in general, the main reaction to the show has been that it’s incredible to have an Asian guy playing a romantic lead, and not just as some sort of joke. He’s like the smartest person on the whole show, and someone that Kimmy really connects with. It’s just an amazing choice to show all of these people, in all these fish-out-of-water stories that we don’t really feel like we belong here. So they’re all mirroring Kimmy’s journey in different ways. And I thought that was super intelligent.
So has the script been written for season two? Do people know what’s going on in season two, have you started working on it yet?
I haven’t. I know our writers will get together and write all their brilliant stuff and bring us in, I don’t have a timeline for that yet. But whenever they call, I’m ready. I’m ready to go to work whenever.
What’s up next for you?
Right now in my off time, I do perform at UCB a lot, which has been great. I’m doing the writing, which is fun. I’m hosting a show at UCB called Night Late, it’s a cool late-night show and they have a new host every month. They do it live on the UCB stage. I’m going to be hosting that in April, which I’m really excited about.
Are you based in LA or New York?
I’m based in New York. I’m based in Brooklyn.
Do you still stop by for Harold Night at UCB?
I just did my last Harold Night last night, which was bittersweet. Because it’s, you know, ever since I started taking classes you are looking up to Harold Night as this pinnacle of improv. I’ve been on a team for the last three years, and I’m just getting a little too busy. So I did my last show last night.
I have a couple of other drop-in shows coming up next month, a really incredible and hilarious live-stage version of The View that we do, which is 12 women just yelling at each other for an hour. It’s incredible. It’s called The Female Gaze. It’s insane and wonderful.
What do you like about the improv community in New York?
The improv community in New York, and just the comedy community in general, is really important for me. I know when I was a young actor it felt like all the possibilities were really vast, and doing comedy was a specific and fun way to make that world smaller for me. I think we’re all just trying to find community, and UCB has been a really great community to be part of. I’ve made friends doing that, collaborators, and other writers on the show. It’s been an amazing journey to take with all these people.
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