You’re the Worst, FX’s twisted new rom-com series, begins—as most epic romances do—with a marathon one-night stand. After its two main characters, Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) flee the wedding of a mutual frenemy (one involuntarily, after dissing the groom and subsequently getting jumped by his buddies), they commiserate over their shared hatred of couple, and, after long night of lovemaking, unintentionally become one themselves.
From there, the precedent is set for their atypical courtship that couldn’t be further from a traditional love story. What creator Stephen Falk (Orange Is the New Black, Weeds) focuses on instead is the nitty-gritty, like, say, foot fetishes and revenge sex with complete strangers in dark alleyways. In advance of the show's Season Two premiere tonight (10:30 p.m. EST on FX), we caught up with resident HBIC, Aya Cash, to discuss her role and what's in store for Jimmy and Gretchen this time around.
What initially attracted you to the script?
"When I first read it, there was really only a trend of men behaving badly on television. In shows like Californication and Entourage, we watched charming, destructive men and the beautiful, doting women in their lives. What really intrigued me about Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship was that they are equally destructive and equally charming. I really liked that balance—it felt more true to my life and my friends' lives than the traditional rom-com storyline of the woman changing the wild man. Of course that’s changed in the last year, thanks to movies like Trainwreck and TV shows like Broad City and Catastrophe."
Both Catastrophe and You’re the Worst really seem to be invigorating the rom-com genre on TV.
"Catastrophe is about two good people struggling with convention, but we’re much more destructive and can be crueler. There was a storyline pinched once about us hitting a pedestrian while drunk driving, which is pretty dark. I think that’s the difference between the shows: In Catastrophe, the people are a complete mess, but are mostly destructive to themselves as opposed to others. The humor is very similar, though. Comedy comes out of pain, and pain comes out comedy."
At times, Gretchen can be difficult to watch, but she’s also so likeable. How do you strike that balance?
"Truthfully, I don’t even think about it. If I make it my business to worry about if people are going to like me, I’m going to drive myself crazy and probably not succeed in doing so. No one likes people who are constantly striving to be liked. It’s annoying. It’s more important to be interesting."
Seeing as you’re attached in real life, was it challenging to take on the role of a millennial navigating the murky world of dating?
"I’ve been in a relationship a long time, but I still went through my twenties. I spent my teen years drinking and partying like everyone else, so her behavior is not so foreign to me. Gretchen is an amalgamation of my own experiences and also my friends’ experiences. The one thing I haven’t particularly experienced is dating nowadays, and the glimpses I get are mildly horrifying."
"Dating apps like Tinder and Hinge—I even hear there’s a 3nder now where you can have threesomes. It’s all pretty crazy to me. That’s the only time I need to ask my friends how stuff works. I can identify with Gretchen’s competitive impulse and her constant need for attention, but, you know, I’ve never f*cked a bouncer in an alley."
What was your favorite scene in Season One? Besides the back alley bang.
"Ms. Kether Donohue singing “This Woman’s Work,” hands down. My jaw dropped. It was so creative and funny and ridiculous."
What can we expect in Season Two?
"The sh*t that comes with moving in together—how you share space and time with someone else. The world that we built in Season One comes back in full force, but there’s going to be new and unexpected things. There’s a big turn midway through the season."
What’s next for you?
"I’m developing something for later this year that I would star in and am looking to produce, too. As a lady in this business, I think the more hats you can wear, the longer your career will be, and I would like to be in this for many years."