Good news, Difficult People fans: The second season of Hulu's comedy is just as hilarious as its first. The Amy Poehler-produced show returns with a brand new episode today, July 12, which means Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner are back in their roles as New York City's most over-the-top comedians-slash-BFFs, Julie Kessler and Billy Epstein. And things haven't changed much for the jaded duo since we last saw them, according to Klausner (who is also the creator of the series).
"Billy and Julie are still struggling in show business,” she recently told InStyle. “They’re a little further along than they were in the first season, so there are some opportunities that come to them that wouldn’t necessarily have before. They are making little strides—but they’re also continuing to get in their own way and blaming everyone else around them for existing in a world that’s unfair, even though they’re not really doing any of the work.”
Despite Julie's unique work ethic, or lack thereof, Klausner’s character still has some exciting career prospects. “Julie gets this opportunity to audition for a spin-off for The Affair,” said Klausner. “We had made this observation about English actors sitting around a table and doing noticeable American accents, so in her audition tape, Julie tries to sound like an Australian who’s trying to sound like an American. She just wants to get the part, but she sets herself up for some grave misunderstanding.”
While Julie's main focus is her career, Eichner’s character is busy looking for love these days. “We pretty much have Billy on the dating arc this season," said Klausner. "In the first episode, he wakes up three days after falling asleep from a massage—and no one had checked on him until Julie came around. He gets all paranoid and goes on a journey to find a boyfriend who will check on him and make sure he’s not dead—and if he is dead, then dress him in a decent outfit in which he’d be buried.” Billy's romantic pursuits include characters played by Mark Consuelos and Dancing with the Stars winner Nyle DiMarco—and they're in good company when it comes to the list of upcoming guest stars.
Julianne Moore, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Tina Fey will all make appearances this season—and Klausner couldn’t be more thrilled with the star-studded turnout. “It adds a certain element of surrealism to it, the fact that these celebrities are walking in our world and maybe not as you’d expect them to be,” she said. “It's just the most satisfying thing of all time to be able to mix and match celebrities that would never do things together and then use that to have fun in a world which we’ve created.” Scroll down to find out who will be hanging out with Julie and Billy on this season of Difficult People.
1. Tina Fey
Tina Fey plays herself in the season premiere. “She’s directing an episode of The Black List and wants to use Marilyn’s brownstone as a location,” said Klausner. “Marilyn [played by Andrea Martin] is in the process of filming her video will with a fancy new camera called the Fonda 5000—which was the only camera they used to film Grace and Frankie—and it has, like, car headlights on it for Jane Fonda because she’s always lit like she’s a helicopter in that show. So Marilyn’s recording her video will, and Tina knocks on the door and says, ‘Can I use your brownstone?’ And she says, ‘Absolutely not, but do you know how to use this camera?’ And then before they know it, the two are hitting it off. Tina’s directing Marilyn, Marilyn’s getting along with Tina, and it’s just a very satisfying runner. And on a personal note, it’s just pretty great to watch Andrea Martin and Tina Fey act and be brilliant and funny together.”
2. Julianne Moore
Klausner’s favorite celebrity guest star moment from season two? “Watching Julianne Moore play a really bitchy and fake girly-girl,” said Klausner. “She just acts like she’s every girl’s BFF, but she’s actually like this horrible person. It was really pretty amazing to watch her take on that character and make her into this very specific monster.”
3. Lin-Manuel Miranda
His Broadway reign as Alexander Hamilton may have just ended, but you can still catch Lin-Manuel Miranda on Difficult People. “There’s an episode where Julie gets scammed trying to buy off-Broadway Hamilton tickets from some guy,” said Klausner. “In real life, what happened was I tried to buy Hamilton tickets off Craigslist and they turned out to be fake. I just used that experience that I had with the scammer, because then I started sending him really abusive text messages and he wouldn’t respond. So it was really just me getting all my stuff out.”
4. Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane appears as himself, and Julie and Billy convince him to take part in their new concept for a viral charity phenomenon based on the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” The role was created specifically with Lane in mind, according to Klausner. “When you’re asking a celebrity to play themselves, it’s like, ‘Okay, but why—and what’s the fun that they’re going to have as an actor?’” she said. “The only way to justify it is to have them in a situation that would be really funny. So we start out writing with Nathan Lane in mind, and then once we get him, we make sure that this is really what we want to see him do, in particular.”
5. Abby Elliott
In Klausner’s favorite episode of the season, Odd Mom Out star Abby Elliott plays a pivotal role. “I really like the ‘Patches’ episode,” said Klausner. “It’s about a show that’s basically a spinoff of The Affair, and Abby Elliott guest stars as a woman who runs a Buzzfeed-like website.”
6. Mark Consuelos
“Mark Consuelos is extremely funny on the show,” said Klausner. “He plays a gay Italian guy who’s very attracted to Billy, because Billy gives him the impression that he just came out of the closet. That’s sort of a commodity in certain worlds. You can expect him to be super funny—and you do see his bare chest at one point in the episode.”
7. Nyle DiMarco
“We filmed the episode with Nyle before he was on Dancing with the Stars, but he was on America's Next Top Model, and we knew him from that,” said Klausner. “One of our writers had pitched a story in which Billy dates a deaf guy, and then his interpreter is c**k-blocking him and not telling him everything Billy’s saying. We loved that idea, so we just had to find a super hot deaf actor. Everyone was like, ‘Oh, how about the guy from Top Model?’ It was kind of a no-brainer.”
8. Megan Hilty
Broadway star and Smash alum Megan Hilty stars as Marilyn's patient who suffers from severe OCD. “Megan was in Noises Off with Andrea Martin at the time, and she’s so funny in that,” said Klausner. “We’re also huge fans Smash, and we just really wanted her to be a part of the show. We figured it would be funny to have a scene between her and Andrea, and we had this role in mind. So it just worked out really well.”