This experience was the inspiration for a scene in Shrill.

By Christopher Luu
Apr 30, 2021 @ 2:47 pm

As Hulu's Shrill enters its last season, star Aidy Bryant opened up about pulling incidents from her own life for the show — in addition to acting, she's a writer and executive producer. In a new interview, she explained that when her character, Annie Easton, goes to a doctor's appointment only to have someone suggest she get gastric bypass surgery, it was something that she had firsthand experience with. 

Part of the show, Bryant said, is to reclaim the word "fat" and to make it less of a scary thing for people.

Aidy Bryant
Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

"It is a descriptor and, like, I am fat," Bryant told the Washington Post. "To me, it's like taking the power out of it. It doesn't have to be so loaded. It's just true, and sitting with that, it makes it easier for me. It just feels a little less frightening."

Bryant said that she'd gone to a doctor and when gastric bypass was presented to her as an option, she was told that "people do it all the time."

She went on to say that there are many misconceptions about being fat and that she hasn't, in fact, "given up" on herself or living an unhealthy lifestyle. It's the opposite, she explains, because she exercises and has a healthy diet.

"Their assumption is that I have that as a goal, and just by looking at me, they assume that's the reason I'm there at the doctor's office," she said. "And there's an assumption that if you're fat, you've given up on yourself. And it's like, I exercise all the time. I don't eat doughnuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."

As Shrill ends, Bryant shared that she's gotten a positive response from viewers, who finally see themselves on a show without just being a punchline or a one-dimensional character.

"I definitely assumed that young fat women would identify with it, but it's really been a whole range of men, women, thin, fat," she said. "People can relate to being really hard on themselves, being their own worst critic and being trapped in that mindset and wanting to get out of it. That is really universal."