Speaking at Stylist Live LUXE on Friday (8 November), Aisling Bea revealed how Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s words have inspired her career.
2019 has been a big year for comedian and actor Aisling Bea. She came to our attention when she became the first woman in 20 years to win the prestigious So You Think You’re Funny? award in 2012.
After writing and starring in This Way Up with Sharon Horgan earlier this year, she is currently in Netflix’s Living With Yourself with Paul Rudd. And we can look forward to seeing her in upcoming comedy film Love. Wedding. Repeat. with Sam Clafin.
Frank, funny and feminist, Bea’s growing body of comedy work is loved by critics and fans alike.
So, when Bea took to the stage at Stylist Live LUXE on Friday (8 November) to talk about The World According to Aisling, we knew it was going to be something special.
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Bea answered all the questions that Twitter users had sent in. One thing that a lot of you wanted to know is: will there be a second series of This Way Up?
Bea referenced something that Fleabag writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge said about making another series of her show, and how those words have inspired her next move.
Bea described the show as being a story about two close sisters, with her character having a “bit of a breakdown” and spending time in rehab. Although there’s no big drama that happens, it follows the story of her “getting her life back together”. And the story telling is heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure.
“I hope so, I’m a little tired at the moment,” revealed Bea, when Stylist’s editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski presented her with the question about a second series.
“Phoebe Waller-Bridge said this after getting feedback [for Fleabag] as well. When you have all of your heart and soul from a decade put into your first big thing. And then the thoughts of writing another one, you’re like, ‘I might be ready in another 30 years’. And so the idea of making another one…
“Hopefully, there will be. I’ll be meeting Sharon next week and we’ll have a chat.”
She later added: “The idea of writing it is knackering as a concept. With the show I had something to say, I wanted to talk about loneliness and mental health. Driving into a second series I want to be excited about what I have to say.
“With comedy you have something to say, but don’t want to make it a TED Talk, so making it funny without proving a point might come as a thought in the shower in three months or six years.
I want to take the characters for a run around but you have to edit it down and you’re like, ‘No it has to be 23.5 minutes and that’s the learning curve I had to have.”
Bea also went on to describe what it’s like being able to write her own show with Horgan.
“Suddenly you can decide how you do things. A little bit of me feels like if I made the show 10 years ago, I might have been afraid about pushing a green agenda, because people [are likely] to find it annoying.
“Or I might have found it a bit hard to go, ‘No I don’t want that’.”
Explaining the importance of her green agenda on set, she continued: “We made the whole set plastic free: about 70% of the costumes on the show are from Oxfam charity shops and small independent British labels.
“So suddenly you can start to push your things you feel passionately about into a show that you made.”
Of course, there were also plenty of laughs throughout Bea’s talk.
Making another reference to Waller-Bridge she joked about how her mum asked why she “didn’t do a Star Wars film like that Phoebe Waller-Bridge”.
Bea replied to her: “Yeah, I’ll consider it because that’s how it works, mammy!”
She also talked about Living With Myself, revealing that she would never clone herself in real life (like the characters in the show) because “I can’t imagine anything worse. I annoy myself so much so why on earth would I want another me?”
You can now watch This Way Up on All 4 and Living With Myself on Netflix.
For all the Stylist live LUXE action click here.
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…