Allison Tolman is hangry. The night before reporting to work on Why Women Kill—her first time back on set since the pandemic—the Emmy-nominated actress thought it’d be fun to fill out a letter board for her dressing room. The goal was to update it daily with a response to “Why Do Women Kill Today?” Her first entry: “SHE’S HANGRY.” Ensuing reasons included: “SHE MISSES HER CAT,” “CO-STAR HAS 100X TATTOOS,” “THESE OVERALLS SHRANK (PRETTY SURE),” and “IT’S NINETY DEGREES OUT IN JANUARY.” So, Allison Tolman … why do women kill today?
“It’s got to be the 6 p.m. call time,” she tells us. “It does not bode well that I don’t get to work until the evening time.” Tolman’s actually fallen way behind on her letter board because “my nails are so nice now, I can’t pry off the letters anymore.” Tolman and her impeccable manicure are in the middle of filming the final episode of Why Women Kill, Marc Cherry’s addictive anthology series on Paramount+.
While the previous iteration of WWK spanned multiple decades, this one takes place solely in 1949 and explores the meaning of beauty, the hidden truth behind the facades people present to the world—and the extreme lengths to which one woman will go to finally belong. So while the journey is ending for Tolman and co-star Lana Parrilla, the WWK experience is just beginning for fans of dark comedy. Watch caught up with the sophisticated stars ahead of the summer premiere.
This was your first role back after 10 months off. What hobbies did you pick up during quarantine?
AT: Oh, so much. I learned how to make lunches at home. I started embroidery. I started teaching myself how to play the ukulele—but that did not stick.
LP: I actually started my clothing line, which is comfort streetwear! That’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And because there was so much time on our hands, it really afforded me time to get creative in that way. I come from a family of artists, so being creative is, like, my style: Designing, painting, and stuff like that is a lot of fun for me. And I recorded a song!
What intrigued you most about Why Women Kill? Why did you sign on?
AT: [WWK creator] Marc Cherry’s heightened style is unlike anything I’ve ever done, certainly on camera. My background is in theater and improv, and it seemed like those were going to translate well for this project. I just wanted to give it a shot and I’ve had so, so much fun.
LP: I’ve never done comedy on this level, like Mark Cherry’s dark comedy. What you see is not what you get there, you know. There are so many layers to these characters and they’re not so black and white.
AT: I love the idea of telling a story of a woman who felt invincible, and then getting to watch her become somebody, and what that entailed and what the consequences were of that journey—that was really what drew me to Alma.
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