In this week's paper, I talk to Carrie Brownstein, star of Portlandia and the leader of Wild Flag, about her awesome 2012. But a couple of questions didn't make the print piece, namely a few involving the differences between her two primary gigs and how Portlandia episodes are written. As usual, she was thoughtful and articulate, particularly about her role within each endeavor and the similarities between playing a character on TV and playing one on stage with her band. Here's a look.
Is there a template for how Portlandia episodes get written or how ideas get generated for it? At this point, there is a slight template and those help. The more infrastructure you can have within a script or an idea helps, especially with the improvisation. We formally get together in late spring and pitch ideas to each other and some ideas die right at the pitch but we also tend to put any idea up on an index card and we start compiling these cards. We keep revisiting these index cards to figure out what really works as a sketch. We've become more and more conscious with the subsequent seasons of not being a conceptual show but a show that hopefully has characters that seem like real people, characters that are multi-faceted and multi-dimensional.
You can read the rest of the Carrie Brownstein Q&A here.