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Q&A: Amanda Peet

The Togetherness star on the charm and challenges of the show’s second season

HBO’s Togetherness is on its surface a show about four very different adults living together under the same roof. As the show enters its second season, however, it’s apparent that it’s more than just an updated Three’s Company for the 21st century. Created by Jay and Mark Duplass, the series follows a group of people you think you know and later reveals that there’s more to them than you might ever have expected. 

Amanda Peet plays Tina, who’s moved to Los Angeles to live with her sister (and her sister’s husband) and to find herself. This season, she’s grappling with notions of motherhood and age. It sounds heavy and it is, but thanks to Peet—and co-stars including Melanie Lynskey, Steve Zissis and Mark Duplass—it’s also funny, touching and very enjoyable to watch. Here, Peet discusses the role and how she spends her time off-camera. 

The second season just started airing, but you finished filming almost a year ago.

Yeah, we finished in June. So, it’s been awhile.

Is it odd to have the rest of the world finally catching up?

Yes, it’s sort of a weird feeling. It’s also weird because I haven’t seen it.

You don’t watch yourself on TV?

I’m a little behind, but then I saw some when we were dubbing. But, I saw the part where it was four in the morning and I was running through the streets of New Orleans on cobblestones in six-inch heels. For a 44 year old with hip problems, that was really dangerous.

It sounds like it could be the next exercise craze.

No! Oh, my God, it’s so bad for you.

This is the second season of the series. What was it about the original idea that inspired you to sign on?

I would have done anything to work with the Duplass brothers. The way they work is right for me. It’s very loose and collaborative, but they are also very opinionated. They know what they want. It’s kind of a controlled chaos.

Is that a change from the first season?  

No. It was this way from the beginning where you have these beautiful, really well written scripts and then they ask you to go off the rails.

Does that make for close relationships off-screen?

We definitely go home when we are done working because Mark and Jay have little kids like I do.  But I always tell Steve [Zissis] this, when we are about to wrap, I’ll be like, I’ll see you at the Soho House or I’m going to head over to the Chateau, and see how long we can keep it going without starting to laugh. Because he knows I’m just going to go home and get in bed and watch PBS NewsHour.

So, what is it about Tina that makes her interesting to you?

I like how desperate and uncensored she is.  I’m sure I have a lot of the same feelings as she does. It’s just that I am able to hide them better. She feels pretty stuck to me, personally. And this season, she’s considering whether she wants to become a mother late in the game.

Something I always hear about the series is that it’s just like people we all actually know. Do you know people like this character?

Well, I know people who are in a state of arrested development. Sure. 

You want to name names?

No! I sure don’t.

With the second season wrapped, what’s next for you? 

Seeing my husband would be nice. In two years, when Game of Thrones is over, I look forward to dating him again. 

Anything professional?

I am trying to write more because I wrote a play three years ago. I’m writing a movie. It’s really frustrating and slow. And that’s about it.