Gillian Jacobs, Looking for "Love" All Over Los Angeles

by Tina Jøhnk Christensen April 17, 2017
Actress Gillian Jacbos, star of the series "Love"

getty images/Dave Kotinsky

Gillian Jacobs is back as Mickey in Netflix’s second season of Love - the binge-worthy comedy series currently available on the streaming platform. The 34-year-old actress known for her roles on Community and Girls portrays the stunning, naturally beautiful talk-radio producer Mickey, who suffers from sex, love and alcohol addiction. That does not scare away nice guy Gus  -portrayed by co-creator Paul Rust -and a rocky romantic relationship begins. Shot in Los Angeles, Love also takes you on a tour of the city, which Gillian Jacobs has called home since 2009. We spoke to her about it.

Love is a comedy. But it also deals with profound issues.  What have you learned from the show?

I didn’t really know about sex and love addictions before I started working on Love and I certainly did not know about the 12 step program SLAA, so I feel like that has been an eye opening and profound experience. I have learned more about that and I think it’s helped me to understand myself and other people better because when you start to read about sex and love addiction you kind of realize how universal the struggles are.  And it might be more extreme for someone like Mickey, but there are certainly aspects of her compulsive thinking, her behavior, her acting out, that I think a lot of people can now relate to.

The creators Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin and Paul Rust wrote the series with you in mind for the character Mickey. Why do you think that is?

I think perhaps it was because they thought that I would portray the character without judging her as an actor and maybe in some part because the part of Britta on Community.  I am not quite sure what made them think I could do it, and it was a real honor, because on the surface I am really nothing like Mickey. So the fact that they had faith in me to portray this really complex character meant a lot.  But I try not to judge the characters I play, and I try not to pull punches so to speak, to try and make them more sympathetic or relatable to the audience.  So I think that might have been what they were drawn to.

Love takes you on a tour of Los Angeles that mainly people who live here know. Like Silverlake, Echo Park, that area. Is this a part of the city that feels like home to you too?

I think to some degree yes, I have so many friends that live in Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park, that it certainly is a part of LA that I have explored. And in Season Two, they go on a paddleboat in Echo Park on a lake, and I have walked around that lake many times and gone to some of those restaurants that we see in the show. But I personally also try to go to different parts of the city like downtown. I think people sort of get stuck in their neighborhood in Los Angeles and they don’t really want to drive to the city cause the traffic is so bad.  But I try and go around the whole city as much as I can because it’s very easy to get sort of stuck in a smaller circle within Los Angeles.

Love is about love between millennials in Los Angeles. Do you relate to the depiction of love in this series?

Definitely when I first came to Los Angeles, I was single and very lonely and having a really hard meeting friends or finding a sense of community in Los Angeles, so I can certainly relate back to that.  I don’t think I had as many wild adventures as Gus and Mickey do, but I have experienced a lot of the other elements.  Maybe Claudia O’Doherty’s character Bertie I relate to the most.

You are from Pittsburgh and you lived in New York and since 2009 in Los Angeles where you did the series Community. What is your relationship to the city now?

At this point, Los Angeles really feels like home for me and I never knew if that would be the case.  Most actors in New York have a very kind of fearful slash snobby attitude towards Los Angeles, so we all sort of think of it as a temporary stop coming to LA.  But I have been here long enough and it really does feel like home now.

You do not seem to be the ordinary starlet. How do you fit into Hollywood in your own eyes?

Well, I can’t remember the last time I went to a club or a bar.  If that is the stereotype of a starlet, then yes, I don’t fit it.  I was kind of an odd ball when I was in school and so I think to some degree I am used to feeling like sort of an oddball. But I think you find some people who have similar interests to you and I feel like curiosity is such an important quality to have as a person.  And so I like to learn about new things.

What are your plans and goals professionally?

I try to push myself past just acting, into writing and directing and producing.  I made one documentary and I am trying to make more and like I said, I just had another essay for Lenny come out today actually.  And so continue to stretch my own position to what I am capable of.

Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with Lena Dunham?  You worked on Girls with her and you also wrote for her Lenny Letter.

Yeah, I have written for Lenny Letter and I also appeared on one of the seasons of Girls. It’s been really interesting because I have wanted to push myself outside of acting and go into writing and directing and producing, but I was kind of too scared.  So she has given me the opportunity and kind of encouraged me to write, which has been really wonderful and I have been enjoying it so much.  But I am a very kind of shy person, so it’s been pushing me outside of my comfort zone to write professional essays for her but I found the response has been so positive that it’s been great.

Who do you get most recognized as, Mickey from Love, Mimi-Rose from Girls or Britta Perry from Community?

I think it depends on where I am in the world actually. I feel like more and more in Los Angeles it’s for Mickey. I did a movie in Atlanta and there seemed to be a lot of Community fans in Atlanta, so there it was Britta.  In New York it’s probably Mimi-Rose.  So I guess it sort of depends on where I am at.