Kathryn Hahn has officially be added to my list of all-time favorite interviews. As someone who has watched so many of her films and television shows, I was beyond excited to sit down with Hahn to discuss her career as well as her first family-friendly role in Hotel Transylvania 3.
Scott Menzel: Hi, Kathryn, so nice to meet you!
Kathryn Hahn: Nice to meet you too, dear.
Scott Menzel: It honestly is such a pleasure. So all these movies and shows that you’ve been in, I’m such a big fan of so many of them.
Kathryn Hahn: Aww.
Scott Menzel: I love Transparent. I love Happyish. I’m actually still mourning the loss of Happyish. I f****** love that show.
Kathryn Hahn: Me too.
Scott Menzel: I loved, loved Happyish.
Kathryn Hahn: I do too. Thank you so much and I’m gonna tell Shalom you said that.
Scott Menzel: You and Steve Coogan were just perfect together. It was just so great especially that Frozen musical scene. I just loved it so much. I was so bummed when they canceled that. I think it was ahead of its time or something.
Kathryn Hahn: I’m gonna tell him that you said that. Thank you.
Scott Menzel: No problem. But, what took you so long to make an actual family movie?
Kathryn Hahn: I know. I’m such a sicko so I think that they can’t hire me. My kids are so excited that they can finally see something that I’m in. They can’t see anything I am in.
Scott Menzel: You mean you didn’t show them Afternoon Delight?
Kathryn Hahn: I know, exactly. “Kids tonight we’re gonna watch ‘We’re the Millers’ (Laughs), well one day. But as a mom, I had seen the Hotel Transylvania franchise with them, and I feel like a connoisseur of animated movies now with two kids, and I’ve always found these movies to be not only great for kids but I always feel like they’re sophisticated enough that I actually enjoyed seeing them and watching it with them. I think that they’re good and that is a real gift as a parent because sometimes you just like, ” Oh my God, kill me. ” when you’re watching something so I was so delighted to be asked, and I love this cast. And Genndy, I mean, Samurai Jack is like one of my favorites. I just think that he’s so crazy gifted and talented so I was so excited to play with him in this and to feel like what it is to be a voice and to be in something animated so it was really fun.
Scott Menzel: So what’s the process like as an actor because you recorded by yourself right?
Kathryn Hahn: Well, Genndy was in there with me, and he was doing the voice. He was doing the other voices and let the record show, like a crazy gifted performer, so we were really in it, really doing the scenes. So, we just kind of made like a bubble, like a little performance bubble together, the two of us and I really felt like I was as deep in a scene with him. You know it was a process and we figured it out together and he’s very specific and it was like through that specificity that I found the freedom to figure her out with him and you know you had to really. It was an interesting set of muscles to use as an actor because there’s another part of my brain that had to really, I just had just to imagine so, so much but it was a ball. It was really a challenge as an actor and I had a ball. It was fun.
Scott Menzel: What was it like playing two different characters?
Kathryn Hahn: Oh that was like my dream come true.
Scott Menzel: Yes, your dream come true.
Kathryn Hahn: I love that stuff. It’s like why I wanted to be an actor in the first place.
Scott Menzel: Yeah, it’s great because you ‘re like the bad guy in the beginning and then later on you become the love interest.
Kathryn Hahn: Yeah, it was fun. It is so fun that you know when I went to acting school that’s all I wanted to do. I was always playing. I was never the ingénue I was always like, you know, Grandma in Grapes of Wrath or Polonius. I was always playing like a gazillion different characters, so yeah this was such a pleasure.
Scott Menzel: So you said you watched these movies before. Who is your favorite character?
Kathryn Hahn: I think this is like primo Adam Sandler for me. He just hits such a beautiful perfect bullseye of vulnerable and hilarious. I love him as Dracula, I really do. I just think his performance is so great. He, for some reason, with this character is just a bullseye to me.
Scott Menzel: It feels right. Remember how in the old days, everyone would like Adam Sandler movies and then everyone turned on Adam Sandler movies but with this franchise, I feel like he’s found that marketplace again but with a family audience.
Kathryn Hahn: I’ve always and forever been an Adam Sandler fan as a human and a performer. I adore him, and I think that this his act is great. I just love him, so he is def my favorite in this.
Scott Menzel: So you’ve been in so many different movies obviously, so many different TV shows and you’ve done a couple of voice acting and TV shows but like Robot Chicken, which is more adult, what would you say is the difference between all those three mediums?
Kathryn Hahn: I’m not an actor that is overly depended on my looks, so I love being able to roll into the recording studio. The less time in the hair and makeup trailer the better. Honestly, I just don’t like having any of that energy on it because it just gets in the way. It just makes me self-conscious so that I love but in that way, there is something fun about animation in the same way that an independent film set is. That it is less about the huge “Light and action!” so you know, that’s the same kinda hot spot for me.
Scott Menzel: What is your favorite role that you’ve been in so far?
Kathryn Hahn: Oh gosh…
Scott Menzel: You’ve only been in about 60 different things, you know?
Kathryn Hahn: I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to do so many different things. I love the Rabbi in “Transparent.” But I also love Chris Kraus in “I Love Dick.” I love the world that Jill Soloway has created. The breadth of parts that Jill has allowed me to take on. I also love Jennifer Barkley in “Parks and Rec,” that’s something my kids are able to see, I love Alice in “Step Brothers.” So it’s been crazy. There’s been a lot of different stuff.
Scott Menzel: Yeah, you’ve been in a lot.
Kathryn Hahn: It’s been fun, and I like to be able to play the breadth of tone between my huge broad comedy and but kinda serious, you know comic dramedy.
Scott Menzel: Before I forget to mention this, I saw “Private Life” at Sundance. It was amazing.
Kathryn Hahn: Oh my God! That is so exciting! I’m very excited for that.
Scott Menzel: You were amazing in it and I hope you get nominated because you’re that good.
Kathryn Hahn: Aww that means so much. That really makes me wanna cry. I’m so excited about that movie.
Scott Menzel: It got a big reaction at the Sundance. It was kind of quieter because it’s on Netflix, but I think that’s going to have a nice life later on.
Kathryn Hahn: I’m excited.
Scott Menzel: It was heartbreaking.
Kathryn Hahn: I know. You know, I should show you the still that I just of the film that is on my phone because they had just sent me a still from it, and I was like *gasps* and I’m so super proud of that movie and what we made and very excited for that. Thank you. I’m so glad you got to see it. Not very many people have ever seen it yet.
Scott Menzel: I adored it. That was a great way to open up Sundance this year. What is your dream, like is there a dream actor or director that you wanna work with? Or maybe a dream type of genre? And for my last question, what is your least favorite interview question that you had ever been asked? Is there something that stands out that you were like, “I can’t believe you asked me that?”
Kathryn Hahn: Oh I mean, when I’m asked about things like…
Scott Menzel: Jeffrey Tambor?
Kathryn Hahn: Yeah. To speak on behalf of other people where I’m still trying to process it myself as always. In terms of dream roles, I mean I don’t know what these are yet. I mean I’d love to do horror that would be so fun. I thinking working with P.T. Anderson would be a ball. I just saw “The Royal Tenenbaums” again on the plane, and I was like “God, I love that movie” so something hyper-stylized like that would be really, really, really, really fun.
Scott Menzel: Okay. That’s cool. Well, thank you so much!
Kathryn Hahn: A pleasure! I hope we get to do this again.
Scott Menzel: Me too! Talk to you soon.