Elizabeth Ho – Disjointed
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) I just had wrapped on the new Amazon “Fred Armisen/Maya Rudolph Comedy” produced by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard. It was such a blast getting to watch those two comedy heroes of mine work. I have a couple of other projects coming up that I’m super excited about, but I can’t talk about them yet. They’re good ones. Promise. Most importantly, we are also waiting to see if “Disjointed” will get a second season. Fingers crossed!
Q) Please tell us what is new this season on “Disjointed” and about your character Jenny.
A) I like to say that Part II of “Disjointed” is like we turned the volume up to eleven. Episodes 11-20 are crazier, wackier and have a huge amount of heart in them. We have more incredible animations, fun pot-themed commercials and all of our characters get to really explore more of their personal journeys.
In Part II, my character “Jenny” gets to explore *spoiler alert* a romantic relationship with Carter (Tone Bell). We also get to see how she deals with the fallout of telling her family the truth about her life choices. I’m also very partial to Jenny’s animation sequence in Part II. Let’s just say my dreams of becoming like Sailor Moon have been realized.
Q) Was there anything you added to the role that wasn’t originally scripted for you?
A) I live with anxiety and one of the ways I calm my mind is by crafting on set. I embroider, draw, make cards, etc. Our creator DJ (David Javerbaum) noticed me on set crafting and added that to my character’s set of traits. We have a whole episode where Jenny is leading a “Puff and Paint” class that was semi-inspired from my arts and crafts around set.
Q) What made you want to be a part of the show?
A) I have the utmost respect for our creators and executive producers: Chuck Lorre (“The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men”) and David Javerbaum (“The Daily Show”). Chuck and DJ are at the top of their games and I knew I wanted to be a part of the project as soon as my team passed me the audition. And, of course, there’s the remarkable Ms. Kathy Bates. I have been a fan of her work both on film and on stage. She’s a tour-de-force and just the idea that I could work with her was beyond exciting.
Q) The series garners comparisons to a modern day “Weeds.” What do the shows differ?
A) “Disjointed” is a half hour sit-com taped in front of a live audience. We bend the genre by including animation, cannabis-themed commercials and musical numbers. We differ the most in that we are a legal dispensary. We aren’t hiding anything. Really, “Disjointed” is a workplace comedy with a lot of heart. It just happens to take place in a dispensary.
Q) Talk about what it is like working with Kathy Bates.
A) Kathy Bates is a legend for a reason: she is fiercely talented, kind hearted, generous and boy is she a riot. She’s one of the most generous scene partners I’ve had and she’s just as fun as you’d think she’d be. She is respectful of everyone on set and makes everyone raise the bar on his or her own work. Basically, she’s the best and I love her.
Q) What have been some of your most memorable moments from filming “Disjointed?”
A) We have a blast shooting “Disjointed.” One of my favorite traditions we have is surprising people on set with birthday cards and cake. We try to make sure the cameras are rolling so we can thoroughly embarrass them and have the ability to play it back. One of my favorite specific moments was at the end of our last episode for the season. We were taking bows and had surprised Kathy with a cake and custom illustration of all of our characters for her birthday. She was genuinely surprised and we all sang. It was so much fun.
Q) Who is someone you would love to see guest star on the series?
A) We have been so lucky to have the most incredible guest stars join us from Nicole Sullivan and Michael Trucco, to Ken Marino and Missy Pyle. My dream guest stars would be John Lithgow, Whoopi Goldberg, John Cho and Kal Penn. I’ve admired their work for years and would love to see what they would do in our crazy universe.
Q) What do you think it is about Netflix that makes it such a great platform for the series?
A) Netflix gives its creators the ability to tell their stories in a full season without fear of cancellation mid-way through their storytelling. It also allows audiences to watch the shows on their own schedule. There isn’t the fear of missing out or not being able to watch a whole season.
Q) With today’s political climate, what are some themes you are proud the show explores?
A) We were given a unique platform to talk about the medicinal benefits of cannabis through Carter’s storyline as a veteran suffering from PTSD. We also talk about the unfairness of marijuana being a Schedule I substance in the federal system, which means it’s treated the same as Heroin or Cocaine. These are heavy topics that we tackle through humor and it’s been wonderful seeing on social media how our storylines are impacting our audience.
Q) You are a part of social media. Do you enjoy the instant fan feedback you receive to the show?
A) [laughs] Yes, I am part of social media. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @RealElizabethHo. Social media is double edge sword. It’s been fantastic getting to talk to our fans one on one and hear their personal reactions. I adore our fans. They’re the coolest group of people on the internet. On the other side, being on social media, (especially as a woman of color) exposes me to people who aren’t the nicest humans (a/k/a trolls). That aspect of social media can be very hurtful. But so far, I’ve been able to navigate those waters and focus on the more positive aspects of social media.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to talk to me whether it’s been on social media or in person. I am grateful for having such wonderful supporters. I am honored to be a part of your lives. Also, remember that when life gets rough that you are not alone. Feeling anxious, depressed, angry, etc. is human. If it ever gets too tough to please reach out and ask for help. You’re incredible.