A mentor on- and off-screen.
In an exclusive chat with E! News, Hacks star Hannah Einbinder opened up about her real-life friendship with co-star Jean Smart. For those unfamiliar with the show, Hacks follows "a dark mentorship that forms between Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comedian, and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old," per HBO Max.
And, while Hannah described their friendship as "so loving and wonderful," it seems the actresses' off-screen bond is somewhat similar to Deborah and Ava's dynamic. "Jean is such a dear friend and mentor," Hannah started off. "It really is when Ava and Deborah are getting along, that's me and Jean. It really is just us, you know? Even when they're doing their little verbal daggers back-and-forth, that's our friendship."
As she continued, Hannah quipped that the pair "can play a little, like, roasty, roughness together." Case in point: During the June 8 announcement that Hacks was renewed for season two, Jean joked, "I am absolutely thrilled we are picked up for a second season and I told Hannah it's 'No more Miss Nice Guy; from now on it's Bette and Joan! And guess who's BETTE??!!'"
Still, the 26-year-old comedian assured us that the roasting comes from a "loving" place. She further gushed, "I'm so lucky, not only to work on this show, but to have Jean as a friend."
Speaking of the hilarious burns on the HBO Max dramedy, Hannah revealed that two adlibbed insults found their way into the show. "Every single thing was to the script," she said of the incredible first face-off between Deborah and Ava. "But when I originally auditioned, there were two jokes that I added to my audition that they put into the final thing. So, it was like a collab in that little way, but the whole thing was very scripted."
On how her character came to be, Hannah credited creators Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky for creating a "fully formed and vivid" role. She also mentioned that she and Ava are "very different in our personalities."
Namely, Hannah called out her Gen Z character for being "so quick to just speak." Meanwhile, the Hacks star said she gets "psychoanalytical about everything and everyone around me."
In addition to Jean, Hannah and Paul, the current season of Hacks features Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, Mark Indelicato, Poppy Liu, Johnny Sibilly, Meg Stalter and Rose Abdoo.
For more of Hannah, be sure to catch the Hacks season finale Thursday, June 10 on HBO Max.