Paul W. Downs Reveals How Hacks Landed Laurie Metcalf for Season 2

Hacks co-creator Paul W. Downs shared how Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalf ended up on season two. Plus, stars Hannah Einbinder and Mark Indelicato talk acting opposite the industry legend.

By Alyssa Ray May 19, 2022 9:09 PMTags
Watch: Hacks Stars Paul W. Downs & Megan Stalter Explain That "Me Too" Scene

Laurie Metcalf has played everyone from straight-shooting Jackie on ABC's The Conners to struggling working mom Marion in Greta Gerwig's critically acclaimed film Lady Bird. Still, we found ourselves blown away by her latest role: A tour manager named Weed on season two of Hacks.

We were curious to learn how this TV-legend-turned-Oscar-nominated actress ended up as a bit character on the HBO Max comedy. So, we turned to Paul W. Downs, the co-creator and star of Hacks, for an answer.

"Laurie Metcalf is so exactly the tone of the show, because she's so funny," he exclusively told E! News. "She's an incredible actress. She's a Tony winner. She's an Oscar nominee. So she can really do grounded, theatrical performances as well."

Because of this, Downs revealed that the Hacks team reached out to Metcalf for several different parts. Yet, when creating the character of Weed, a schedule-loving tour manager who received her unique name from Pete Wentz, Downs said Metcalf was always the one they all dreamed of casting.

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This dream was made a reality thanks to Warner Brothers head of casting Linda Lowy, according to Downs. "They are essentially family," he said referring to Lowy and Metcalf. "[Lowy] had her over in her backyard and was like, 'Oh, I just read this thing. It said 'Think Laurie Metcalf, the character's called Weed.' And I think that was enough to get her to read it."

The rest is history, as they say!

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The stars of Hacks couldn't be more thrilled by Metcalf's addition to season two. Hannah Einbinder, who leads the series as Ava opposite Jean Smart's Deborah, told E! News in a separate interview, "Watching someone with such an incredible background perform really helped me."

Looking for an example? Einbinder said the scene where Ava and Weed argue about Ava's dad's ashes being thrown away was "incredibly impactful."

Mark Indelicato, who plays Deborah's personal assistant Damien and was present in the aforementioned scene, said to E! News that it was "euphoric" to watch the whole thing play out.

He added, "It just felt like Laurie had been there from the jump with all of us."

New episodes of Hacks arrive Thursdays on HBO Max.

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