"I like being able to bring humor to serious situations": Emmy Nominee Naomi Grossman on her role as Lorna on 'Ctrl Alt Del'
Naomi Grossman who plays the role of Lorna on 'Ctrl Alt Del' shares her experience and talks about how the show uses comedy to touch upon sensitive topics such as abortion.
With the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards just around the corner, Meaww speaks to Naomi Grossman, nominated under the category - Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama - for her role as Lorna in the TV series 'Ctrl Alt Del.'
The show has successfully managed to change the perspective of audiences' towards real-life situations such as abortion. Speaking of the moment, she realized that she was nominated for an Emmy, Naomi shares: "I knew that I was submitted. I knew that the day was upon us. When I found out, it was a wonderful surprise, and I was totally unprepared for it."
I’m back in black! (Having just raised the roof in Oakland, wine “tasted” in Napa, cultivated young minds at @campyatc in Santa Cruz, and namastayed with my papi in Aspen.) #exhausted #asin #idontactuallylooklikethis ✈️🥂⛰ . . 📸: @kennethdolinphotography 💅🏻: @maria_esztergalyos #headshots #actorslife
"I am so glad that someone around me had a camera and was able to capture the moment when it was announced. I knew it was a possibility as my name was submitted to be considered but I have been disappointed before when my name was submitted two years ago for 'American Horror Story,' and I did not get it. You try not to react, and it's like an acting exercise, you have to put yourself out there and then forget about it," she continued.
The show is about a series set at a Midwestern abortion clinic where each episode follows the story and journey of one woman using comedy to touch base upon the controversial subject of abortion. "Well, I think that I'm not particularly political and this is not necessarily my message and try to say to the people per say. However, as an artist, you have a unique position/ circumstance where you get to promote a message through art without being heavy-handed. I read the script and thought 'wow' this is comedic which is ultimately what I am looking for and even though I am known for horror- comedy is really where I come from," Naomi shared.
As much as she is "all about the laugh" Naomi shared that she has a weakness for strong and great characters and 'Lorna' is certainly one of them. "She is an 'abortionado' which basically means that she is a regular at the clinic," Naomi said.
The show has been dubbed as controversial as it touches base upon the sensitive issues regarding abortion but as Naomi says that this was a great way to support the cause without having to do anything which made her uncomfortable. "This is what drove me, and this was a chance for me to support what I believe in, though not enough to run for political office," she joked.
"Abortion is never desirable and no one, goes out and seeks it but I do support the filmmaker's mission to try and normalize this. There is a stigma attached to abortion which I think they would like to eliminate, so I do support them in that," Naomi explained. "I just happen to be a woman, and I happen to believe that it is my body and ultimately my choice, and I believe that this is a way for me to support that cause without having to do things that I am uncomfortable with, like be political."
"Think of a show like 'Orange is the New Black,' and it can fall under either the comedy category or drama category. I really like that. I like being able to bring humor to serious situations and actually that is what the 'Ctrl Alt Del' is all about. Let's face it abortion isn't a hilarious subject, but we are able to bring comedy to it because there is humor everywhere even in an abortion clinic," Naomi shared.
She went on to explain how she enjoys it when the storyline tricks viewers into believing that it's a comedy show or comedic in nature, and then a sudden plot twist happens, and then the show is no longer chasing comedy. This is what the genre of comedy is all about; it allows you to dabble in situations and circumstances which are not so pleasant but give them a different viewpoint, something which people in comedy can definitely relate to.
Naomi is best known for her role as 'Pepper' in the TV series 'American Horror Story,' a horror show. Her character 'Pepper' was initially not planned to be the lead character. But the amount of love and support, she gained from her fans turned it into a huge role. "I would say I am the most comfortable when I have a really big character, and there are real extremes to jump into. I think when I read something that sounds like myself I am not comfortable with that," Naomi admitted and said that she was able to achieve what she wanted with her role as 'Pepper.'
Both her major characters, be it 'Lorna' or 'Pepper' have been a close part of her life and switching from comedy to horror is something that Naomi has got accustomed to. "Well, the writing is crucial. If the writing is not good, it is like building a house without an architect," she explained before adding that she is a very "physical actress" who likes to identify character traits and qualities and work with that.
"We all occupy different bodies and hold ourselves differently. We come in different shapes and sizes and have different abilities. All these things inform who we are ultimately," which Naomi says has helped her to play a variety of different characters.