Netflix 'Russian Doll' Season 1 Exclusive: Charlie Barnett on the scary similarities with Alan and the show's enduring message
Charlie Barnett who plays the role of Alan on 'Russian Doll' spoke to MEAWW in an exclusive interview where told us about how he and Alan actually have a lot in common
Ever had a near-death experience and felt like you have had a second chance at living life? Nadia and Alan from 'Russian Doll' do, but in this case, the duo keeps dying over and over again as they keep reliving the same day over and over again. The show boasts a little bit of everything – drama, comedy, thrills and a couple of psychological twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
With just a few days for the series to premiere on Netflix, Charlie Barnett who plays the role of Alan spoke to MEAWW in an exclusive interview where he shared an inside look of the neurotic character he plays, how similar it is to him in real life and how it was to shoot the coming back to life scene over and over again. With the premise so interesting we bet this is one dark comedy series that should not be missed.
Starting off Barnett gave us an inside look to his character Alan that he plays on 'Russian Doll'. "I'm a little bit of an anal person. I'm a little bit specific in my daily routine and I like the comfort that I receive from it. I'm definitely a person that is stuck to my wage and utilize it as a tool to get through life. So whenever there's a complication or a change or a problem it comes as a kind of an explosion towards me and I try to run if not avoided at all costs," he says. Barnett also added that as episodes pass, Alan experiences change and tries to give up on controlling everything in his life and opens up to a new world.
Barnett also observed how Alan was quite similar to how he is in real life. He began by saying that he and Alan actually have a lot in common, but also added that not many can actually figure that out except his partner. "I am a little bit, you know, just like Alan, cleaning, house organization, control. We definitely relate to that. And working on the character I'm not gonna lie it was scary at some points. Just how much of a crossover it became. Like I feel like the lines bled and I have to kind of remind myself, you know. Where we are and what is what and where I stand; it's a really special thing because you start to realize how much we as people, no matter what the differences, we can all find some sort of common ground and I try to find that in all my characters."
Talking about the differences between him and Alan, Barnett said that he does not dress like Alan. Their job profiles are different. He is totally opposite Alan when it comes to relationships because he likes to lay out all the cards on the table in order to receive the same amount of respect he gives the ones he loves. Barnett furthermore added that he does not think Alan would be comfortable in his own skin.
Just like Nadia, Alan also dies and keeps coming back to life over and over again. Talking to us about shooting that scene he says that he actually loved the way the production team thought of the scene and though it was complicated it was the best way to shoot it. "You know, we have a series of deaths and rebirths. And we filmed it in a blocked shot, which is the term they use for filming work. You do everything that's in one location on one day," the actor added. Furthermore, he said that the script coordinator was like a gem because she was able to keep track of everything that was happening with the deaths and the rebirths.
Alan is a character that we don't get introduced to until a few episodes later into the season. When we asked Barnett how the few previous episodes set a theme for his entry he said, "That's a really fun part about the show. It is something you can watch a million times over and if you notice, I'm actually in the first, second and third episode and when you go back and watch it, you start to see how all these worlds were destined to collide from the very beginning." Not wanting to give out any more spoilers about his character and the entrance, Barnett said, since he is not in the beginning, one will not understand how his character is incorporated until you reach the end of the season.
Alan has died quite a number of deaths in this season. And some of it are in ways that one never knew they could die. When we asked him which was his favorite, Barnett revealed that the death he had by mace was the best. Playing someone who has to die over and over might be fun to hear, but for someone who has struggled with depression and suicide, going back to those days, even though it was acting, was hard. "I've had my own struggles with suicide with depression and going to those places again, even if you're playing, you know a character, even if you have the protection of being on camera and kind of you know going in and out of the world, it's scary. It's terrifying, it's a risk mentally and emotionally. But nobody can understand until you experience it, you know, and that's what really terrified me. I was worried about losing myself in the character."
Talking about what viewers can take away from the first season of 'Russian Doll' Barnett said, "I want to leave that to the viewers. Take what you can from it and I'd love to hear all of the differences because I'm sure so many people are going to relate to so many different parts. At the same time guess what I would really hope that they can grasp onto is that this idea of communication this idea of figuring out a way to communicate with the people around you and healthy and productive manner. I hope that that is something that can be gained from this insane world and that we are all that different. We all can actually help each other and it takes a little bit of vulnerability and it takes a little bit of risk and it also takes a little bit of challenge, you know, putting yourself in a position, but it actually can bring about good things for all of us."