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Laura Kightlinger’s Major Accomplishment

Comedienne, Laura Kightlinger on Jackie.

Laura Kightlinger's Major Accomplishment

Jackie Woodman is back with all new demoralizing adventures in IFC’s original series The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman. Laura Kightlinger is writing away on the show’s second seasons, often waiting until the last possible minute to turn in her scripts. It is surprising that it takes so long, because she’s such a quick wit on the spot. Find out what’s in store for Jackie and what Laura herself is thinking about these days as we talk to the creator, writer and star of Minor Accomplishments. 

CraveOnline: Will Jackie’s self esteem ever improve?

Laura Kightlinger: Probably, because of things like The Secret and all these other books about affirmation, she’ll give it a shot I think, but it’s never going to last.

CraveOnline: Are you into that stuff?

Laura Kightlinger: No, I’ve just listened to it but what really made me laugh, I was at this party and this makes me think this woman is doing too many of these sort of tapes and stuff, books on tape, books about feeling proud of yourself. But we were lamenting our kind of broken relationships or failed relationships I should say. She said, “Well, the problem we had was my ex was conservative and shy but I’m dynamic.” That’s what she said. It really made me laugh, like oh, you’re dynamic. I thought you were a little chatty and coked up, but you’re dynamic. You just start saying your affirmations in conversations.

CraveOnline: They just find better words to describe their problems?

Laura Kightlinger: Yeah, I’m dynamic.

CraveOnline: Are you still scripting at the last minute, the night before it’s due?

Laura Kightlinger: Yeah, we do a lot while we’re shooting. Like we think, “Oh, come on, don’t we have something else?” Dave’s really great about that too, running in new jokes. And Jeremy Kramer runs in new jokes. I sometimes will have a new joke. I like to do like BW, time out with bad writing and we’ll try to figure out something snappier to say.

CraveOnline: But no one’s pressuring you to get ahead of yourself?

Laura Kightlinger: Everybody gets the scripts a week ahead but it’s kind of harder on the actors because we do change things while we’re shooting.

CraveOnline: Have you refined the tone or the humor this season?

Laura Kightlinger: No, I don’t think so. What do you mean by refined?

CraveOnline: Just after a year, finding what works and focusing on it. Most first seasons are totally unlike what the show becomes.

Laura Kightlinger: Yeah, I think we kind of explore maybe a few more kind of perverted venues. Like it got a little bit more out there on that stuff.

CraveOnline: How much of the show is based on your personal experiences?

Laura Kightlinger: I think like 85% and then the other 15 is the experience of a woman. We usually cull a lot of stories from what happened to us and our friends, so I’d say a lot of it is. I always feel like rejection is my petrol. That’s what keeps me going.

CraveOnline: Are there any Hollywood stories too awful for the show?

Laura Kightlinger: I have a story. I had written a few screenplays and I went in to meet a few producers. I’m not even sure who they were but anyway, this guy said, “We really like your screenplay a lot. The problem is it seems like it’s from a woman’s point of view.” Oh, shit, that’s what I forgot.

CraveOnline: Is a woman’s perspective on comedy really that different? Because I get it.

Laura Kightlinger: Right, no, I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, what I think works about the show or I’m hoping it does is I feel like it’s androgynous. We’re losers, men are losers. We can all relate. We’ve all made mistakes that are similar in just trying to get by or make some money or feel good about ourselves. Yeah, we’re not like talking about shoe shopping or anything. It’s a lot about getting laid and getting a job.

CraveOnline: Men and women can write equally bad material too.

Laura Kightlinger: Yeah, that’s for damn sure.

CraveOnline: Is there more of a market now for shows about women being politically incorrect?

Laura Kightlinger: I think in a way it’s a lot more realistic than some of the shows, like all the women on Sex and the City, which was a great show. They were kind of beautiful and kept themselves together. We’re I think more like real women. I think women become sometimes categorized and we’re always kind of in the same mold, like the dumb neighbor or submissive kind of wife. Dumb Neighbor, Submissive Wife, that’s a show. Anyway, that’s another thing too about this. Women can really be who they are. I’m about to say the F word, feminist. Often that word has such a negative connotation.

CraveOnline: Will Jackie ever succeed in Hollywood?

Laura Kightlinger: I think she will and then she’ll shoot herself in the foot within a week of it, whatever it is, if she gets a job or something. I had a job at Comedy Central and it got all the way down to the wire and then there was a new guy that took over and he wanted to say hello to everyone. I said, “Please, I beg you, I can’t go in there.” It was just a formality, blah blah blah. So then I met this guy and that was it. That was the end of the show. He’s like, “Nah, no one’s gonna like her, uh uh, that’s it.” So I think Jackie Woodman will probably have the same, somehow, coincidentally, the same thing.

CraveOnline: Returning for a second season, is there more pressure or less because you’re established?

Laura Kightlinger: I think there’s a lot less pressure. We have great directors this time like Mary Kay [Place] and Jonathan Corn. I think there’s a lot less pressure. We’re used to each other and we all know what the other person drinks so you don’t have to spend hours going over that.

CraveOnline: Do you have a bigger budget this year?

Laura Kightlinger: Oh boy, do we ever. Everybody wore my clothes on the last one. I think we might have a wardrobe budget this year.

CraveOnline: What in real life has struck you as funny in the last year?

Laura Kightlinger: Hmm. Of course I can’t think of anything right now. I was just bitching about something with my friend the other day and now I can’t remember what it was.

CraveOnline: Are there things you’d like to address that wouldn’t fit on the show?

Laura Kightlinger: Not really. I think we do just about everything as long as you kind of turn her back into herself at the end of it. I guess she could start believing in God but then maybe change her mind or feel let down or something.

CraveOnline: Growing up, did you get in trouble for having an irreverent, somewhat blue sense of humor?

Laura Kightlinger: Not really. I feel like I was always just, maybe because I have a single mom, I feel like I was always doing things to amuse myself so a lot of times I’d be saying things that I thought were funny things that nobody else thought were funny. So it was mostly just being uncool and trying to be funny and just having kids like, “You’re weird.”

CraveOnline: What’s your life like now?

Laura Kightlinger: Things are really good actually. I’m happy, I’m single, I’ve got four cats and a dog. Headed towards 60 cats probably and that’s about that. Just looking for another writing gig.

CraveOnline: Are you dating?

Laura Kightlinger: I am dating.

CraveOnline: Does having a hit show improve the quality of people?

Laura Kightlinger: No. In fact, I think I’ve got to go out and start picking people up after August 5.

CraveOnline: Do you think men are attracted to characters like Jackie?

Laura Kightlinger: I’m hoping they are. We wear a lot of low cut stuff.

Check out IFC’s official site for the The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman.