×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Actress Pamela Adlon on New FX Series ‘Better Things,’ Sundance Movie ‘First Girl I Loved’

Pamela Adlon — who got her start on shows that included “The Facts of Life,” and went on to voice Bobby Hill in “King of the Hill” — is co-creator (with Louis C.K.) and star of the FX series “Better Things,” which debuts Sept. 8. She can also be seen — or heard — this year in seven animated series and a film that debuted at Sundance, “First Girl I Loved.”

What was your big break?

When I think about my “big break,” I don’t think about my first job, because I was a child actor. I feel like things started turning around for me when I did [the 1996 film] “Bed of Roses.” That was right after my dad had passed away suddenly, and things started shifting for me. That film was a big deal for my career.

Do you prefer live action or voiceover acting?

I love being in the recording studio, just because it’s easier. I love it all, and I love being behind the camera, but doing voiceover is like the Holy Grail. It’s the greatest.

Do you feel like the television industry has changed since you first began acting?

Massively. I think about when I was younger, and the ways we had to shoot and film and edit ourselves. Now, when people say, “I have this idea and I want to shoot it,” there is nothing stopping them. You can do whatever you want. All you need is a cellphone camera. We’re entering the digital world, and I’ve seen the format changing.

“Better Things” is semi-autobiographical. How do you feel about audiences seeing a more vulnerable side to you?

It’s a huge gift to share your stories with people. Not everything is my personal story; it’s more about things I see in the world. But that’s the way to write. I see things and I draw inspiration from them. I think it’s an important thing for people to share with each other, particularly when women share with each other.

“First Girl I Loved” is about a young woman grappling with her sexual identity. How has the representation of such topics changed in film over the years?

It’s changed tremendously. I always say that my family is the gayest family I know. In my professional career, I had a very masculine presence. I’m very comfortable with ambiguity and with people switching genders and not having to point it out.

All of my friends and I have grown up in a very comfortable environment. In terms of film and TV, it’s just not a big fucking deal anymore. The representation is a big deal, but the fact that you don’t need to say anything or proclaim it anymore is much more important.

What you didn’t know about Pamela Adlon
AGE: 50; Hometown: New York; FAVORITE BOOK: “The Color Purple”; Favorite Album: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

More TV

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix Orders 'Queen Sono,' Its First African Original Series

    Netflix has ordered its first African original series, “Queen Sono,” a drama about a secret agent who fights crime while dealing with crises in her personal life. The series will launch globally in 2019. “Queen Sono” stars veteran South African actress Pearl Thusi, who tweeted in an emotional video Monday that she “cannot wait for…every woman on [...]

  • Outlander 406

    'Outlander' Recap: Jamie Encounters William Again in 'Blood of My Blood'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Blood Of My Blood,” the sixth episode of “Outlander” Season 4. The action in “Blood of My Blood” picked up almost immediately after the previous week’s episode, as evidenced by the fact that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) was still staying with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and [...]

  • The Flash -- "Elseworlds, Part 1"

    'Elseworlds, Part 1' Recap: Barry Allen and Oliver Queen Swap Skills, Visit Superman

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 1,” the first part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 9. After past crossovers that introduced beloved characters’ doppelgangers, a wedding and death, “Elseworlds,” the fifth annual “Arrowverse” event, had a lot to which to live up. Unlike previous years, [...]

  • Stranger Things

    'Stranger Things' Season 3 Teaser Reveals Episode Titles, 2019 Release

    Netflix dropped a new teaser for the upcoming third season of “Stranger Things” Sunday, confirming that it will land on the streamer in 2019. The teaser also revealed the episode titles for the third season, which are as follows: “Suzie, Do You Copy?,” “The Mall Rats,” “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,” “The Sauna Test,” [...]

  • Kyzza Terrazas Joins Garcia Bernal, Diego

    Kyzza Terrazas Joins Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Launching their new production house, La Corriente de Golfo, last April, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna have tapped Mexican writer-director Kyzza Terrazas as the company’s head of development. The appointment will certainly help build the company appointing an old-rounder capable of overseeing and implementing development, writing and directing, and a longtime [...]

  • Michael Che Defends Kevin Hart on

    Michael Che Ribs Academy Over Kevin Hart Controversy on 'SNL'

    Kevin Hart may have alienated some in Hollywood over his recently resurfaced homophobic tweets, but that didn’t stop “Weekend Update” co-host Michael Che from cracking some jokes in support of Hart on Dec. 8’s “Saturday Night Live.” After briefly recapping that Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after the 2011 tweets came to light, [...]

  • THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY

    'The Umbrella Academy' Superheroes Series Premiere Date Set on Netflix

    The dysfunctional-family superheroes of “The Umbrella Academy” are landing on Netflix worldwide on Feb. 15, 2019. The live-action series is based on the “Umbrella Academy” comic books created and written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, published by Dark Horse Comics. The Netflix original series comprises 10 one-hour episodes. “The Umbrella Academy” stars [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content