‘Pen15’s’ Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle on Why Hulu Comedy Is Ending

Maya Erskine and Anna Kunkle know what ‘Pen15’ fans are thinking – that the two ended their hit Hulu series after two seasons only because things got too complicated to do more due to COVID. That was at least some speculation online when they announced the news.

“It looks like that from the outside,” Kunkle said on this week’s episode of the podcast “Just for Variety.”

Especially after the last season was split into two parts, called 2A and 2B. “We talked about it a little bit, a while ago, out of three seasons,” Kunkle explains. “And the confusing part is that this is unfortunately called 2B, and it’s not our choice. In our minds, it’s season 3. So seasons is the term. Parts 2A and 2B were always supposed to be separate before COVID happened.”

But they didn’t quite close the door on the series, which stars Erskine and Kunkle, both 34, as middle school commuting teenagers. Their co-stars are teenage actors. “I also think it was the biggest franchise in the world to do. Also showcasing, acting, writing and producing, I couldn’t imagine anything better,” says Kunkel. “And it’s also like 15 hours a day for years. We conceived the idea 10 years ago. So now is the time and if we feel inspired in the future, we will do more.”

Currently, the future includes Erskine’s appearance in the “Star Wars” series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” on Disney Plus, and Konkle’s completion of her long-awaited memoir.

Erskine’s mother, Motsuko, played her mother in the series and is now auditioning for further work. “She just made a callback to something, but she texted me and she’s really acting like I do after auditions: ‘I was awful in the room. “It definitely wouldn’t go my way,” Erskine says. “I helped her make the tape. I think it was great….She doesn’t seek outright [an acting career], but every now and then through my agents, they are very cute even though I test it out. She needs actors if anyone is listening.”

Erskine and Kunkle gave birth earlier this year.

Kunkel says being a new mom is one reason her memoir isn’t coming as quickly as she originally planned. “Just balancing [post-production] This new maternity job is also very challenging. “And pumping and breastfeeding, healing the vagina, changing the body—it’s the real deal. Kneel to everyone who’s done it before us.”

No one can blame her for wanting to spend her time getting her book right. She says she will deal with the secrets she was once ashamed of. “The memoirs are also the only things I’ve read,” Kunkel says. “And it was very healing for me, for the first time, to read about people who possess their shame and their secrets in a very funny way. … There was some healing also from seeing those people not dying in the street. They lived and had the strength to write it, and to talk about it in a shrewd way. , so that I can look it up and say, “Ah, well, I can be okay. I can be fine too. “

Listen to the full interview with Erskine and Kunkle above. You can also find “Just for Variety” on Apple Podcasts or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

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