‘At Home With Amy Sedaris’ – Unhinged character fun for Escola
Cole Escola likes to play it dark.
As Chassie Tucker, the former pastry chef turned TV contributor on truTV’s homemaking show spoof “At Home With Amy Sedaris,” which returns for its second season Tuesday, Feb. 19, the 31-year-old New York-based actor fairly disappears into the skin of a troubled young woman whose disturbed layers peel away like an onion’s with every episode.
“I would just say that word – she’s troubled,” Escola explains. “Everywhere she goes, she causes trouble. She’s attracted to trouble. She attracts trouble. It almost makes no sense. Like clearly, she must have something on Amy because otherwise she would just be fired but I guess she has some dark secret on Amy because, yeah, she’s sticking around.”
Sedaris and series co-creator Paul Dinello wrote the character of Chassie strictly with Escola in mind. He had worked with her before, on the 2005 theatrical comedy “Strangers With Candy,” and like Sedaris, he’s a master at creating characters. He even has a large wig collection to prove it.
So naturally, to create Chassie’s look Escola started with the hair.
“I wanted her to have red hair because that to me says trouble,” he explains, “and I was sort of inspired by the slutty neighbor on ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ the one that brings the ambrosia salad. … I loved ‘The Flintstones’ movie so Wilma’s hair – Elizabeth Perkins’ hair – and a little bit of Patrick Swayze in ‘To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.’ And all of those hairstyles are fairly similar and I just sort of feel like there’s a common thread between those characters and those women that I liked.”
As for what’s ahead for Chassie in Season 2, Escola says we’ll learn more about her troubled past as the layers drop away.
“The more information we learn about her, the less her life makes any sense at all,” he says. “And we get to learn a bit more about where she’s from, like her family. We get to meet her family and that’s a pretty fun episode.”
“I am hyper-aware that it’s probably one of the most fun things that I’ll ever get to do,” he says of the character, “especially because it’s Amy and everyone loves working with her and it’s just as fun as it looks, which is not always the case.”