Hoffman embraces ‘Difficult’ role

Jackie Hoffman

The stage may be her bread and butter but Jackie Hoffman is proving to be a formidable presence on television, too.

Recently nominated for a supporting Emmy for her role as Joan Crawford’s stone-faced housekeeper Mamacita in FX’s spring series “Feud: Bette and Joan,” the actress whose resume boasts such Broadway hits as “Xanadu,” “Hairspray” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” gets to chew a little scenery as the caustic Rachel on Hulu’s third-season comedy “Difficult People.” And it’s a role she embraces.

“It’s me at my raunchiest and filthiest and meanest, so that’s a great feeling,” the 56-year-old native of Bayside in Queens, N.Y., explains. “I get to be myself, actually.”

In “People,” Hoffman stars in the recurring role of Rachel, the sister-in-law of aspiring-comic-without-a-clue Billy Epstein (series star and co-creator Billy Eichner) and the shrewish, controlling wife of his brother Garry. This places her opposite the actor who plays him, “Saturday Night Live” alum and current “Portlandia” star Fred Armisen, with whom she considers it a privilege to work.

“Oh, Fred’s killer,” the product of Chicago’s Second City says. “His character is completely the opposite of mine, a husband she can completely whip and wrap around her finger. So that’s fun to be able to do that and he’s just perfect at it. He’s an incredible being, that one … and he exudes a sweetness that I really like.”

Jacqueline Laura Hoffman

Full name: Jacqueline Laura Hoffman

Birth date: Nov. 29, 1960

Birthplace: Queens, N.Y.

TV credits include: “Soul Man,” “Strangers With Candy,” “Dilbert,” “Ed,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Hope & Faith,” “As the World Turns,” “30 Rock,” “One Life to Live,” “Raising Hope,” “Melissa & Joey,” “The New Normal,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “The Good Wife,” “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “Girls,” “American Dad!,” “Elementary,” “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”

Movie credits include: “Kissing Jessica Stein” (2001), “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde” (2003), “Garden State” (2004), “A Dirty Shame” (2004), “The Entrepreneurs” (2008), “The Sitter” (2011), “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” (2014), “5 Flights Up” (2014)

Stage credits include: “On the Town,” “Hairspray,” “Xanadu,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “A Chanukah Charol,” “The Gingerbread House,” “Straightjacket,” “Incident at Cobbler’s Knob,” “One Woman Shoe”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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