Pamela Adlon keeps reaching for ‘Better Things’

Writer-director-star’s seriocomic FX series returns for Season 3

Pamela Adlon of ‘Better Things’ Thursday on FX

Q: For the third season of “Better Things,” you’re again directing all of the episodes and writing or co-writing them, as well as starring in the show. Are you more acclimated to that heavy workload now?

A: I definitely am. I can get ahead of a lot of things because of the experience that I had the previous season. I do the math, so now I know it’s going to be 12 little movies if somebody makes that decision (to renew the series).

I know how to ask for what equipment I want, how to troubleshoot actors’ schedules … and how to enable everybody on the cast and crew to work at the highest frequency they can in the least amount of time, so that we can all go home at the end of the day.

Q: What makes you able to deal with so much at once?

A: My script supervisor will say, “I’d like to speak to Pamela the actor now.” And my first assistant director will come up to me and say, “I’d like to speak to Pamela the director now.”

There’s a danger of doing all the jobs so that you can be doing too much, so I know how to say, “Let’s sidebar that.” That’s one of my superpowers. You have to get to it, but there’s a time and place for everything, and you can’t juggle too much at one time.

Q: Your daughters Odessa (“Fam”) and Gideon (“The Mustang”) now have their own acting careers. Are you happy about that?

A: I love it when my kids have a purpose and a place to be. They’re working, and my other daughter is in high school.

I don’t believe in being one of those parents who says, “I want my kid to act.” They’re 21 and 18, and they can do whatever they want, but I just want them to be confident and healthy and to feel secure. And to allow themselves the space to fail and to keep going.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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