Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?
by Pete Keeley
“I really just thought that it was my time to transition into a multihyphenate, out of a single hyphenate,” says the heretofore writer-comedian about her bold play for the outstanding actress in a short-form comedy or drama Emmy.
[This story contains spoilers from the web series An Emmy for Megan.]
Megan Amram is ready to branch out.
The comedian — currently a writer-producer on NBC’s The Good Place who has also written episodes of Parks and Recreation, Silicon Valley and Kroll Show — can now add “director” and “lead actress” to her list of IMDb filter options thanks to her new, critically lauded web series An Emmy for Megan.
Released on April 27 — the deadline to qualify for September’s 70th Primetime Emmy Awards — An Emmy for Megan is a trenchant, insightful take on the reasons that Megan Amram deserves an Emmy. The series’ six, sub-15 minute episodes not only check off all the boxes in terms of what Amram needed to do to be considered for the outstanding actress in a short-form comedy or drama series category, but also these boxes: laughter (check), drama (check), edge-of-your-seat thrills (check).
Amram sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss her nascent acting career, her relationship with Good Place star D’Arcy Carden, and why hating her series should in no way preclude anyone from voting for it.
Why now? Why did it take so long for Megan Amram to throw her proverbial hat into the acting ring?
This is a great question. First of all, thank you so much for doing the press on this. This is all I’ve ever wanted. For me, it really came down to the fact that short-form categories are now part of the Emmy Awards and I feel like my real strength is short-form performances. Like, maybe I can’t carry a show, but under 15 minutes seemed like a real sweet spot for me.
There have always been a lot of Creative Arts categories that may have been ripe for, uh, “outsiders,” I guess, coming in. So why did the short-form category hold more appeal for you than say, outstanding commercial or outstanding lighting design?
Great question. I do watch the Emmys every year. Love them. I’ve been a couple times. I think that, well to just add to your first question. I have been performing onstage and in my own stuff for most of my life. But I really just thought that it was my time to transition into a multihyphenate, out of a single hyphenate writer-comedian.
But in terms of this category. Two of my dear friends, Ben Schwartz and Lauren Lapkus, were both nominated for Emmys last year, [and] I thought their series [The Earliest Show] was hilarious, and I was very excited to see my friends nominated, which sort of brought it to my attention, and I hadn’t realized that you could be recognized for more comedic acting — even though I obviously do both comedic and very serious acting in my series.
But I think that this was a real showcase for a lot of different skills that I have, whereas with commercial, I’d only show my ability to sell a product, which I imagine I’d be amazing at. But this let me do comedic and dramatic acting and show off my musical skills and allowed me to write and direct at the same time. So I had full creative control….