ensemble comedy


Ariel Winter (born Ariel Winter Workman, January 28, 1998) is an American actress, singer, and voice actress. She is best known as Alex Dunphy in the TV series Modern Family, as well as the voice of the title character in the Disney Junior show Sofia the First. Winter and her Modern Family castmates have won four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Orange Is The New Black wins Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series SAG Awards 2017.


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series [x]

John Lithgow - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series 
Claire Foy - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series [x]


mrbenjaminlaw: We won! So bloody gutbustingly proud of our #TheFamilyLaw actors, nominated alongside our friends and legends at Please Like Me, Rosehaven, No Activity and Upper Middle Bogan. Here’s to our screens stayin’ SWAMPED.

kimietsuka: We won an award for an Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the #MEAA #equityawards!!! Love love love #thefamilylaw team and thank you MEAA! Also thank you photo booth for that last picture - HOW?!

shuhu_: Just when they thought they wouldn’t be able to cast an Australian show with 90% Asian cast. They were wrong. Congrats #thefamilylaw for our ensemble cast win! We worked hard for it! @ausequityfoundation #winning #diversity #giveyellowago

superstarmech  asked:

I was wondering, for the DuckTales reboot are we gonna see a fair balance of spotlight upon each member of the Duck Family? Everything we have seen so far looks AMAZING, but there's always that dreadful feeling on the back of my mind of networks thinking something like "Let's focus on the nephews all the time and hardly on Scrooge, because that's totally what the hip kids of today like!" Is Scrooge still gonna be front and center-ish?

This is the story of a family; the weird, big, insane Duck family of Duckburg and how they function as a family. As such, everybody gets a spotlight. It’s an ensemble comedy and we treat it as such.


Elizabeth Rodriguez, Selenis Leyva, Diane Guerrero, and Jackie Cruz, co-winners of the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series award for ‘Orange Is the New Black, pose in the press room during the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California

mrbenjaminlaw: Bloody proud of our #TheFamilyLaw cast – nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for the 7th Annual Equity Ensemble Awards (alongside our mates at No Activity, Please Like Me, Rosehaven and Upper Middle Bogan)! If you’re in Asia, we’re also now screening across the region (Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand) on @comedycentralasia on Tuesday nights. And Aussie viewers, Series 2 is just around the corner on @sbs_australia. We promise. Hold onto your butts.


White characters are seen as more universal, and that’s got to change.

Tracy Oliver is a 30-year-old screenwriter who has written for the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and the Starz show Survivor’s Remorse. She co-wrote the upcoming movie Barbershop: The Next Cut with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, and has several projects, including two movies with Universal and a Misty Copeland series with Fox, in development. She got her BA from Stanford University in 2008 and her MFA from the University of Southern California in 2010.

“Why do you feel the need to write black characters so often?” she asked, leaving the all-too-familiar question, on its surface friendly enough in tone, hanging in the air like a fetid accusation.

“I’m sorry, do you ask white writers that?”

As soon as the words came out of my mouth and this woman turned beet red in the face, I realized I had just changed the tone of the meeting. The “nice to meet you” smiles and pleasantries fell away, shit had just gone from 0 to 100. Real quick. Honestly, I’d surprised myself by going there. It’s not like she was the first person to ask me that question. It’s not like I came in there with the intention of telling this woman about herself. I really hadn’t planned on coming to this meeting and taking my metaphorical hoop earrings off. I guess something in me just … snapped. I was angry at the absurdity of her question, the audacity of her question, but mostly, angry that she was totally oblivious to how and why her question was so offensive in the first place.

Let me back up. I snagged a meeting with this development executive in 2011 because I had written a feature film script that my reps were sending around town. The script, an ensemble romantic comedy centered on several black female characters, was getting a lot of positive reads at various places. At the time, I was also writing, producing, and acting in the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The show had just started getting attention and many publications were featuring it. Between the two projects, I was beginning to establish myself as an interesting new voice in Hollywood. More specifically, I was establishing myself as a voice for stories primarily about black women and other women of color.

As a black woman, I didn’t mind being known for that. In fact, my place in that category was something I was and still am proud of. When Viola Davis made history last year as the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama, her acceptance speech reminded me of why I started writing in the first place. Davis said, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Davis was absolutely right. Her words resonated with me deeply, especially as someone whose interest in writing began with my frustrations with the lack of juicy roles available to me as an actor, which is how I got my start in entertainment.

Maybe I was on my Angela Davis that day, but by the time I got to this meeting with this particular exec, I’d had it up to here. Back to my question:

“I’m sorry, do you ask white writers that?”


How ‘Silicon Valley’ Star Zach Woods Makes Each Character His Own
Zach Woods in ‘Silicon Valley’ (Photo: HBO)

Successful character actors owe their careers to a number of factors. But Silicon Valley star Zach Woods tells Yahoo TV that he can trace his gainful employment to one primary source: casting director Allison Jones, who has filled out the ensembles for such beloved comedies as The Good Place and Freaks and Geeks. And as a major Freaks and Geeks geek, Woods already knew of Jones’s importance in helping bring that show’s cast together. So when the New Jersey-born, Upright Citizens Brigade-trained actor landed his first major role in Veep creator Armando Iannucci’s 2009 political satire In the Loop, his one wish was for the film to somehow find its way onto Jones’s stack of tapes. “I remember thinking, ‘What if she saw this film, liked me, and it led to other work?’ And that literally happened!”

Not long after In the Loop‘s release, Woods met with Jones, who encouraged him to move out to Los Angeles despite his lack of housing or employment. “She was my Los Angeles guardian angel,” he says now. “She said outright, ‘I’m going to help you.’ I owe a lot to that woman.”

Woods on ‘Veep’ (Photo: HBO)

Not only did Jones allow Woods to crash at an empty condo she owned for minimal rent, she also arranged for him to join the cast of NBC’s The Office as Gabe Lewis, the towering, socially-awkward corporate liaison between Sabre and Dunder Mifflin. And that role did indeed lead to other work, including memorable appearances on Veep, Playing House, and Silicon Valley, where Woods is part of a killer comic ensemble that includes Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani and Martin Starr.

Now in its fourth season, HBO’s Silicon Valley follows the constantly rising and falling fortunes of a disruptive tech company, Pied Piper, and its brilliant, but hapless creator, Richard Hendricks (Middleditch). Woods plays Jared, who left the lush confines of the show’s Google-like Internet monolith, Hooli, to be part of this quixotic start-up. “The way I think about Silicon Valley is that it’s a Pinocchio story for Jared,” Woods explains. “He was Hooli’s puppet, but then Richard came and made him a real boy. The arc of his character, for me, is discovering new parts of humanity.”

In Season 4, for example, Jared will learn all about losing a loved one… not to death, but to unemployment. “Richard leaves the company in the very first episode,” Woods says. “That’s an earthquake for Jared, and as the season goes on, Richard has a moral crisis that Jared has a difficult time dealing with.” We spoke with Woods about being a character actor in the comedy world, and why he never watched an episode of Friends or Family Matters growing up.

Martin Starr, Woods, and Kumail Nanjiani on ‘Silicon Valley’ (Photos: HBO)

In chatting with various character actors for this week-long tribute, it’s been interesting to hear when their paths to character actor-dom began. When did you realize you were headed in this direction?
It’s weird, because with my Herculean build, you’d think I’d be action movie material! [Laughs] Strangely, the marketplace has denied my obvious physical prowess. It’s more exciting to me, this idea of getting to play characters that are strange or more like actual people that I know. I sometimes feel like the leading man parts I see are a generic masculinity, which obviously doesn’t work for me. I’m glad to get to play the weird gargoyles and freaks.

You’re generally cast as a very specific type of character — the looming, awkward guy — but you’ve found ways to hit new notes within each of your roles.
I try to think of each character as its own individual thing. It’s the casting department’s job to put the character into a particular area physically or vocally. They’re going to cast someone who fits those certain specifications, but if I start thinking about my type, that’s just a recipe for a sort of reiterative performance where you’re doing the same thing again and again. I try to think about what each character loves and fears, because even with characters that are externally similar, their interior lives can be really different. For example, with Jared on Silicon Valley, he’s madly, deeply, hopelessly in love with Richard and the company, and fears letting them down. And on The Office, Gabe loved the idea of being powerful, and feared reality basically.

Do you ever express those decisions to the writers and directors on set, or just embed it in your performance?
Sometimes it’s a conversation, but more often than not they just want you to make choices. I also improvise a lot as a way of finding the character, and that’s a good way of having a conversation with the writers. If you’re improvising, even if they don’t end up using it, they can see what’s of interest to you about the character and then incorporate it more heavily into the script. That’s especially true on Silicon Valley; they write a joke you love, so you improvise from that joke and they see your interest in that area. And if it’s interesting to them, too, they’ll expand on it. It’s a nice back and forth.

Woods and Thomas Middleditch on ‘Silicon Valley’ (Photos: HBO)

When I spoke with Thomas Middleditch last year, he said that the entire Silicon Valley cast loves watching you improvise.
Jesus, that’s so nice! Well, Thomas is a force. Richard is such a cerebral character, but he plays it so physically. His body when he plays that character is totally different from his body in real life. I love that guy, so I’m glad he likes it. You sometimes worry when you’re improvising about whether it’s some kind of masturbatory self-indulgence. So I’m glad that Thomas Middleditch approves if no one else! [Laughs]

Are there any characters actors you look too for inspiration or guidance in your own career?
I would never compare myself to this person, but a character actor I admire is John Cazale. He played Fredo in The Godfather and was also in The Deer Hunter and Dog Day Afternoon. [Cazale passed away in 1978.] Those are not comedies, but I think he’s so funny in The Godfather when he’s introducing Michael Corleone to Moe Green, and Michael is rude to him. Cazale goes: [imitating Fredo’s voice] “Michael, you do not talk to a man like Moe Green like that!” He’s such a desperate clown, and so sympathetic, you know? I just love Cazale. I have a shirt that’s made up of his face with all five of his movies; each slice of his face is a different movie.

Having worked primarily in comedies, have you noticed a difference in what’s required for creating a character career in that genre versus dramas?
You just have to be wary. You don’t want to turn into a shtick machine, and you don’t want to shrink yourself to a collection of external clichés. That’s the thing to keep an eye on. Someone told me once that comedy is basically made up of archetypes that have existed forever. If you watch successful sitcoms, you can reduce them to the same five archetypes that existed in old Italian plays from the Renaissance. That’s true in a way, but the challenge is to not be a generic archetype — to find some specificity in it. In the comedies I really like, the actors are basically playing it as drama. When you can feel someone working really hard to land a joke, it can be really alienating as an audience member. So I try to play it as though this is real stuff that’s actually happening, and these are just peculiar people as opposed to leaning on the comedy with a capital K.

Lennon Parham, Jessica St. Clair and Woods on ‘Playing House’ (Photo: Michael Yarish/USA Network)

How do you think your particular approach to comedy would have fared on the more traditional sitcoms of the ’80s and ’90s when you were growing up?
Not as well! [Laughs] I’m very lucky. I started at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York in the early 2000s, back when it was this tiny black box theater that no one cared about. It used to be a porn theater, so people would periodically show up there thinking there was still porn there. It could not have been less on the grid. As I’ve grown up, though, the theater has spread its tentacles, and now when I go to see mainstream comedies, it’s all people I know and took improv with! This alternative comedy has worked its way into mainstream sitcoms and movies, and that chronology is perfect for me. I don’t think I would have done as well on Everyone Loves Raymond. That show’s funny, but it’s just not my wheelhouse.

What were the shows that defined your comic sensibility early on?
I loved Freaks and Geeks, so working with Martin Starr now is just amazing. And that’s an example of someone who really plays a character with his whole heart. He’s not making fun of [Gilfoyle], he’s committing to it and that’s so funny. I also always really loved the British Office, Office Space, and old Christopher Guest movies. The fact that I’ve gotten to do the American Office, and work with Mike Judge and Martin on a daily basis is the most incredible and surprising bit of wish-fulfillment. I feel bewildered and delighted by it.

It’s interesting that, even as a kid, you weren’t into mainstream shows like Friends.
Not really! I never saw Friends and I haven’t seen that much Seinfeld. My parents were really intense about TV, and didn’t want us watching it, really. So I missed out. When people talk about that episode of Full House or Family Matters they grew up watching, I really have no idea. I’m like, “Do you want to hear about this old, weird British one act play I was reading when I wasn’t allowed to watch TV? I can also quote Lost in Yonkers!” [Laughs]

Silicon Valley airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.

Read more from Yahoo TV:
‘Silicon Valley’ Review: Innovation vs. Integrity, With Laughs
TV’s Top 20 Character Actors Working Today
How Hall of Fame Character Actor Stephen Tobolowsky Approaches Each Role