We’re six days into 2020 and can already feel what a momentous year this will be for entertainment. Taking part in this year-for-the-books is Erinn Hayes, who you will soon see on Medical Police, which premieres on January 10 on Netflix. We talked with Hayes about reprising her Childrens Hospital role on Police, as well as her upcoming role in Bill and Ted Face the Music. Her comedic prowess will continue to shine as we enter a new decade.
The Tidbit: You recently wrapped on Bill & Ted Face the Music. What can you tell us about the project and your character?
Erinn Hayes: Being a part of the new Bill and Ted movie was a surreal experience for sure. Like most people, I’ve seen the first two movies multiple times and loved them so getting the opportunity to hop on this project and have scenes with the guys was a dream. I play Princess Elizabeth, the wife of Keanu Reeves’ character, Ted, who time travelled from 1600’s England to have a life in current day San Dimas. You know, that old classic. Jayma Mays, who plays Bill’s wife, and I had multiple discussions early on about what kind of English accent we should actually have since we didn’t want to sound too modern. Interestingly, some scholars have said that English people of that time probably sounded a bit like our modern day Bostonians, so we threw in a few “wicked awesomes” for fun. That last part is not true, we just said the lines in the script.
Probably the most interesting, but not totally unexpected, part of working on this movie was finding out which of my friends are obsessed with Keanu Reeves. I’ve never in my life had more people check in on me and ask me about a project and a costar. One friend required daily updates. His allure is beyond what we mere humans can comprehend.
TT: You’ll be reprising your Childrens Hospital character, Dr. Lola Spratt, on the spin-off, Medical Police. What can Childrens fans look forward to with the spin-off?
EH: Childrens Hospital fans are going to love Medical Police! It’s the same world, same cast of characters mostly, and the same comedic tone only now it’s a half hour show with an actual plot. Rob Huebel and myself play lovable idiots Lola Spratt and Owen Maestro, who are tasked with travelling the globe to solve a worldwide medical mystery. There’s so much stupid shit that will make you giggle and then there’s also bad ass action sequences. It was the most fun to film and there’s something in it for everyone, even if you’ve never seen Childrens Hospital.
TT: You’re no stranger to the screen. What has been the most memorable project/role for you so far?
EH: Not to be repetitive, but Childrens Hospital has been the highlight of my career so far. We would shoot 14 episodes in 6 weeks and it always felt like comedy camp. I’m in awe of the talent that Rob Corddry brought together and getting a chance to go to work and be entertained by such skilled comedians was an experience I feel extremely lucky to have had. Plus, having no continuity episode to episode meant that each one could be as creative, weird and silly as the writers wanted. We played with genres and acting styles, did movie and TV parodies, and all at a pace that never let you get bored. I’m just so glad it found an audience and also so grateful that now it gets to live again in a new form. I would play dummy doctor Lola Spratt until I’m 80 if given the chance.
TT: What advice do you have for people looking to break into the entertainment industry?
EH: I certainly wish someone had told me, when I moved out here 20 years ago and started working, to let go of the story of my own success I had in my mind. Let go of the expectations of how and when you’re going to succeed and what that looks like. For me, thinking success would come when I achieved a certain role, agent, or deal made me a bit complacent and I don’t think I did everything I could’ve possibly done to get where I wanted. I sat back thinking the team would work hard for me and, in retrospect, I stopped hustling. Don’t wait. Do everything you can think of, do everything you’re interested in, and in the beginning, be a part of every project you possibly can no matter the level. You never know what you’ll get from it, even if it’s just a knowledge of what not to do when you’re in charge.
The other piece of advice is self care, self care, self care. This profession comes with a million pounds of rejection and it gets piled on top of you slowly until it can feel very heavy and overwhelming and can eat into your sense of self-worth. When you get rejected professionally let yourself mourn the losses for a brief period of time so that you can then shake them off and move on. I carry a small piece of paper in my wallet that has the names of people I love and who love me and believe in me. I look at it sometimes to remind myself that I have all that love in my life and this small rejection can’t touch that. You can’t let your only validation come from whether or not you’re working and being told you’re good enough by people in hiring positions. That’s a dangerous place to live your life.
TT: What are you most looking forward to in 2020? Any resolutions?
EH: Professionally, I can’t wait for Bill and Ted Face the Music to come out and to see what being part of a hugely anticipated movie will be like. Also, I’m so excited for people to see Medical Police, which will be available on Netflix in January.
Personally, I’m hoping to plan a nice vacation with our family now that our kids are old enough that they’ll remember and appreciate travelling.
Resolution wise, I never make them! I don’t like setting myself up for disappointment, there’s enough disappointment in the world already. I’m gonna go easy on myself. Although it would be nice, I guess, if I didn’t swear so much.
[Erinn Hayes photo courtesy: Tiziano Lugli]