Femme on Fire: Katie Aselton

By Michael J. Lockhart

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As our very own Playbook has proclaimed over the last month, it’s football season once again, and as America’s top teams rise from their Tebow praying to get back on the field, countless fantasy leagues, both new and experienced, are once again jostling for cash, fame and glory.

When it comes to fantasy football, no other show on television describes the intensity of this cherished pastime as well as FX’s hit comedy The League, where our newest woman to watch reins in the testosterone and proves once and for all that a gorgeous girl can easily slap her opponents’ draft leagues aside and be crowned the champion of the field goals and line markers.

Following a tremendous start for her year premiering her new feature thriller Black Rock, our latest Femme on Fire, the incredible Katie Aselton, sat down to chat with us about her hilarious show, hanging with the boys and the terrors which keep her up at night.

Playboy.com: So the NFL ref lockout was just resolved. You must be relieved.

Aselton: I don’t know, [laughs] the replacement refs were kind of fun to watch.

Playboy.com: The League returns tomorrow; what can you tell our audience who might not have caught it in the past?

Aselton: It’s about a group of friends who don’t like each other very much, and fantasy football is their thing. But you don’t need to know about fantasy football to love the show. I think what’s so awesome is that you’re watching the inter-dynamics of a group of friends who have known each other forever. It’s the one show on television where friends talk to each other the way that friends actually talk to each other...or at least my friends. [laughs]

Playboy.com: Tell us about your character, Jenny.

Aselton: Jenny is a total guy’s girl. She is more comfortable hanging with the boys than with the ladies — she can definitely hold her own. She’s pretty badass, she’s sassy, she’s strong — I dig her a lot. I’d totally be friends with Jenny.

Playboy.com: How similar are you to Jenny?

Aselton: Pretty similar…but not as good at fantasy football. [laughs] I enjoy calling people on their shit. But on the fantasy side, I’m not that well-endowed, so to speak.

*Playboy.com: *Do the actors play in a league off set?

Aselton: We do! As well as with the creators of the show. Even though I just said that I’m not that great at fantasy football, I won the first year. But the one thing that I learned about fantasy football is that you don’t have to be good at it to win. Or to know what the hell you’re doing. I’m super competitive, and that’s another thing I have in common with Jenny.

Playboy.com: Your husband is your costar on the show; are you completely comfortable screwing him over in fantasy?

Aselton: Absolutely. It’s a great joy.

Playboy.com: Is this money-based?

*Aselton: *We talked about doing it money-based, but I was like, “Guys, let’s not do that. A thousand dollars a head is crazy.” And then I won. “Remember when we said we were going to do it for money?” But yeah, the prize would be all mine; it’s an individual sport.

Playboy.com: You have a foul-mouthed kid named Ellie on The League. If your real-life kids started mouthing off like that, how would you react?

*Aselton: *I would help them hone it more than Ellie. I think profanity is great as long as it is smart profanity. But it has to be the right place and the right time; they can’t tell their teacher to fuck off.

Playboy.com: Being the sole female lead in a male-dominated cast, what’s your biggest complaint about them and what is theirs about you?

Aselton: My biggest complaint about them is that that they’re sometimes super hard on me. They [don’t] pull their punches with me, which I super appreciate because it has made me stronger, but these guys are so smart and acerbic that if I’m having a vulnerable day, I’m like “God dammit, guys, take it easy.” Their biggest complaint about me is that I’m just so funny.

Playboy.com: The show is very off-the-cuff, especially Jenny. How much improvisation are we seeing?

Aselton: I would say 97 percent of the show is improvised; what we’re given is outlines of the scenes. Within the outlines is a lot of information that we have to get out there, so there is definitely lines that are in there. We have all the freedom in the world. You don’t see that anywhere (on television) except for Curb [Your Enthusiasm] which is where [creator] Jeff [Schaffer] comes from.

Playboy.com: You have a thriller, Black Rock, that premiered at Sundance. What can you tell us about it?

Aselton: It’s a super fun girl-driven thriller — sort of in the vein of Deliverance, but with girls. I don’t [usually] like thrillers; they give me serious anxiety. But I loved the idea of a girl telling the story — and fast-paced and scary. It was challenging as an actress/director.

Playboy.com: How different was directing this from your debut, The Freebie?

Aselton: It was as different as you can get. Freebie was a fun experiment; Black Rock was very different — the scale was much larger, we had a bigger crew, actors whose names you actually recognized. We were shooting in really crazy environments: we were on the coast of Maine, so it was super cold in June. We were in the water and it was hypothermic. It was 95 percent exterior shots — it was trying for sure. We are releasing in March 2013!

Playboy.com: What horror films make you cringe?

Aselton: They totally make me anxious, they don’t even have to be scary — The Others totally terrified me. Blair Witch was one that killed me, and I saw an advance screening of it after one of the first viral campaigns. I was sitting in the middle seat of the middle row, and I was in tears thinking that these poor people have parents who are seeing this. I felt like such an asshole afterwards. I’m still mad at that movie. I’m pretty sure Fortress gave me claustrophobia. And The Descent scared the shit out of me; why would there be white people, little albino people — why?! It’s totally creepy.

Playboy.com: How did you tell your husband you were speaking with us?

Aselton: I got real obnoxious and told everyone I was posing in Playboy...and it got to my grandfather, who got really uncomfortable. My husband told me to go put my grandfather’s mind at ease.

Playboy.com: Lightning Round:

Drink: Dirty vodka martini with a splash of Tabasco.

Food: Filet — rare.

Shot: Ooh, tequila.

Secret Talent: I can flare my nostrils; I can wiggle my ears.

Dream Car: I kind of dig my Land Rover.

Radio Hit: …“Call Me Maybe”! I have a four-year-old, we dance to it.

Embarrassing Moment: Previous answer.

Guilty Pleasure: There’s a lot…probably massages.

First Playboy: My first Playboy I found in my boyfriend’s apartment. I was like, “What?” I think I blocked it out [the cover model].

The League airs Thursdays at 10:30/10c on FX. Follow Katie on Twitter @Duplaselton


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