“She-Hulk”: Renée Elise Goldsberry to join the Disney + Marvel series
With over two decades as an outstanding performer on television and on stage, Renée Elise Goldsberry has found success as a must-have actress, elevating everything she has worked on from A life to live at The good woman. But after playing on Broadway Hamilton, the Tony-winning actress has had the opportunity to show off her skills even more with a host of projects that include a solo album and a stint in the upcoming Marvel series. She-Hulk.
Goldsberry hits another career high as hysterically egotistical Wickie Roy in Girls5Eva, Meredith Scardino and Tina Fey’s Girl Band Revival 90s Comedy for Peacock.
DEADLINE: How was Girls5Eva offered to you?
RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY: I think that’s a good word, “gift”. I don’t know if you can say much more about a show created by Meredith Scardino (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and executive produced by Tina Fey (30 Rock). They also had Sara Bareilles tied up already, so it was a trifecta for me. And then I read the pilot’s script, it was such a big, bright, beautiful representation of what they dreamed of. And I liked it so much because it was just so funny.
“She-Hulk”: Renée Elise Goldsberry to join the Disney + Marvel series
DEADLINE: Your character’s name, Wickie Roy, is pretty amazing.
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: It is so good. If I had known this earlier in my career, maybe my name would be Wickie Roy and I would probably be a lot better. I found out at the end of the season, when Meredith Scardino’s sister came to visit, that Wickie is the nickname their father uses.
DEADLINE: Wickie has such a special sense of self. Have you tried to take what was in the script any further?
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: There is always room to go a little further. I remember having this idea that a person who is desperately trying to stand out among a group of people might hate having to always sing in a group. And the way she might get more attention is to sing a little longer than everyone else. So, yeah, they let me riffle a little longer than anyone else at the end of the songs and let me be that obnoxious. It was all already built into the formula – they just let me play.
DEADLINE: What did the first board read to you look like?
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: Terrible! My own journey with Wickie kind of matched the character journey in that I felt really good about myself, being a part of the show and how awesome I was going to be. And then we read the first chart on Zoom, I left the meeting and waited for them to call me and fire me. It was so hard to find Wickie on Zoom because there is this delay and I couldn’t give them the humor that was in their script. So, yeah, I accuse the medium of what my mom calls “telecons” [laughs]. Luckily, they’re forgiving and they thought we were going to show up in person and do their brilliant script justice.
DEADLINE: What was it like filming this series in the midst of a pandemic?
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: We literally met all four of us on set, our hair and makeup, and even then we had masks. We were only able to remove our masks between the action and the cut, but let me tell you how happy we were. I think that’s why there is such ridiculous joy in the scenes, because we were so happy that we could look at each other without any Covid police coming in and saying, ‘Cover up’. It has been lifesaving to be able to remember how nice it is to connect with people who are not my husband and my children. And it was saving to be able to meet again, fall in love with each other and laugh.
DEADLINE: The number of flashbacks for this show is insane.
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: It was really fun. The nature of the show is unique because we go back in time ridiculously to do flashbacks, just because we said a line that acknowledged something that had happened in the past.
DEADLINE: Do you have any favorite flashbacks?
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: Each time we had to go back and be 20 – once I got over the fact that I looked nothing like what I was when I was 20, and I keep moving. I remembered the joy and optimism of those days. You know, where you actually thought your dreams were all going to come true and how just being in a girl group made you want to laugh. It was really healthy to wear it for those few minutes.
But if I had to pick a particular gag, we spent a tremendous amount of time trying to figure out the appropriate level of comedy in a music video released on September 10, titled “Quit Flying Planes at My Heart.” We spent all this time doing our little dance steps in our flight attendant uniforms, and everyone was really uncomfortable, asking, “Is this too far?” Are we ready to laugh about it for now? “
DEADLINE: Which immediately recalls the amount of crazy songs Girls5Eva had to sing.
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: “Dream Girlfriends” was already one of our favorites because it had the most ridiculously hilarious lyrics in the world. They doubled so hard on these songs. Meredith Scardino is a very great lyricist. If she was shy at first, she got over it because the hilarity when she and [EP] Jeff Richmond is unchecked, it’s just great. If you haven’t listened to the full version of “The Splingee”, you’ve been missing out on something delicious.
DEADLINE: Did playing Wickie seep into your own personality after a while?
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: I have a furtive suspicion that if I let my kids watch the show they’d be like, “What’s the problem because it’s you anyway, minus the fact that you have never looked so beautiful? ” [laughs]. I’ll be honest. I have been in a lot of girl groups in my life. I was on Ally McBeal with two beautiful women, Sy Smith and Vatrena King, being essentially a “uh-huh” girl in matching outfits. And I was a Schuyler sister.
No matter how adorable and sweet a person is like I believe, you always wonder, “How do I end up in the midst of these three girls?” I’ve always repressed it because I love other girls so much, and obviously it’s so unattractive to fight for the limelight. But when we were shooting the music video for “Famous 5eva”, James, our choreographer, put Wickie in the back. And I remember thinking, “Oh no, Wickie can’t be in the back. So, at the end of the video, Wickie is in the center of the front with his hands up. Clearly, Ashley [Park] is the best dancer of the five, but Wickie finds a way to pose in the middle of this number.
DEADLINE: did you work on the daytime soap opera A life to live prepare for the roles you have taken on lately?
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: The day was my best training ground. Your character is blind for a week, then tracked down by a serial killer. Either way, the most important lesson I’ve learned in a soap opera, and it’s certainly at stake here, is how to consistently win at the rooting factor level. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for making the audience root for you. So I always learned whatever I do, I had to make sure someone understood what my character was doing. Even if she did something wrong, audiences would love her on some level.
And it has to happen for Wickie, because she’s so self-centered. It’s his fault that this band broke up in the first place, and it could be so unforgivable. But you have to love her and put down roots so that she understands everything. And when she figures it out by the end of the season, there’s no limit to what she and this girl group can do. That’s what’s exciting about Season 2.
DEADLINE: Is it official?
ELISE GOLDSBERRY: It’s not official, but let me tell you, I’m so proud of this company and this show. I would be so shocked. I mean, you should come find me and get me out of my mind if we don’t do a second season of the show. It is so good and wonderful. I don’t know why you wouldn’t keep watching these women take over the world.