Cover story: X Questions: Charlyne Yi

By | October 6, 2010

Brand X Daily

Leave it to Charlyne Yi to go from “Knocked Up” to would-be Freddie Mercury. The comedienne, best known for a brief but memorable role in the Judd Apatow comedy and a star turn in “Paper Heart,” a 2009 semi-documentary about her are-they-or-aren’t-they romance with fellow awkward actor Michael Cera, has turned her attentions to music. She’s playing in two bands, one serious (The Old Lumps, named after a friend’s dog) and one less so –- that’d be Flesh (the Racist Crayon) — and this Friday, she’ll use her monthly night at the UCB Theater to pay homage to one-hit wonders-turned-pop-lifers Hanson. (Mercury and his band, Queen, sit at the top of her influences in all departments: “I wrote a script about Queen but I don’t know if it’s going to get made.”)

BX: On Friday, you’re doing this Hanson show at UCB — is it going to be the adorable “MMMBop” Hanson or, like, old, 2010 Hanson?

CY: Everyone who’s playing a Hanson member is in a band. We’re going to each pick two songs. I’m picking some old songs that I really like because I think we all secretly love the first Hanson album. I know Roxy [Radulesco], from Rad Magic, she’s going to play one of the new songs because she secretly really loves it. We’re going to try some comedy bits. Casey [Trela, of High Ho Silver Oh] and Roxy have never done comedy on stage, they just mainly have bands, so we’re going to experiment with that. I’m really excited, I feel like they’re two of the funniest people I know, they’re naturally funny so it’ll be interesting to see how our comedy bits go down.

BX: With “Hanson” this weekend and “World of Pain” and so on, you’ve been trying a lot of different styles –- is there anything you’d like to do on stage you haven’t yet?

CY: I really want to write and direct plays and not be in it. I wasn’t even supposed to be in “World of Pain” but then I kind of was jealous. How do you get someone to come to your monthly show if you’re not even in your own show? Are people going to care? I’m trying to slowly transition.

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