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Interview: Shira and Jeremy Piven Discuss Their Indie Comedy, “Fully Loaded”

April 1st, 2013 by Katherine Rea

Siblings Shira and Jeremy Piven sat down with us to talk about Shira’s directorial debut, “Fully Loaded,” which Shira’s husband, Adam McKay, and Jeremy worked on as executive producers. This hilarious dark comedy centers around two single moms and an unexpected event that happens in a bar one night in L.A.

Hulu: So “Fully Loaded” was based on a two-woman act at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre?

Shira Piven: Not exactly. [Paula Killen] approached me with the original idea. We collaborated in writing the show, and I directed it. So it debuted at the Upright Citizens Brigade. And from there, we developed the live performance into a film.

Hulu: Shira, the chemistry between the main characters in “Fully Loaded” is palpable. There’s an easy back-and-forth, and the dialogue is really sharp and witty. What do you think Hulu viewers can look forward to most about “Fully Loaded”?

SP: First of all, there are some really cool cameos and musicians. There’s Dave Koechner, “Community’s” Danny Pudi, and “Los Campesinos!” But what’s unique is that it’s really like eavesdropping on two women just talking to each other. And it’s centered around an out-of-the-blue, sexy moment that happens in a bar. But for one of the characters, it turns out to be one of those defining moments in your life when you’re ready to make a change.

Hulu: As kids, did you ever think you’d work together? Were you always close?

JP: Well, I spotted her in gymnastics…[laughter]. We weren’t always close but I’d rather have it this way, becoming closer rather than growing apart.

Hulu: Did you do anything else together as kids?

JP: [Shira] was one of my first acting teachers. She was the first one to really break down for me what acting was….she was very patient.

Hulu: And you both come from an acting family (ed note: the well-known Piven Theatre Workshop was founded by Shira and Jeremy’s parents). Shira, tell me a little about your kids’ acting. Your youngest daughter, Pearl, is in the notorious “Landlord” sketch with Will Ferrell?

SP: Yeah. [Will Ferrell] and Adam (ed note: Shira’s husband, Adam McKay) were trying to get this site (ed note: the hilarious and massively successful “Funny or Die”) off the ground. Pearl was about two at the time, and she’d repeat whatever people said.

Hulu: That video has almost 80 million views on “Funny or Die.”

SP: It was pretty crazy. People approached us about having Pearl be in a Jackie Chan movie! And she was only two!

Hulu: And your other daughter, Lili. Has she acted at all?

JP: Yeah! You know that scene in “Anchorman”? When that little girl says “You’re an awful man, Mr. Burgundy”? That’s Lili and Shira.

Hulu: Would you want your kids to go into acting at all?

SP: No, not really. Of course, I want to encourage them in whatever they choose to do, but it’s a tough industry. And there are so many other great things they could do.

Hulu: Jeremy, you have a new drama premiering on March 31 on PBS: “Mr. Selfridge.” What would you say is the American equivalent of the department store, Selfridges?

JP: It was really the first department store of its kind. [Selfridge] made shopping an experience. He created plays in his window displays. It was his art.

Want more of Shira and Jeremy? Watch “Fully Loaded” here.