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Kathryn Hahn on 'I Love Dick'

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Kathryn Hahn on 'I Love Dick' (Photo courtesy Amazon Studios)

Kathryn Hahn (“Bad Moms” “Step Brothers” “Transparent”) is almost giddy with excitement about her new Amazon series, “I Love Dick,” premiering May 12. 

Based on the 1997 book by Chris Kraus, the series stars Hahn, as Chris, with Griffin Dunne (“Dallas Buyers Club” “Quiz Show”) as her older husband Sylvere.

Set in the west-Texas art community of Marfa, “I Love Dick” chronicles a stagnantly-married couple’s obsession with a mesmerizing professor, played by Kevin Bacon.

“Our marriage had been dormant for some time, and my obsession with this man ironically becomes kind of a turn-on for my hubby, which neither of us could have expected,” Hahn told me during an interview.

“Our characters have been married for years and I was financially dependent on him without really having my own identity,” she continued. “Nothing I did was any good and we had long ago decided not to have children. The decisions we made are starting to come back to haunt us. Then, this clichéd Marlboro Man walks in (Dick – Kevin Bacon) and he is condescending and horrible to her, which of course makes her want him even more.” 

Dropping a love triangle in the middle of a community which Hahn describes as “this island in the middle of the desert” adds new angles to the landscape’s boundless imagery which is nearly impossible to look away from. The series pilot, available since last summer, was among the best-received of any Amazon original series to date.

“Creating the pilot was a tough nut to crack because the book is kind of this compendium of letters and you’re completely entrapped in this woman’s head when you read it,” Hahn says.

“I Love Dick” was created by Jill Soloway (“Transparent”) and Sarah Gubbins.

“She’s this amazing playwright from Chicago,” Hahn says. “They brought it to me and I was flabbergasted when I read it. It’s a seminal piece of writing from the 90’s and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it at the time.” 

This is Hahn’s third project with Soloway, creator of the Emmy-winning Amazon series “Transparent,” where Hahn has appeared for three seasons as Rabbi Raquel Fein.

“I did Jill’s first feature which was a tiny indie film called ‘Afternoon Delight,’” Hahn says. “I say tiny now with some critical distance, but it was the whole world to us at the time. It was life-changing for me. I had never been challenged like that as an actor before.”

Hahn says it was during the second season of “Transparent” when Soloway approached her about “I Love Dick.” 

“We were trying to figure out what was next for Rabbi Raquel when she brought up this book and a couple of others. This one got me the most excited.”

Hahn says she knows that “I Love Dick” is a special series and she anticipates a glowing reaction from the Amazon audience, based on the response from the pilot.

“The reaction to that was amazing but I can’t always tell when something is going to be a hit,” she says. “You know when something feels special. When the chemistry is happening and everything flows, you know when things are working, but that doesn’t always translate.”

Hahn also has endless faith in Soloway as a series co-creator, writer and director. 

“Jill has her finger on the cultural pulse and is always a step of ahead of what is needed. It’s perfect timing for a deeply feminist, sexy story like this. Content-wise, it’s this sexy, hilarious love triangle. Kevin Bacon is amazing and Griffin Dunne is hilarious, and the landscape is so gorgeous. Gender and politics aside, it’s just a really fun ride.”

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