Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt are “Disengaged”

AE: I really liked it!  It’s not often that you see a lesbian couple who are the main characters who aren’t necessarily that happy in their relationship and are just trying to figure it out, but also, like we said before, the pressures that same-sex couples feel to get married but might not want to technically admit that.

JT: Thank you! I think those characters that play our friends were also meaningful to have because we wanted to reflect the feelings of pressure to get married from other gay couples as well as straight couples, from people who had benefitted from those conventions for years. It’s such an interesting culture, the culture of marriage, and it sheds a lot of light on people’s neurotic behaviors.

HPU:  We are sort of at a point in our lives where there is such a generational shift in how we think about marriage, and it’s almost like that’s not the only choice now.

 

AE: Were there any challenges that you encountered or times you felt discouraged while filming?

HPU: We claimed a lot of firsts on this so it was sort of scary in an exhilarating way of, like, “What if no one watches this?” or “What if EVERYONE watches this?”

JT: I think it was a dual anxiety. Hannah and I have worked together for a long time and have a shorthand and an ease creatively, but this was the first time that we lived in that relationship directly with a whole team of people. Historically when we have shot things together, it was with a small group of people that we knew really well. This was the first time where we had to act in those roles and we had to do it extra efficiently because we were working on other people’s timetable, so that was a challenge at times. I think it was also knowing that there was a social, topical piece to this, even though the point for us was just to tell a story about a relationship, we didn’t set out to make a gay thing specifically, but we just wanted to tell a human story that we knew was going to be told best. And also reflected on shared experiences, that just so happened include most of my ex-girlfriends. [laughs]

HPU: I think we also wanted to honor the community of people that would see themselves in this story while also making it acceptable for anybody.

JT: We wanted the specific story of two women to resonate on a much broader scheme.

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AE:  What is one thing you hope people take away from watching this?

JT: I hope people in relationships feel inspired towards the greater independence that doesn’t take away from their relationship and I hope that people that aren’t in relationships feel inspired towards the greater independence regardless. Because, for us, the thing about these two girls deciding whether or not they should be together isn’t a question of if they love each other; it’s a question about whether they build each other up and make each other better. I also hope that people have fun! I hope people have a fucking good time laughing at the absurdity of these two neurotic self-indulgent people.

Check back on AfterEllen this Sunday at 9am PT for the exclusive premiere of the second episode of Disengaged and then watch the rest of the season at 10am PT on the Super Deluxe YouTube page.