Bridget McManus answers your questions on “Maybelle” and more

Longtime readers of AfterEllen don’t need an introduction to Bridget McManus. The out stand-up comic/writer/actress was the host of her own talk show Brunch with Bridget on the site for several years, eventually taking the series to television on Logo and also popping up on several others like 3-Way and We’re Getting Nowhere. Since then, Bridget has worked at the warm-up comic on The Jeff Probst Show and The Queen Latifah Show, appearing on camera as the hilarious and fun sidekick who knew how to get audiences going.

"Life Letters" Launch At Barre Belle StudiosPhoto by Rochelle Brodin Photography/Getty Images 

After years of making audiences laugh, both on stage and in series like Cowgirl Up and McManusland, Bridget is getting serious for her romantic Tello show Maybelle. As the creator and star, Bridget plays the title character, Maybelle Garris, in a modern love story set in Virginia. In the first episode, which just premiered this past Sunday, Maybelle finds that her ex-lover and best friend, Della, has moved back to town—with her husband. But old flames are ignited when Maybelle pays Della a visit at her new home.

We asked AfterEllen readers to submit questions for Bridget and she promised to answer them all. Read on for the Q&A and check out all new episodes of Maybelle every Sunday on Tello.

Question: What inspired you to make something so sexy and serious after years of comedy?

Bridget McManus: I am sort of addicted to romantic stories and, except for the movie Carol, they usually don’t give me the fulfilling ending I’m looking for. So instead of complaining about it (and re-watching Pride & Prejudice while pretending Mr. Darcy is a butch lesbian named Darcy) I decided to write the kind of story that I would like to be watching on the big screen. The result was Maybelle. 

I must admit that while reviewing the rough cuts of the episodes, it was jarring to see myself in the love scenes. Apparently, I’m a really loud kisser!


Q: What inspired the Southern setting of Maybelle

BM: My wife Karman [Kregloe] is from Virginia so I have become enamored with the people and the scenery in the perfect rural town she grew up in. The southern location acts as an additional character in the series, and Maybelle is such a product of where she grew up.


Q: Are you secretly more of a Della?

BM: Della is a little bit of a mystery to me even though I wrote that character. I’m not sure she knows what she’s going to do next.  When I was younger I had secret affairs, so I definitely identify with Della in that aspect of her life. But if anything, I’m really a Miranda Hobbes.


Q: Can you imagine a reboot of Brunch with Bridget, like 2.0?

BM: I would totally do a Brunch with Bridget reboot. But this time around I’d need a sexy dance crew choreographed by Sonya Tayeh (So You Think You Can Dance). There are still so many talented women I’d love to interview in bed and have a pillow fight with. The 2.0 premiere will feature Cate Blanchett and Tatiana Maslany in nighties while playing Truth or Dare. How do we make this happen?

Brunch with Bridget with guest Kate McKinnon