Creating Hulu's "Pen15” felt like "giving a hug to my younger self"


The stars and creators of the Hulu series "PEN15," Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine, bring their audiences back to middle school hell in the new comedy about surviving seventh grade during the early 2000s. Playing comedic, “freakier” versions of their 13-year-old selves, the women pull no punches in revealing the braces, bowl cuts and menstrual hell that often make up genuine seventh grade femaleness.

On “Salon Talks” with SalonTV’s Mary Elizabeth Williams, the duo opened up about the experience of playing 13 year olds in the series, and what that meant about accessing some of the trauma. “It was more peaceful going back now because I’m going back by choice,” Konkle said. “It felt like I was giving a hug to my younger self,” added.

Watch the full episode with Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine to hear more about how the creators explained 2000s pop culture to today’s teenagers and why this show felt authentic for Erksine who says she has often felt like the token Asian American character in her previous work.


About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.

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