Keeping us entertained through lockdown, the very, very funny and rather clever new webseries Disgraced – a peekeye into the ins and outs of Hollywood created by and starring Victoria Vertuga.
The first season of the new 8-episode series DisGraced, which fixes on the sexism and double standard of Hollywood, has been released online!
Grace Greene is clawing her way back to the middle.
Five years after her big break turned out to be a big flop, a struggling actress asks herself how much humiliation she's willing to endure for another chance to make it.
Victoria Vertuga ("Dexter"), Jodie Bentley ("Modern Family"), Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva, Tal Berkovich ("Widows"), and Thomas Hobson ("In Living Color") star in a hilarious and relatable new 50-minute series from Victoria Vertuga and Eric Williford.
How did real life inspire Disgraced, Victoria?
Victoria Vertuga: It is very much based on my own experienced working in this industry. It was simultaneously horrifying and empowering to kind of mine all of my personal experiences and find the ones that were the most ridiculous or terrible or entertaining to use for the show.
It's definitely a mixture of sweetness and silliness – is it hard to maintain that balance?
Victoria Vertuga: It's a challenge for sure, but I feel like all of my favorite works really strive for that balance. I love shows and movies that are dark but also funny. I think the darker the material you're exploring, the more need there is for humor to release some of that tension. So we wanted DisGraced to be raw and real and vulnerable but also funny.
And just how difficult is it to be a working actress in Hollywood?
Victoria Vertuga: I think the show provides the answer to that! LOL
Have things gotten easier or harder in recent years?
Victoria Vertuga: I think one of the things you learn working in this business is that it's not a ladder, it's a rollercoaster. There are so many ups and downs and they can happen at any point and time during your career. Neil Patrick Harris has a great quote about it being like surfing and you have to paddle out and catch the waves. I love that analogy.
What was the strategy behind doing a webseries as opposed to film or pilot?
Victoria Vertuga: We'd been working on a lot of television pilot scripts and for this project we really wanted to be able to create something that we could produce and release ourselves, get to go through the entire process and have that sense of completion. We choose to do a web series because you can just release it to the wild on your own, there is no obstacle or barrier between you and your audience. Having a program with a short run time and bite sized chunks is great for short attention spans, it's a lot easier to convince someone to give you five minutes of their time than to give you 90 minutes in one fell swoop. The other great thing about web is that the format is less rigid. You're not concerned with page lengths and act breaks and making sure everything happens at exactly the right time. You have a lot more freedom and flexibility in how you tell your story and so that was really fun and freeing as a writer.
What do you hope viewers get from the series?
Victoria Vertuga: I hope it makes people laugh and think at the same time. I think it shines a light on the way we can treat our fellow humans and collaborators, especially in the film industry, and exposes a lot of the latent sexism and double standards that exist.
Disgraced is available on YouTube.