An accomplished actress, musician, and improviser, Kate Micucci is one half of the musical duo Garfunkel & Oates (along with Riki Lindome) and has made appearances on TV shows from The Big Bang Theory to the Netflix series Easy. Her big screen roles include Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice and, currently, writer/director Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours, a heavily improvised comedy based Bocaccio’s The Decameron. Micucci plays Sister Genevra, a frustrated nun who’s struggling to figure out who she is. We got the chance to talk to Micucci about finding her character, as well as working with co-star and first-time producer Aubrey Plaza.
What was it that brought you to The Little Hours?
Basically, I didn’t know Jeff [Baena] well, but I knew him a little bit through Aubrey and a bit of what he does [and] what he makes, and I set up my meeting and when we met about the movie [when] a crazy thing happened. It was a terrible rainstorm in Los Angeles, which is super rare, and we were eating at a coffee shop and right outside, where we were, we felt this jolt and a giant flash and a transformer on the wires just blew up in front of us.
And because of the rain, the wires were sparking and flying into the streets. So we called 911, and there was a girl jogging and the waiter at the restaurant ran and grabbed her. So we were all stuck in this little coffee shop. So it was a very, kind of, serendipitous, struck-by-lightning moment. I’m really glad that Jeff felt the same way that I did, where I was like “I really want to do this movie,” and it all worked out.
This is all very cinematic.
I didn’t know that I had the part until later, but it was one of those unforgettable meetings. Mainly because of nature.
How did you take to the improvised format?
I was completely stoked. I really enjoy working that way. I think it’s just, it’s just such a fun free way to work. I love not having to go home and memorize your lines at night, which is a fun perk. It’s kind of freeing because it really just puts you in the moment, and you just have to speak your truth as the character. So it’s just a really fun way to be. It was really everything I hoped it would be and I have to say, working with Jeff, he’s got such a specific clear vision. So, it was really fun to just go “Okay, I know what he wants. I’m going to just head towards that direction.” Really, it was great.