Perrie Voss and Heidi Lynch are about to launch a new webseries Avocado Toast The Series, which will premiere on Amazon Prime this May 18th. The show follows the story of two millennial friends, Molly (played by Heidi Lynch) and Elle (played by Perrie Voss), who are forced to learn about their parents’ new sexcapades after coming out and divorcing.
AC: What can audiences expect from Avocado Toast: The Series?
Heidi Lynch: A heartfelt comedic story about the complexities of female friendships and mother/daughter relationships.
Perrie Voss: This is a no-holds-barred-female-driven narrative. Audiences can expect the unexpected – if that were even possible. Our show is based on real-life events – but huge events that blew our lives open and ultimately made us stronger and ultimately find who we are. The two protagonists are women who are life-long best friends and who love each other unconditionally, and somewhat co-dependently – but have to deal with very real situations happening in their individual lives. There’s a lot of ridiculous hilarious moments, but it’s all based in truth and some heartbreak.
Can you give us any teasers about what is in store for your characters?
HL: High-waisted gym shorts, yelling “Penis” at 12-year-olds, edibles, welding, airplanes, spanx, orgies (or so she thought), Amish Hipsters, vintage cars, and hitch-hiking (not in that order).
PV: Elle realizes that sometimes, due to unprecedented and very real emotions, there is a cap on her libido.
Do you have a favorite line of dialogue from the series?
HL: “It’s Jordan.” You’ll understand after you fall in love with the character of Jordan played by Alexander Nunez.
PV: “40- footer!” is pretty up there – but honestly pretty much everything that came out of Hunter’s (played by Scott Cavalheiro) mouth made me deliriously happy.
Can you recall any funny moments from on-set filming?
HL: It’s the most delicious thing when you’re holding in a laugh. I had an on-set prank go bad when I couldn’t keep my laugh together during my own prank. I was doing a scene with Nelu Handa. I was supposed to be showing her who I matched with on a dating app and her line after was “There’s no way you’d be into that guy”. Picture 1: Borat in his banana hammock; Picture 2: A penis-shaped carrot; Picture 3: A man with a gorgeous mullet. I kept corpsing at the pictures and Nelu laughed but was such a pro.
PV: Oh my gosh there was so many. One of my favorites was when I had to be offscreen helping throw an inflatable ball at Heidi’s head for one of her teacher gym-class scenes. I had been throwing it to hit her shoulder, and then in between takes she said “Oh you can throw it at my head” and I thought “Oh, ok…” and I could have SWORN she said, “And put some heat on it!” So I whipped that rubber ball right at her head and BAM! Bullseye. Me and the whole crew fell down laughing, and we replayed it on the monitor a few times so Heidi could see it. Apparently she did not say “Put some heat on it” but someone definitely did. It still destroys me watching it. It’s so funny. That was the shot we used in the show.
What was it like working with one another on this?
HL: A rollercoaster! We navigated the real-life events the show is based on together and then chose to write about it and then relive it when we acted it out. We are so pleased with where we are getting off the rollercoaster and can’t wait to share our baby with the world. Hopefully, hop back on for another ride in season two.
PV: We have learned such a tremendous amount about each other and where our strengths and weaknesses lie, which tend to complement each other very well, miraculously. We have both grown so much individually over the past four years too. When we first met we were both theatre actors and we became best friends super quickly. We have always had a really good dynamic and chemistry. When we started writing this show we found that we wrote the best in tandem – fuelling each other’s writing, which can be rare.
For Heidi and I, it ultimately creates the best of all the worlds that we are trying to create. We learned a lot very quickly, and we are both very hard workers which can be exciting and gets things done – but also we forget to sleep or rest sometimes! I think ultimately we learned how to ask for what we need and support one another. We have such deep love and respect for each other and through this wild ride, we put ourselves on we’re both continuing to make each other laugh which is such a huge reward, and a gift.
How can you tell when you’re reading a great script?
HL: When the characters don’t speak in exposition. When the time goes by quickly as I’m reading it. When they are focused on showing me the story visually rather than telling it to me. When I laugh out loud.
PV: For me, it comes down to two things. If I have a reaction in my body, on an emotional level, sometimes a chill down my spine or I discover I’m laughing out loud or have tears in my eyes. And the second is if I have completely lost myself in the world that is laid on the page. If I am completely immersed. But ultimately it’s like a pull in my stomach, like “I want to be a part of this”.
As an actor, what are you still trying to learn?
HL: Utter self-acceptance. That is when I do my best work. When I know I am enough and I get out of my own way.
PV: Everything! I don’t think that part will ever stop developing. I started in improv and theatre when I was a kid, and comedy was where I felt the most comfortable and then I went to theatre school and was in plays for 10 years professionally. So I had to learn how to use classical text and how to be vulnerable, then I wanted to learn everything about film acting and I think I’ve just opened another can of worms.
I’m constantly trying to find how to just be but still serve the story and the project. I’m fascinated by all actors and I watch people all the time and I think “Oh! That’s amazing! I want to try that!” Or “Oh that’s a better way of approaching”, it’s constant. I’m going to be learning who I am as an actor until the end.
When did you begin to see acting as a potential career avenue?
HL: Personally, that is something I see for some months and don’t see other months. When things are going well everything seems possible. I’ve never wanted to be famous. The months where I can pay my rent, feed myself, not worry about where my next paycheque is coming from and get to act still feel like magic.
PV: I don’t think I ever looked at it as a career avenue, to be honest. I just knew acting was something I had to do. I was dead-set on being an actor for as long as I could remember. There was no other option. My parents were super supportive but they refused to let me get an agent or do it professionally until I graduated from post-secondary school. So I went to a three-year classical conservatory theatre school. I didn’t have a ton of thought beyond “and then become a professional actor”. I’m not sure if you can have a straight-ahead plan with acting because it’s such a subjective industry. I just knew if I kept working on it, chipping away at it, throwing stuff at the proverbial wall, it would work.
How important is social media to you right now?
HL: Very. It is where we connect with our audience, as we build it, and where we will get feedback which I am so excited for.
PV: I like social media and with the self-isolation/quarantine state of the world around us right now, it definitely helps me feel more connected to people, or inspiration, or even just making me laugh. Memes have been wrecking me lately, they’re so funny, maybe because everyone can relate to them right now. Social media has also been an incredible connection to our series.
Avocado Toast has had so many incredible connections made via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter over the past few years. The people who we’ve either met through it, or connected with. The stories people have shared with us, just in our developmental stages has quite literally helped our show get made. Social media can be an incredible community if you send love and humor out through it.
What do you want the world to look like in 10 years?
HL: Coronavirus vaccines, no masks, open borders… A world where my nephew has a healthy relationship to masculinity and my nieces have equal opportunities, equal pay and a healthy relationship with their bodies.
PV: Right now, I just want to think in ‘hopes’ because that’s all we have right now in many ways. I think the world will be forever changed from the current COVID-19 crisis. My optimist-heart hope is that this somehow curves some of the horrible things human beings have created. I’m hoping that gender and sexuality are completely fluid, rather than something people have to struggle with or be ashamed of. I hope people come together in a new way throughout the whole world. I’m hoping we can somehow create a more kind, gentle place to live. I hope our environment is able to somewhat recover and we are able to look at what we really need and somehow reconnect us with what we are actually passionate about.
Everyone seems to have an app idea at the moment, what’s yours?
HL: Oh! I had an idea years ago and I still want to do it. It’s for millennials when their baby boomer parents get older. I would call it “Soul Care”. It would be like a babysitter app for the elderly but the Soul Care worker would need to do something cultural with the elderly individual. Go see a play, read them a book, dance class, play cards, spend actual time and give them conversation and care for their soul.
PV: Is this a sneaky way to get my intellectual property? [Laughs] I joke, I joke. I’ve actually had so many app ideas that eventually just become apps! It’s comical. I think I’d be more upset if I was actually in the app-business, but aside from my ego wanting to take all of the creative credit I’m just thrilled when things come out. For example, I remember sitting in a restaurant a few years ago and my parking meter was about to expire and I thought “I wish there was an app where you could just re-up your parking!” Well, here we are. I’ve also wanted something to help identify plants. Keep ‘em coming app-makers!
If you had the chance to put something on billboards worldwide next week, what would it be? Or what would it say?
HL: NOW (tell them you love them).
PV: Oh! I’ve heard this in Oprah interviews, and I’ve thought about it a lot. But right now? WATCH AVOCADO TOAST ON OUTTV ON MAY 18TH 2020! “Watch Avocado Toast on OutTV on May 18th 2020”.
In front of the camera, what is a fear you’d like to conquer?
HL: The fear that I don’t look good enough. The industry has such unreal beauty standards and practices. During the shooting of Avocado Toast, I really wanted to face that head-on so I decided to go makeup-free. We’re so used to seeing actors with makeup plastered faces, it took some getting used to. The more I saw my own face, the more I got used to it, the less I thought about what I looked like and the more I could focus on what I was doing.
PV: That I have to do more than just breathe. Because of my theatre background, I constantly had to learn that I don’t need to ‘show’ anything. My face, just being my face, is enough for the camera. I’ve had a fear of being too boring on camera and then I’ve seen dailies where I’ve been pushing or projecting a feeling and often the moments leading up to “action” where I’m just existing are the moments that I find the most riveting. I’m learning to be brave enough to just exist in my thoughts. It’s scarier than I thought it would be, just ‘be’ with no judgment or self-comment of ‘this is what I want you to see me thinking about’ and I think often that’s what we’re drawn to in great actors.
Aside from your upcoming projects, is there one thing you’re both particularly excited about for the future?
HL: Getting to marry the love of my life. I don’t know when it’s going to happen as currently we’re separated from border closures. But it’s in our future, and for now, that’s good enough and makes me smile when I fall asleep at night.
PV: I’m really excited to hug my friends again and travel at some point soon hopefully! I can’t wait to get up to my cottage this summer and I’m extremely excited to launch our show. Honestly, it’s been 4+ years in the making and I’m ready for this Avocado Toast baby fly!
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES