Molly Tarlov isn’t a mean girl, but she sure plays one on TV. As school bully Sadie on MTV’s hit high school comedy Awkward, Tarlov has become an expert at the harsh one-liner. This season will we see a softer side of Jenna’s number one nemesis? Probably not much softer, but Tarlov assures us we’ll be seeing more sides to Sadie’s personality in the show’s second season. This includes more screentime with friend and crush Matty and even a real bona fide relationship for the girl with the tough as nails exterior.
BuddyTV was lucky enough to speak with Tarlov about what fans can expect from Sadie this season, whether she’s Team Jake or Team Matty, and her signature catchphrase “you’re welcome.”
How is Sadie going to handle the school’s new anti-bullying initiative?
Well you know just because the school has decided to make an anti-bullying week doesn’t mean too much. I mean they’ve always been anti-bullying, so I think Sadie will get around the rules once again.
This season there’s a lot more that Sadie’s doing besides just bullying, so it’s not going to just be about her going after Jenna.
So you don’t think she’ll finally learn her lesson about bullying Jenna?
[laughs] No, I do not. Spoiler alert! No.
On Twitter I asked Awkward fans to submit some question and I actually got a pretty special question from the creator of the show, Lauren Iungerich. So I feel like I have to ask it now. She wants to know: How much do you like wearing stripes?
Oh Lauren Iungerich. Vertical stripes are fine, horizontal stripes I loathe, I guess I’ll say.
I think most people do.
No and then try putting them on TV. It’s kind of a mess.
So what more can we expect from Sadie in season two?
There’s going to be so much. I mean, all the characters are kind of living more together now. Sadie will have a boyfriend and we’ll be dealing with that male attention. There’s going to be a really fun arc coming up when the whole gang has to be together for a pretty long time at a pretty big event, so that’s exciting. And Sadie is really going to be just an integral part of the show this season, so it’s exciting.
Clearly Sadie’s the “mean girl” but we’ve seen some layers to her character. Do you think the writing is going to continue peeling back those layers this season?
Yes! I think what’s so extraordinary about the writing is that this character has had, since the very first moment I read it, all of these layers. Last season we got to see her home life during that one episode. This season we’re not going to have a specific time like that, but we will see it layered more throughout.
My goal when being Sadie is to bring that to everything, so it’s not just like a stereotypical mean girl or an archetype of a mean girl. I know Awkward is such a heightened reality but I want it to be grounded in some reality. It’s the hardest thing to do, but the writing makes it so much easier because it’s all there.
Speaking of mean girls in TV and film, who would be your favorite fellow mean girls from television or the movies?
There are so many amazing mean girls! First of all, the movie Mean Girls was obviously great! I saw it three times in the theater. It’s just an amazing movie. And then I love Busy Phillips who played Kim Kelly on Freaks and Geeks. I actually have been told my whole life that I kind of look like her and that our mannerisms are a little bit the same. Now I read things where people say I’m copying Kim Kelly and I’m like “I’m not copying her, I’m just being myself.” Well not quite being myself, but you know what I mean. I think Kim Kelly is an awesome mean girl.
In the premiere episode Sadie and Matty actually hooked up. Will we see any more of their relationship this season?
Yes, with Sadie and Matty it was always kind of there in the first season. Because you know Sadie was in love with Matty and that they were friends, but you never really saw much of it, you know? And this season we are really going to see the ever-changing feelings that Sadie and Matty have for each other and how it’s going to affect everyone around them. You’ll see how Sadie gets over her feelings and understands her feelings better. So we’re definitely going to see more of Sadie and Matty and it’s definitely fun because I love acting opposite Beau [Mirchoff].
You mentioned before that Sadie is going to be in a relationship this season. Can you tell us more about that?
I cannot! She’s going to have a boyfriend and it’s going to be charming at times, it’s going to be not charming at times. We are going to see Sadie in a spot where even she never thought she’d go.
Interesting! So is it going to bring out some different aspects of her personality?
Yes, definitely. Because we’ve always seen her pining over somebody. Now we started to see it in the first episode and now we’re starting to see a little bit more of her getting attention and a little bit of her sexuality and a little bit of accepting love from others.
The whole thing is that Sadie is afraid of having any real moments with anybody. That’s why she talks the way she talks, that’s why she keeps Lissa around as her “best friend.” I think there is some sort of real relationship there, but I think it’s very deep under a lot of not real stuff. So the first time we saw her having a real relationship, and I’m talking about relationship in the truest sense of the word, relating to somebody, was with her mother. Obviously that is not the best relationship, so she’s a little scared to relate to anybody else.
Well she can certainly be a pretty mean girl. You’ve had a lot of really terrible and pretty hilarious insults on the show. What’s the worst one you’ve had to say?
Oh geez I’ve had so many! Well I get nervous about the religious stuff a little bit. And then in the first season in episode three when I tell Jenna to go home and practice the blood violin and make the gesture of slitting my wrist, that was really hard. That was horrible! So that might be it.
But the rest of the stuff, obviously I’m leaving some out, but some of the stuff is so ridiculous and so out there that it’s like “oh ok.” It’s like you can’t even take offense to it because it’s so ridiculous.
How does it feel to play such a mean girl and how do you go into that Sadie mode?
It’s weird because I know that she’s a mean girl, but I know so much more about her so it doesn’t necessarily register to me that she’s that mean until I’m watching it. Like when I’m acting it she’s just kind of like a sassy–I mean she’s mean though. But also like the faces I make, I can’t see them until afterwards so I just basically go with god on those. I don’t know how I make those faces, but I do. I was watching last night with my friend and she was like “seriously how do you make your face like that?” It’s crazy but I just have to commit to it and Sadie is born.
I mean clearly fans love the way Sadie says her signature ‘you’re welcome’ phrase! Was that something you did purposely or did it just come out that way?
That line was actually written after I had said it once to Lauren. So it was born and then it was written, so I kind of knew how to say it before I read it.
This is clearly the big question for Awkward, but if you were in Jenna’s position: Matty or Jake?
You know it’s hard, I’ve always been Team Matty and I think it’s because I’m a little immature. But this season Jake is really stepping up to the plate I feel. I mean they’re pretty cute. But you know she’s in high school so she can kind of afford to go with Matty. I know Jillian [Rose Reed] always says she’s Team Jattie and I just think that’s a cop-out.
What’s your favorite episode that you’ve done so far?
It’s so hard to say because there’s so much going on in every episode. Even while I’m talking to you I’m remembering things. They were all so fun! But you know the first episode was really fun to shoot just because we were back and there was so much going on and everybody was there. All the guest stars were in the first episode too. It’s so hard because last night’s episode was fun to shoot too and episode six through eight is really fun and then 10, 11 and 12. Oh no it sounds like I’m saying nine sucks! No I’m just kidding, because seriously they’re all so fun I can’t choose.
If you could be any character besides Sadie who would you pick and why?
Well I see value in all of them. It would be really fun to be Jenna. I think that Ashley [Rickards] does such a great job with the voice overs and stuff like that. So I think that would be really fun, because she’s the straight man but she still has an edge to her. And then other than that I do a lot of Desi Lydic impersonations, who plays Valerie. So I think that would be super fun.
Awkward is all about the funny, awkward situations teens go through. So what’s the funniest thing that went wrong while shooting a scene for the show?
Oh my gosh. Something about Jillian [who plays Tamara] and I, when we looked at each other during a scene it became a real problem. It was the last day of shooting last season and we were doing a scene that eventually got cut from the show. But literally, all I had to do was, Jillian walked by me, looked at me and gave me a face and I gave her a face and walked by and we could not keep it together. It was insane.
Are there any pranksters on set?
Oh my gosh yes. There are so many pranks on set. Beau and Brad [Davern] like to pull pranks. They pull a lot of pranks on Jillian. They filled her trailer with balloons. So she ran off set to go to her trailer and go to the bathroom and all of the sudden she’s in my trailer like “I have to pee so badly and my trailer is filled with balloons.”
Just to wrap up, what can you tease about the rest of season two that fans can look forward to?
Let’s see, what can I tease? There are going to be a lot of shifts in power and there will be a lot of heartbreak and a lot of heartmake. Oh my god that was totally good right? I just thought of that.
You just made my headline for me!
Awesome! It’s just this season is a whole new level. I’m personally a fan of the show and I thought the first season was amazing. Now everybody–the characters, the actors, everybody– is in their own skin, so the writers have afforded us this chance to just live in this world together. Because we were establishing in the first season and now everyone is just living in this world together and it’s so fun. It’s just going to get more fun and more fun and there will be more drama and more making out and it’s just awesome!
I have to imagine that there has to be some more shirtlessness just to keep up with Teen Wolf since you’re on the same network.
Oh I know seriously. But I think Beau Mirchoff does a pretty good job at having his shirt off. By the end they took away all his wardrobe.
(Image courtesy of Teren Oddo)