When it comes to being a badass, Adrienne Palicki has that down. Thanks to roles in movies such as G.I. Joe: Retaliation and John Wick, then TV shows like Agents of SHIELD, the actor showed the world that she can hold her own when it comes to action. At one point, she was even meant to be the next Wonder Woman for David E. Kelly. Her stint in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other roles showed off some of her comedic chops, but it was The Orville that showed off her full-range abilities.
However, for her latest project Quasi, Palicki entered a whole different level of comedy that she hasn’t necessarily dabbled in before. But you wouldn’t necessarily know that as she blended in with fan-favorite comedy troupe Broken Lizard pretty well. Ahead of the debut of the new film from the creators of Super Troopers and Beerfest, we got to speak with the star about her approach to this upcoming Hulu movie, participating in her first sex scene, and the future of some of her favorite characters that could make a comeback in the future.
Thanks to roles like Commander Kelly Grayson and Agent Bobbi Morse, action/comedy is very much in your wheelhouse. But your character in Quasi leans a bit more to the comedy side. What did you do differently to approach and prepare for each of those roles, if anything?
Comedy is tricky because it’s all about timing, but it’s also about listening. And this [project] is pretty broad. I think a lot of it was the comfortability that those guys brought that made me feel so confident and comfortable to riff [and] to improv with them. [To say] this would be funny here or I think she’d do this here really helped me fall into that character and be in the moment. Improv comedy is about being in the moment, so you really can’t prepare for it. You just have to allow yourself to feel confident enough to say something if it comes to your head.
How nerve-wracking or intimidating was it for you to jump into the mix with Broken Lizard?
Definitely. I’m going into this comedy troupe and they’ve known each other forever. I mean, literally. I can’t believe they offered it to me. But then I got on Zoom with [Steve] Lemme and [Kevin] Heffernan. Lemme insulted me immediately about my last name. I just gave it right back to him without skipping a beat. And [Heffernan] was like, “This is going to be fun.” We had that vibe. They all made me feel like I’d been with them the whole time as well. I didn’t feel like an outsider for a second.
After seeing all of their blooper reels over the years, it’s hard to imagine keeping a straight face while working with Broken Lizard. How did you manage it? And do you recall any favorite bloopers from Quasi that stood out?
I mean, there were a lot. The best breaks were when an improv would happen and the guys would break because they’d think it was so funny. They’d have to go back and redo it. The day with the horses for me was definitely it as far as bloopers go. Working with animals, you never know what’s going to happen. There’s one point where the horse is taking a crap behind my back as I’m in the midst of saying something serious. Or it starts nudging me in the head in the background. There were just so many different ones. I mean, I broke all the time because watching them is hilarious.
I can only imagine. It’s like a badge of honor to work with them and get through takes with a straight face.
It is. And [it’s great] to watch the process. Pre-shooting, there were tons of table reads because with comedy you have to have that feeling, you know what I mean? The beats and the moments. They would come up with better jokes, so every time the script changed, we had another table read to see if it worked out loud. So to see their process and then eventually feel comfortable enough to even say, “Oh, but this would be funny here or that would be funny there.” That also kind of made me feel really comfortable, like one of the guys.