herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Sharon - I'm determined to crack US

Sharon Horgan
Sharon Horgan

COMEDIENNE Sharon Horgan has spoken about how she bounced back from the rejection of her US pilot show.

The Irish funnywoman is now permanently based in the UK where she has won acclaim for her excellent sitcoms Pulling and Pyschobitches.

And such was the success of her writing, US producers wanted a piece of the action and convinced her to travel stateside for a new version of her BBC series Dead Boss.

Sharon - the sister of rugby international Shane Horgan - said that she was blown away by the size of the production in Fox studios in the US.

"When we made our Dead Boss in the UK, our prison set was a joke. It was like one cell that we moved around when we needed to," she said as an example.

"The American one was a massive Fox production, I just stood around taking pictures all day, I just couldn't believe the size of it all."

Although US producers seemed enamoured with the idea for Dead Boss, Fox ultimately decided not to pick up any of their 2014 pilots.

Curve

But Sharon said that it was all part of a major learning curve.

"You have to be there during pilot season to know how f***ing nuts it is," she said. "It makes no sense, it just feels like it's all a game.

"Everyone's chasing the same talent, everyone's prices go up, and they're wasting millions every year on pilots that don't even get seen. It's insanity.

"I've done it four times now - Pulling was remade twice - it's an incredibly elusive and random process. It's tricky to capture whatever it was that made something good, to recreate it in a completely different scenario."

The actor and writer has lined up a new series for Channel 4 and said sometimes she pinches herself at how lucky she has been.

"It's never easy, but at this point it's easier than it would be if you didn't have a few shows under your belt. I'm making a new series for Channel 4, and I'm always like 'Really? You're going to let me do this?' about it. That doesn't change. That slight sense of wonder that they're going to let you put whatever it is you've created from the sh*t you have in your head on screen."

Catastrophe

Sharon is developing Catastrophe - a sitcom with US comic Rob Delaney - and she has set up production company Merman to bring about projects on both sides of the Atlantic.

"I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I want to crack the formula as to whatever it is to make an American network comedy, almost because I've done it four times now and I'm stubborn," she added. "I've still got to scratch that itch."

hnews@herald.ie

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