Most Presents: The Homo Schedule

Natalie Morales' Schedule

Episode Summary

This week's schedule: the incomparable Natalie Morales talks with Jasmin and Liv about her directorial debut X 2; what it's like to play an asexual axolotl; and the surprisingly public way she decided to come out to her mom.

Episode Notes

This week's schedule: the incomparable Natalie Morales talks with Jasmin and Liv about her directorial debut X 2; what it's like to play an asexual axolotl; and the surprisingly public way she decided to come out to her mom. 


- Why I Find BoJack Horseman’s Depiction of Asexuality Deeply Relatable by Michael Cuby for Them

- “'Plan B' Is A Winning Comedy With Some Painful Truths” by Linda Holmes for NPR

- Natalie’s essay on Amy’s Smart Girls


Natalie Morales is an actor, director, writer, and activist. She made her simultaneous directorial debut with the films Plan B, which premiered on Hulu May 28th 2021, and Language Lessons with Mark Duplass which won the audience award at SXSW and will be hitting theaters everywhere in fall 2021. She’s also an incredibly prolific actor, appearing NBC’s Abby’s as the titular character, and Yolanda Buenaventura on BoJack Horseman on Netflix, and a whole lot more.


- Hosts: Jasmin Savoy Brown and Liv Hewson

- Producer: Eric Silver

- Co-Producers: Jasmin Savoy Brown and Liv Hewson

- Editor, Engineer & Sound Designer: Mischa Stanton

- Executive Producer: Amanda McLoughlin

- Researcher: Gina Cherelus

- Created by: Jasmin Savoy Brown

- Produced by: Multitude & Netflix

Find Us Online

- Twitter: @Most

- Instagram: @Most

Episode Transcription

[Intro Theme music]

Jasmin: Welcome to The Homo Schedule, where we're corrupting your children into celebrating their wins and being proud of the journey. I'm Jasmin, Secretary of Will I die alone? No, because I have my cat. 

Liv: And I'm Liv Hewson. I'm Chief Liaison of making sure everyone gets to eat lunch together. 

Jasmin: That's very important. Let's review the minutes from last week's meeting.

[Typing, a bell rings]

Liv: What have you got? What have you noticed? 

Jasmin: I've been thinking a lot about the importance of joy. And I'm going to take you on a little journey. So, I've been having not the easiest time. And so I've been finding things to be excited about. And, I come from a family, on my mom's side—my white half—that loves to laugh. My mom raised me with all of her siblings. She has three sisters and a brother. We just love laughing together. And I haven't seen my family in a while. And I'm going to be seeing my mom very soon for her birthday party. And what I did was I hired a choreographer who's a friend of mine to choreograph a flash mob for my mom's birthday party—

[Liv laughs]

Jasmin: —because she loves flash mobs, and she's always wanted to encounter one. And I've been slowly learning the dance every day. And every single time I work on this dance, no matter how grumpy I am, no matter how sad I am, it fills me with joy, and it turns my day around. And also just picturing her face when she sees us all burst into dance. She's gonna be so delighted, and I imagine her laughing which makes me laugh, which makes me happy. Joy really is so important. It can just turn everything around. And so you know, today, I'm just saying, chase joy. Find it wherever you can, even if it's minimal. Even if you have five minutes to go, literally sniff a rose—freakin do it, because it'll make you feel better. 

Liv: What song is the dance to? 

Jasmin: [Singing] I wanna dance with somebody!

Liv: [Laughing] That’s awesome. 

Jasmin: [Singing] I wanna feel that heat—[normal] that song. And I just cannot wait. I also hired a photographer so we can capture my mom's pure joy in the moment when it happens. 

Liv: That's awesome. 

Jasmin: What's been on your mind?

Liv: I'm thinking about clothes. I've—yeah, me and clothes, like had a historically very fraught relationship. I was thinking about them a lot lately, because we've been working a bunch. So I've just been like, showing up to work in like sweatpants and then putting a costume on and wearing that and just like—not like not really like wearing clothes normally, which has always been soothing to me because I like not thinking about it, really. But I you know, I am non binary. So there's some like gender dysphoria baggage for me with clothes, and like, I'm an eating disorder survivor. And so it's like, ah clothes! Yeah, great fun, right. And when I was a teenager, I was bullied about the clothes I wore. And so it's just—it's—it's all great. You know, it’s sick. 

Jasmin: There’s a lot there. 

Liv: But I've been kind of quietly in like my adult life now, like, especially as like a now sort of out non binary person. It's like, I'm 25, my body is this now I'm not getting any taller. It's like the changes that happen to it won't be as like alien and short term anymore. 

Jasmin: Mhm hmm.

Liv: For most—most of the time. I mean, obviously you can't predict the future, but I'm feeling something settle, I think.

Jasmin: In a—in a good way?

Liv: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, in a good way. Or it's like, clothes have just always felt like my enemy. Like dressing myself has always been such an antagonistic thing that I've hated. But then also, like, I love clothes, I love like, vintage tailoring and, like—

Jasmin: You have great clothes.

Liv: Thank you. 

Jasmin: You express yourself very well through clothes. 

Liv: And like, I like fashion, and I always have and like, there are times where it's been fun. And then for so much of my life, it just like hasn't been for so many reasons. And so now—I was walking around a thrift store yesterday. And I bought myself some shirts that I liked. And it was just like—

Jasmin: Yes! 

Liv: —this small thing. But I realized how significant it was starting to feel, in a positive way. And so like, it's not—that journey isn't over. I don't think it ever will be. But it's like I'm like a grown up and like figuring out how to dress myself in a way that's like calm and not punishing. And like discovering stuff in a nice way. You know, obviously, does that make any sense? 

Jasmin: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. Will you describe one of the articles of clothing you bought yesterday that brings you joy? 

Liv: Well, it's interesting, because I actually one of the things I bought yesterday was a skirt, and I haven't worn skirts or dresses in years really. And the times, where I did in my early 20s, it was partially because I was still closeted and like not really thinking about being like, well, I'll just do like, I'll just do this. Like I wasn't thinking about things that I liked wearing. And so now I bought this skirt that I liked, and I'm just like, oh well if I'm comfortable in my gender and if I'm figuring out how to be comfortable in my body and it's like I—I do genuinely believe that clothing doesn't have gender and people of any gender can wear whatever article of clothing then it's like then why have I created this like fear relationship around wearing skirts and dresses? It's like, well, I'm scared that people are gonna think that I'm a woman if I wear those things. And it's like, well, they might babe. Like, like, the like, the people might think that anyway, you like, I can't control that. 

Jasmin: Right.

Liv: And so I'm figuring out how to do the things that I like, anyway.

Jasmin: And you looked fabulous in that dress at that party we went to recently. 

Liv: Thank you. 

[Both laugh]

Jasmin: Thanks for sharing all that. Well, Liv, I'm gonna ask you what is on the agenda for today? 

Liv: Oh my god! Today we're talking to Natalie Morales. I'm so excited about this. Natalie Morales is an actor, director, writer, activist. She is the bee's knees.

Jasmin: She made her simultaneous directorial debut with the films Plan B, which premiered on Hulu May 28 2021, and Language Lessons with Mark Duplass, which won the Audience Award at South by Southwest—can we talked about how amazing that is for her directorial debut?

Liv: Yeah. 

Jasmin: Have you seen the trailer for this film? 

Liv: No, not yet!

Jasmin: Ever since it debuted at South by Southwest, every month I google, when am I gonna be able to see this movie? 

Liv: I've been reading a bunch about it, but I haven't seen any material yet. So I'm really excited. 

Jasmin: It looks so good. Anyway, so Natalie, she's an amazing director and also an incredibly prolific actor. She was the character of Abby on NBC, Abby. She was Yolanda on Bojack Horseman on Netflix, and so many more things. 

Liv: Yeah, like literally just a crazy amount more. 

Jasmin: One of the things you were in, that's how you know Natalie, right?

Liv: Yeah, totally. From the moment I met Natalie, I just like I thought she was so cool. And like so good at her job. And I've always really admired her. And so I was, like, stoked to be able to have her on this podcast. 

Jasmin: So anyway, big fans of Natalie here, and we can't wait for you to hear her interview.

Liv: Let's enter it into the record. [Bangs gavel]

[Transition theme music]

Liv: Hi, Natalie!

Natalie: Hello, Liv!

Liv: Do you want to introduce yourself to the listeners at home?

Natalie: Oh, I don't have any clever identifications prepared. I'm Natalie Morales, I identify—I mean, my pronouns are she/they, or whomst—whatever you want. I'm really down with it all. And, I guess I identify as an old typewriter. 

Liv: Ooh!

Jasmin: Is it creaky? 

Natalie: Not just dusty. Still usable, but like tired and like a little dusty. 

Jasmin: I feel like we could dig into that. But I don't know if that if we should. I don't know if this is the time. 

Natalie: No, you don't need to because it was just the first thing I thought of. It's not extremely deep. 

Liv: It's storied. It's beautiful. My name is Liv. I use they/them pronouns. And I'm the executive in charge of the filing cabinet where everybody's nightclub wristbands are kept. 

Jasmin: [Laughs] I love it. I'm Jasmine, my pronouns are she/her. And I identify as the one that got away [laughs]. Natalie, you're just gay, everywhere you go, including in your new role for the new Ruggrats, for Paramount!

Natalie: Yes!

Jasmin: I'm so excited about that! Will you talk to us about that? 

Natalie: Absolutely. I play Betty who is Phil and Will’s mom.

Liv: Icon. 

Natalie: You're both younger than me. But, I watched—

Jasmin: Oh, I grew up on Rugrats. 

Natalie: You did?

Jasmin: Oh, yeah. 

Natalie: Really?

Liv: The movies in particular.

Jasmin: Yeah. 

Natalie: Well, I certainly grew up on Ruggrats. That—that makes me feel better. That makes me feel less old. Not that Oh, aging is a bad thing. Aging is a privilege. 

Jasmin: Amen. 

Liv: I love aging. 

Natalie: I just figured you wouldn't understand. But for me, it was a huge, huge, huge deal growing up, so it was very, very exciting to get that roll. And yeah, they—they made Old Betty gay. I mean, she was kind of gay in the original, like you can tell. But, now she's for sure gay.

Liv: Yeah, there was always like a codified energy of like, something's going on there that I recognize. 

Natalie: [Laughing] Yes, I trust this person—

Liv: Yeah.

Natalie: —in a deeper way. And then she was the one that wore the like, big sweater with the like, female symbol on it. Does that have a better name than female symbol?

Liv: I don't actually know. But I know the sweater you're talking about. And she would wear like a sports headband and chunky earrings. 

Natalie: Yeah. Now she's wearing I think a Gemini sweater.

Jasmin: That—she was gay when you were cast? Or that was your idea? 

Natalie: No, I think—think they she was gay when I was cast. They were always planning on making her gay, which was nice. 

Liv: Natalie, I was thinking about your body of work, preparing for you to come on the podcast—

Natalie: Oh, my God. 

Liv: And I sort of made myself laugh, because I realized how many characters you play that are from different LGBT walks of life. Like, I—you've played a lesbian like just on Netflix like twice, that I can think of.

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: One of which, on the show we first met on working on Santa Clarita Diet together.

Natalie: Yes!

Liv: And I just love that like, you know, if you need somebody to play a lesbian on Netflix, you can call Natalie Morales.

Natalie: Apparently. Although, I feel like I should, like not continue to let myself be pigeon holed in that way [laughs]. Cause like, listen, I'm all about representation, but also like, at some point where it's like this is all you see me yes?

Liv: You play, like, an asexual axolotl?

Natalie: That's true. I did play an asexual Axolotl.

Jasmin: What's the second word you guys are saying? 

Natalie: Axolotl. Do you know what that is? 

Jasmin: I don't.

Liv: It's a walking fish. 

Natalie: Yes. It's sort of like an underwater salamander type fish. It's very cute. They're typically pink. They have little like, things on their heads and then little arms and they have little smiles.

Jasmin: Aww!

Natalie: They're a very adorable animal. 

Liv: My older brother had a pet Axolotl when he was a teenager when I was young. 

Natalie: Really? 

Liv: Yeah, his name was Axey.

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: Yes, I did that—that was on Bojack Horseman. Yeah, I mean, I think like, hopefully those things are not the defining things about those characters. Although the asexual Axolotl, it definitely was, because that was the entire story point. 

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: But, but on Santa Clarita Diet, for example, that was a really fun role to play because she was super religious, and a cop and a lesbian—like a very seducing lesbian.

Jasmin: Closeted or out?

Natalie: I feel like out? Like, totally out? But like not really—doesn't—didn't care to talk to anybody about it. But just like existing. Yeah, I was very excited to go into costumes and be like, Can I get some wrangler men's jeans for this girl? 

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: I know I have a vision for how I wanted to dress and I want it to be like this. It was very exciting. 

Liv: Incredible. 

Jasmin: I want to read a quote from an essay that you wrote. 

Natalie: Okay. 

Jasmin: And then ask you a little bit about that, if that's okay with you. 

Natalie: Sure. Yeah. 

Jasmin: You wrote in 2017, an essay for Amy Pohler’s Smart Girls’ Blog and reading it healed the child in me. 

Natalie: Aww, thank you.

Jasmin: Here's a piece of it, that I might cry again, while reading. It's kind of long, so buckle up. “I also think it's important that if there are any scared kids out there like I was, I can tell you that whole ‘It Gets Better’ campaign is true. It does. And you're not weird. You're not bad. You're not unholy. You're exactly what God intended you to be. You are exactly what you were supposed to be, because nothing is supposed to be anything except for what it is, even if not everyone understands that. You are an essential part of the world, just as you were created. And I want to see you. The real you.” Whew, so I grew up very religious and—

Natalie: Same, yeah. 

Jasmin: Oh, man. The shame, the guilt, the self-hatred was, [singing] palpable! And I think if I had read something like that, from someone I looked up to on TV, when I was younger, that could have changed the trajectory of my life. Not that it's—it's going fine. But the inner life might be a little healthier, [laughs] if I had that growing up. 

Natalie: Yeah, same. Same, yeah. 

Jasmin: I want to know what happened on a personal level and on a public level from your fans after you published that essay. Did anyone reach out and say thank you on Instagram? Like, just tell us about that.

Natalie: Yeah, lots of people. It was a kind of healing and special time. You know, I was already out to everybody except for like, my family who—[laughs] certain people in my family. But like, all my friends, everybody that I was—I was very public about it in my personal life, but I'm also not in the, I don't know, in the—in the public life of like, what people know of me, as an actor. I never talked about my personal life or my family, or who I'm dating or anything, because I don't want people to know, like, that’s none of your business, you know? So, I just was like, oh, it's nobody's business to know this. And had I been straight, you know, there wouldn't have been anything to announce, I guess? So like, I was like, Why do I have to announce something that, you know, who cares? It's my life. And I don't—I don't need to tell anybody. And then I—I think it was when I was doing this movie battle of the sexes, where I was playing Rosie Casals, who was a basically out lesbian in the 70s, which was not an easy time to be an out lesbian. And we were about to do all this press for this movie—it felt disingenuous to just be like, “I'm an ally!” Like—[laughs] you know what I mean? It felt like I was about to do all this press from this point of view—the story is very much about Billie Jean discovering and allowing herself to be with a woman, discovering that she's a lesbian and that she, you know, it's—it's just as much about that famous tennis battle as it is about her sexuality and her discovering these parts about herself. And so, a lot of what we were talking about in the press was that, you know.

Liv: Yeah, of course.

Natalie: And—and I was like, I exactly what you said Jasmin, is what was ringing in my head, it was like, Damn, if I was a little girl that I once was, and like, my favorite show was Parks and Rec or something. And I had like, seen someone like me, maybe even like a lot next person who was an actor, you know, and I really liked them. And I felt like I knew them, in the way that we feel like we know the people that are on the TV shows we love, you know?

Jasmin: Yeah. Yeah. 

Natalie: Maybe this would make a difference. And maybe this is worth, like risking that or letting go of that privacy and just being like, I am a part of this community in a way that I want to make public because it is important that we continue to normalize this as much as possible. And I think, for us that like, are like in these like, big cities and coastal places, we feel like it is totally normalized, but that isn't the way it is—

Liv: Right. 

Natalie: —in the rest of the world or even in the rest of the United States, you know? And I have to keep reminding myself and reminding other people of that too, when they're like, “Oh, so what?” You know, like, Okay, you're gay. Why do you have to tell everybody? 

Jasmin: Right.

Natalie: Cause I've gotten that response too. I don't know, I—it wasn't because I was shy to say it, it was because I didn't feel like any of my personal life belonged to anybody else. But then I thought, No, this bit of my personal life does belong to the people out there who might need it, and who might feel saved from it or feel normalized from it or something, right? Legitimized from it. 

Liv: That's exactly how I feel. And then like, the—the intimacies of your personal life, like there's things that do belong to you in terms of like, who you are dating or like, what it feels like to be in your body or like walking the world as—as yourself. Those things still belong to you. And those privacies are still very real. 

Natalie: Yes. And I can share those at will if I want to, or I can keep them to myself. But yeah, it started to shift my view on—on sharing that, because I did start feeling exactly what you said Jasmine of like, someone might need this. And I don't want to be like talking about this subject from this, like removed point of view when I know that it means so, so much more to me than I can talk about in this like removed way. 

Jasmin: Right. 

Natalie: So then, the week that article is coming out, I was like, “Hey, Mom, I gotta—

[Jasmin and Liv laugh]

Natalie: —I read something that I gotta send you.

Jasmin: Whoa, you sent her the article? 

Natalie: Yeah—

Jasmin: Whoa…

Natalie: —that's how I came out to her, is I sent her that. My mom is very, very religious. And it was—it was a bit of a shock to her. Um—

Jasmin: Weren't you kind of like, really? Really, was it a shock?

Natalie: Yes—

Jasmin: Really…

Natalie: [Laughs] That's exactly what I was. I mean, I think after she thought about it later, she was like, oh, yeah, I guess. 

[Jasmin laughs]

Natalie: But I think that in her life, and in her point of view, and in her experience, in her culture, it's not as common. Like, for example, one of her friends at work is a very clearly gay man who like, she's like, [imitating her mom] I don't believe that he's gay. [Normal voice] And I'm like, really? Why? And she's like, [imitating her mom] you know why? He loves Beyonce.

[Jasmin laughs]

Natalie: [Imitating her mom] He got front row tickets to see Beyonce. You tell me how—why that's a gay man? [Normal voice] And like she doesn't—just doesn't see that. I mean, like she didn't understand. I’m like, because he's gay!

Jasmin: Yeah.

Natalie: She’s like, he has a boyfriend! How could he be gay? He has a boyfriend!
Jasmin: And that’s saying the exact same thing. 

Natalie: Yeah, she just didn't understand—that always really made me laugh. 

Jasmin: That reminds me, I—when I was cleaning my childhood room, I found all these pictures I drew as a kid where I paid a lot of attention to the breasts. 

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: The breasts

Jasmin: It was basically like, a little head, huge boobs and a tiny body. Notebooks and notebooks full. I'm like, Mom, do you see this? It was so clear. [laughs]

Natalie: She's like, I thought you just loved women? I do! Like yes— [laughs]

Jasmin: I literally do.

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: Yeah, I mean, my bedroom walls covered in Hansen posters.

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: Hansen were good because they were like, very non-threatening.

Natalie: Right. And they were—and Taylor Hansen is so beautiful. That like—

Liv: It’s quite fey—

Natalie: He was like—he allowed me to lust after of extremely woman-looking man. [laughs]

Jasmin: Yes.

Liv: There's like this—this moment and an episode of The Simpsons where Lisa is reading like a early 2000s magazine parody, and it's just called non-threatening boys.

[Natalie laughs]

Jasmin: Yeah.

Liv: And I'm like, yeah, that's—yeah, that's—that's it.

Natalie: Yeah. That's like pre-lesbian— [laughs]

Jasmin: Yeah, that's the vibe. 

Liv: It's like, oh, he just seems like I wouldn't have to worry about anything ever.

[Jasmin laughs]

Natalie: Yeah, like you just be nice. 

Jasmin: Yeah— [laughs] 

Liv: And never want anything from me in any capacity, and that's appealing to me—for some reason—

Natalie: And I can also just like, look at his face. 

Jasmin: Yeah, exactly.

Liv: And never do anything else. 

Natalie: Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, to answer your question. So after that, my mom was actually really supportive. This year, she got me—she got me a little pride tea towel, which was very adorable and made me cry!

Jasmin: That's huge!

Natalie: It was so huge! And the fact that she saw it and thought of me and wanted to give it to me was like, so special to me, and not something I would have experienced as a kid at all. Like—

Jasmin: Yeah.

Natalie: So she—she really is, you know, doing her best to understand and be supportive. 

Liv: That's a beautiful mom gift. 

Natalie: Yeah, it means a lot to me, even in tea towel form, really means a lot to me. But yeah, then—then I did get a lot of messages from kids who are like, I’m coming out to my family because of this. And I got a few messages from parents who were like, we're really religious in my family and I want my child to feel safe to come out to me and I hadn't thought about it in these terms. And I hadn't thought about you know, what I was saying around the house—

Liv: Yeah.

Natalie: —could have this effect on—on my child. So. So, yeah, I did get a lot of really meaningful responses. I still do, I still get messages about that. 

Jasmin: How does that feel? Is it a little overwhelming? 

Natalie: Yeah, it is. 

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: But it—but it feels really feels really good. I've like, printed out some because I'm like, I have to frame this [laughs].

Liv: Oh, yeah!

Natalie: Because it's really affirming. I don't know that I was like, really scared when I wrote that. I'm mostly scared of my mom.

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: I—you know, I'm in the wrong profession for this. I understand. I don't like the idea of people talking about me when I'm not there. Um—

Jasmin: Okay, we have to tell you something…

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: Yeah, I—I know, I know this. But I imagine that it like, never happens. But I knew that at least my family, when this came out, they would be talking about it. And that kind of bothered me. But—but it feels—I don't know how it feels—yeah, I guess the best word I can say is affirming. It feels very affirming. 

Liv: It's connective, too.

Natalie: Yeah. 

Liv: It’s like you feel connected, you feel yourself connected. 

Natalie: Yeah. And I also, I feel so good even providing a bridge to a community for people that might not see it, you know. Like, the bridges are everywhere. But when you're raised in a certain environment, or you know, you might not see that there's a way out, you might not see that there's a life for you beyond the bubble that you're in. 

Liv: Well, that's my favorite quote from that article is, “I want to see you”.

Natalie: Thanks. And I do and I think that like—God, if we all were really, really ourselves—like how much trauma and pain is caused in the world by people who are fighting so, so, so hard to not let themselves be seen? 

Jasmin: Yeah.

Natalie: There's so much shit and pain being caused by people who are terrified to be themselves. 

Liv: Yeah. And then what are what are the forces in place that make somebody feel like that in the first place?

Natalie: Right, exactly. 

Liv: Yeah. And how do we slowly at least dismantle that? 

Jasmin: Yeah. Well, thank you for writing that. Thank you for publishing it. And thanks for just being you. 

Natalie: Thank you!

Jasmin: You do all kinds of stuff that greatly impacts me. Another one of those being Plan B

Liv: Woo!

Jasmin: The casting in this movie, specifically casting two women of color in your leads, I needed that more than I thought I did. Like the second the movie started and I saw them both on screen, I was like, [makes crying noise]. 

[Natalie laughs]

Jasmin: Oh, my God, thank you for making that movie, first of all—

Natale: Thank you!

Jasmin: I just want to hear more about that process. How did the script come to you? I just want to know all about you directing and this movie in particular.

Natalie: Well, thanks. Um, you know, it's funny, I got this message the other day that I was like, Wow, you really missed the point. So—So Plan B is a movie about these two best friends, one of which is an Indian-American Girl, and the other one of which is a Mexican-American Girl, and they live in South Dakota. And it's—they're basically completely surrounded in a sea of white people, as you are a lot of times when you're in South Dakota, or the middle of America. Or when you're like the children of immigrants, or whatever. And I got a message that was like, Oh, “There are only two people of color in this movie! Everyone else is white!” And I was like, that’s the point? [laughs]

Jasmin: Yeah.

Natalie: You—you missed that. I really, actually tried very hard to put some, like, Native American people in the movie, because it's such a big Native American population in South Dakota and in the Dakotas in general. And it was—it was like an exhaustive search for actors in that age range. And there was like, no one, and I can't believe that that's true—

Liv: Yeah, no.

Natalie: —and I wonder about the access to people—

Jasmin: Yeah.

Natalie: —in those communities to audition and to get these breakdowns. And I keep talking about that, because I feel like it needs to—that needs to change. And I hope that like, people in those communities, hear these podcasts and go like, “Wait, I'm an actor. And I'm 17. And I didn't even hear about this.” And I hope that they contact me, and I hope that I can introduce them to casting directors and like, make that happen. Because I found that to be so annoying that I couldn't—like I was trying so hard to represent these people that live in this place. And I couldn't find anybody, like anybody at all. It would like, the youngest person that could audition was like 35 minutes, like I'm sorry, don't look like a teenager like I don’t think I can cast you in this— [laughs]

Liv: That's probably why projects like Reservation Dogs are so exciting. 

Natalie: Exactly! I know! And I wonder what the casting process was for that, because I'm sure that it was like very, very deep dive into communities that didn't have opportunities and discovering new actors and people that had not done anything. But beyond that point—thank you for saying that. It was also very, very healing for me to see women of color in these roles where they weren't relegated to the side characters and it was about them, but it wasn't about how they are marginalized—

Jasmin: Right.

Natalie: —necessarily, and there are some mentions of racism and discrimination, but that's just because it's everyday life. So we couldn't exclude that because that would be not accurate, but I didn't want to make the movie about that. I had only directed an episode of The Show Room 104, that was an HBO show that by the Duplass brothers. But I knew like I was like, I've never directed a feature before. There's like, no chance I'm going to get this but the story in here, you know, these two best friends that are in search of the plan B pill—not—not to toot my own horn, but I was like, I think if I make this, I can make this really cool.

Jasmin: Toot your damn horn!

Natalie: Yeah, I was like, I have a vision for how to do this. Like, I want to make this just as disgusting and raunchy and as insane as all the movies we've gotten with like teenage boys, where they go and you know, have to go to the cool party or get the girl a letter or get the alcohol or you know, whatever. In this case, it's get the plan B pill. But I want to make it feel like the teen movies that we all grew up with and that we all saw that just happened to star boys. And all those movies by the way take place usually in these like bigger cities or wealthy neighborhoods or whatever. And I—and I wanted this to be the part of America people don't see and the people that America doesn't see. And you know, have their lives and their problems feel just as important and just as whatever. But I also was like these teenage girls deserve all the raunchiness, all the craziness, all the insanity, but they also deserve for it to look beautiful. I want it to feel like gritty and real. And I want you to see like that their skin has like marks on it. I want you to see them. And I want you to feel the Americana of this. And I want it to feel kind of iconic. Like the Movies that we've seen before. I want their costumes to feel iconic. Like you remember them, like somebody can dress up like them for Halloween, you know? 

Liv: Yeah, totally. That's—that's the dream, always. 

Natalie: Yes, that's exactly what I was going for. So I pitch that to these producers, because I was like, there's no chance I'm gonna get this. So, I'm gonna pitch it how I see it. And if I get it great, then I'll figure out how to do what I pitched.

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: And if I don't get it, then it's not the movie I wanted to make anyway, right?

Jasmin: Yeah.

Liv: Yeah. Sometimes it takes giving us—like letting yourself off the hook that much. Like giving yourself permission to just go completely to the walls, being like, No, you know what, fuck it. This is exactly everything I want. And it's so funny that like the—often those are the times where you will end up getting it. 

Natalie: And I did. They bought my crazy ass pitch of like, “Alright, so we're gonna see a penis, we're really going to see a penis!”

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: I don't know, I feel like—not only do like, marginalized groups always get these like sob stories about their lives. And like, especially like with queer stories. It's always like tragic, or like something awful always happens. 

Jasmin: So tired of it. 

Natalie: And I definitely didn't want to do that. But I also wanted it to be daring. And I wanted it to have that moment in the movie theater, where you're like, “Oh, shit, I can't look!” You know, I wanted to have all those elements and still have the heart get you through this like wild story. And then at a certain point in the movie, you're like, oh, fuck, this is what this movie is about. These girls should not have been on this trip at all. I'm really thankful that I got to make it. It was a really—it was an emotional experience for me. There are several points in the movie that—I mean, I've seen it a lot by now. And I still cry a lot. I cry—Lupe’s scene in the car with Logan, and I cry at the end with Lupe and her dad, and I cry with Sonny and her mom and I cry with them together. And it like really kind of heals my teenage soul in a way and happy to have had anything to do with something like that, you know? 

Jasmin: Yeah. And, again, I say thank you. 

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: Thank you!

Jasmin: I feel like there's nothing else I can say. Because similar to you're coming out in that essay, I think you know how big of an impact it makes. But you also don't know how big of an impact it makes. You know what I mean? 

Natalie: I know how big of an impact it makes to me and to like maybe my immediate community and the people that reach out to me, but I mean, all of us do that, right? We all put stuff out in the world that a lot of people consume that we don't ever see or talk to. And we don't know the impact that that has. And so, it's a big responsibility in a lot of ways that you can't—I feel like you can't take it too seriously. But at the same time, you have to know what it is. 

Jasmin: Right, right. If you take it too seriously, it's—you freeze up. [Laughs]

Natalie: Yeah. And it also becomes somewhat contrived, right? You just have to like, kind of do what you feel is the realest. 

Jasmin: Yeah, I agree. 

Liv: We ask people a lot on this podcast about like, how they conceptualize success, or like, what their idea of success is and their relationship to it. Like, how does that live in your brain? Like with these artistic questions that are so important to you, and like the things you want to accomplish? How do you think about success? 

Natalie: Umm, that's interesting. Do you mean success in like a—in a career way?

Jasmin: Whatever, however you interpret it. 

Liv: Yeah, that's part of the question, I guess.

Natalie: I don't know. I don't know because I feel—I honestly feel, in general, in my life, and especially in my career—I feel like I…12 years ago did everything I ever thought I could possibly do. And so, everything since then has just been like bonus rounds of like, What can I get away with? And, what else can I do in this life? Because I could have died happy 12 years ago is what I mean. You know what I mean? Like, I did way more than I ever, ever dreamed I could accomplish. Like, I never, as a kid, thought that I could do this for a living—like, what? I get to make movies? I get to be in movies? I get to meet cool people like me? I get to live in Los Angeles? I get to like have awesome friends and a dog and then you know, live in a house and like—

Liv: Aww!

Jasmin: Hell yeah.

Natalie: —I get to do all these things that I never ever thought possible all my life growing up, you know, so—so every step beyond that—like I feel wildly successful. That doesn't mean I have always felt like money secure or—

Jasmin: Right, those are two different things.

Natalie: secure in other ways, but I feel like a success, for sure. And I have felt like a success for a long, long time. And—and I think that like, you know, I grew up pretty poor and there's definitely like a scarcity mindset that I have to fight a lot, like, with food or with money or with jobs—like I panic if there's only like one slice of pizza left and there's other people around. Like, I have to like fight that even if I'm not hungry. Like I—my—something in my brain, like turns on and is like, “I gotta get that last slice!” [Laughs] You know, like I have that with jobs, with saying no to jobs. I have that with like—

Jasmin: Oh, yeah.

Natalie: —the smallest weirdest things. I have that with, like fear of losing what I've gotten, right? But that doesn't take away that I've reached so much, and so much more than I ever thought was possible in my life. Like, I think it's important to remember that like, you are what you dreamed of at some point in your life, you know? And—and that's really exciting for me. 

Liv: Amazing. 

Jasmin: I love that. Bonus round, that's gonna be my new little theme song in my head. 
Natalie: Yeah, it's all bonus rounds. For sure. 

Jasmin: This is a bonus round. So just have fun! Because I had a similar realization a couple days ago, being a bit addicted to work and realizing, what the heck? I've done everything I wanted—there's only one thing that I haven't done yet. And that is, perform on Broadway. But everything else I've ever dreamed of, I've done. So why am I stressing out? This should just be fun. [Laughs]

Natalie: Yeah. And also, you have so much time to perform on Broadway like—

Jasmin: Yeah!

Natalie: —that’s gonna happen.

Jasmin: It’ll happen!

Liv: Oh, yeah, I'm not worried about that, at all.

[Natalie laughs]

Jasmin: I have no doubt. No doubt.

Liv: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Jasmin: We have one more question, then we're going to play a little game. 

Natalie: Okay. 

Jasmin: And this is—this is Liv’s questions, so I'll let them ask it. 

Liv: It's my favorite question! Are you familiar with Fun Home

Natalie: [Laughs] Hold on—

Liv: It’s a—it’s a—

Natalie: No, no, no, I just—I don’t know what you said because of your accept. 

[Jasmin laughs]

Natalie: I don’t know if you said, like, “ET phone home,” or if you said—

[Jasmin and Liv laugh]

Natalie: —somebody’s last name called Phoneheim? I have no idea what it is you’re saying. I’m so sorry, Liv— [laughs]

Liv: No, it’s okay. The cosmic burden of being Australian. 

Natalie: [Laughing] Yeah.

Liv: Alison Bechtel is graphic novel and subsequent musical, Fun Home

Natalie: Oh, yes. Yes. “Fun Home,” yes, yes—

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: Are you familiar with the song, “Ring of Keys” from Fun Home? 

Natalie: No, I've never seen the musical or heard the songs from it. Although I am familiar with Alison Bechtel and the Bechtel test and the idea of the musical and sort of like what it's about, but I've never seen it.

Liv: No problem. I will explain. So, Young Alison Bechdel as like a child sees an older butch lesbian in like a diner, and sings this song about like, this feeling of like looking at this woman and being like, I know you. Like I—I recognize you. And it's called “Ring of Keys,” because it's like, she's—she's wearing like work boots and jeans and she has this like, hefty ring of keys on her belt. And this—this little girl was like, holy shit. Like I—like I recognize you. I know you. So the question I want to ask you is, do you remember ever having a moment like that? 

Natalie: Oh, yeah. You mean that like, young gay tingle moment—

[Jasmin laughs]

Natalie: —is what you’re talking about, right?

Liv: Yes. Yep.

Natalie: That moment where you're like, woah! What is this?

Liv: Yes. Yes.

Natalie: I mean, there were certainly like moments where I was growing up and looking at friends of mine and not even really understand—as many of us didn’t, when—because we weren't even taught that that was an option. Looking at—at friends of mine and being like, I really want to be your friend

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: Not understanding the full depths of what that meant. Like, why did I want to be this girl’s friend so bad—? 

Jasmin: I still have that sometime. 

Liv: Yeah, that still happens to me. 

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: It's like, I don't look at my other friends calves, like—

[Liv and Jasmin laugh]

Natalie: —I don't like, stare at parts of their—their like skin and body as much as I'm looking at this person. 

Liv: And it's like, it's something in your chest, just like recognition, almost. If like, we—I need to be close to you, specifically. 

Natalie: Yeah, I—you know, I'm remembering two moments right now, which is my mom—my mom had this friend named Peter, who—she knew a lot of realtors in Miami. And Peter was a realtor in Miami Beach in the 90s, which meant there was like a 90% chance that he was gay. 

[Jasmin and Liv laugh]

Natalie: And he was. And my mom was a single mom. And we didn't have a lot of money, as I said. And I met Peter a couple times, and he was this like, fabulous gay man. And I would just like, stare at him. Because I knew that like—I think in the—in the Latin community, or at least in my community, and in the—in the Cuban community, like being a gay man—for men, for like macho men, was like a no-no. Like, for your dad was a no-no. But for the women, had a use, right? You were a hairdresser, or you were a designer, you were like—you had something to offer, and you were friends to these women. And it was a little bit more acceptable. Gay women had no use because, you know, they're just trying to be men, and they don't have babies and—whatever, right? Like, that's like the bigger arching thing. So, I would look at gay men who were living their lives openly and freely—and also my mom's relationship with them, who—my mom was very close to a lot of gay men. And—and very non-discriminatory about them. Although, you know, she would say like, but of course, they can't get married. Certainly not through the church. Although she did—she did always—and very early on, I don't know if it was because of an argument I had with her—she did always go like, well, they should be allowed to adopt, because there shouldn't be kids in the world without parents, when parents want them. Something in her head was like, I—that makes sense, but not marriage, because marriage is between a man and a woman. You know what I mean? Like, it's like a—something that she had to wrestle within herself. 

Jasmin: Yeah. 

Natalie: But anyway, Peter was my mom's friend. And we would sometimes go to his house on weekends. He lived in like, Key West. I was really little, I don't remember ton of details about this, but I would watch him and watch how he behaved and watch how he lived his life like, very freely. And I still have a fascination with like, office and school supplies, because he—before I was starting school, sent me a backpack—a really nice backpack full of all these school supplies and markers and stuff that my mom couldn't afford. Like, I was the kid who showed up to school with all of my mom's like, work office supplies instead of like, cool new, like the smelly markers that everyone had, you know? And—and Peter got me this backpack full of cool school supplies. And, like—

Jasmin: Like Lisa Frank?

Natalie: Yeah, and like really—the really nice markers, and a really nice, like, fancy backpack and a really, whatever. 

Jasmin: Oh, wow.

Natalie: And—and I think it's because—I mean, I think he was just a nice man. But I think he saw how I looked at him. And he saw, you know, what I needed and what I didn't ask for, because we were poor, but I like—I never wanted for anything in terms of like actual needs. Like I had food, you know, and I had a roof over my head. But I didn't have what other kids around me had. And I think he saw that. And I think he saw like some sort of kinship with me and I—and I still, like I said, I still have a fascination with like office supplies in school supplies. And then, pretty much right after that he died of AIDS. 

Jasmin: Oh, I’m sorry.

Natalie: Oh, it's okay. I mean, I barely remember him, honestly. I just remember how I felt around him. And I felt so safe. And I didn't feel that way around a lot of men. And I knew that with him I was safe. I guess it was because I—I knew that he dared to live his life as honestly as he could no matter what it would cost him, you know? And—and I guess I also knew that my mom loved him and accepted him. And so those two things made me feel safe. It's making me emotional—

Jasmin: That’s beautiful. 

Natalie: I think that maybe was my Fun Home moment, was with Peter.

Jasmin: Wow. Thank you for sharing that with us. 

Natalie: Yeah.

Jasmin: That's beautiful. And it's good to remember that just being ourselves out in the world can create a safe space for someone else. Totally. I mean, that's part of why I wrote that—that letter, you know? Maybe I can be someone's Peter even if they don't know me.

Jasmin: Yeah, exactly.

Natalie: [Sighs] Woah.

[Everyone laughs]

Jasmin: Well, we’re gonna make a 180, and now play a game!

[Everyone laughs]

Natalie: Okay, great!

Jasmin: Okay, so I love to create and host these games and not tell Liv what they are, so that they can play along with our guests. So, we're gonna play, Gender This! 

[Gender This theme music]

Jasmin: We play this because we think it’s so silly, that gender is a thing. And also, it's fun for Liv to gender things that aren't them. 

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: Yeah, I love—I love looking at like a sandwich or a pencil case and being like, this is a little guy!

[Jasmin and Natalie laugh]

Liv: I love making gender, um, a table’s problem, instead of my problem. 

Natalie: Sure.

Jasmin: So, I'm gonna just say a bunch of words and you guys just rapid fire whatever comes to your head, say what the gender is. Are we ready? 

Natalie: Okay. 

Jasmin: 3, 2, 1—nerf guns?

Natalie: Um, teenage boy. 

Liv: Yeah, like Peter Pan, like boyhood but like not attached to anything. 

Jasmin: Yeah. Night Shift by Lucy Dacus. 

Liv: Oh, that's like, so universal. 

Natalie: Yeah, I feel like that's totally genderless.

Liv: Yeah, like, but like moody. Like, a glass of red wine. 

Natalie: Mh hmm.

Jasmin: Okay. Norwegian airlines?

Liv: Lesbian. 

Natalie: Yeah.

Jasmin: Naps?

Liv: Babies.

[Natalie laughs]

Jasmin: 90s Hip Hop?

Natalie: I—stripper. Doesn't—that’s genderless. But, stripper.

Liv: Yeah. 

Jasmin: Norton firewall protection? 

Liv: Oh, like—like the—like Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Like—like a—

[Natalie laughs]

Jasmin: Oh!

Liv: Like, a male voice, but robotic. 

Jasmin: Okay, yeah. I see that. Natalie Morales’ Plan B on Hulu?

[Natalie laughs]

Liv: For anyone and everyone!

Jasmin: It's a rainbow! 

Natalie: Yeah. 

Jasmin: Napkins?

Liv: Like an 80s businesswoman. 

Natalie: Yeah, I was gonna say, napkins are like a 47-year-old white mom. 

Jasmin: Yeah, totally. Okay, these three are for Natalie. Never Have I Ever on Netflix?

Natalie: I—I know this is gonna sound weird, but I feel like teenage boy.

Jasmin: Okay! You know what? That checks out to me. Yeah. Netflix?

Natalie: Netflix in general? [laughs]

Jasmin: [Laughing] Yeah.

Natalie: Um…uh…Netflix in general is Vin Diesel. 

Jasmin: Navel oranges?

Natalie: Ooo, navel oranges are like—like a hot nonbinary girl on Tik Tok.

Jasmin: Great. Liv, these are for you. Needle point?

Liv: Oh, like a—like high femme, but like cottage core. Like baking scones. 

Jasmin: [Laughs] I dated her. Nine the Musical. 

Liv: Ooo! Um, Femme Fatale, sleek, like black and white. Like, legs up to here. But like, described in a man's voice. Like, [Transatlantic accent] Sure, the dame walked in like this—

[Jasmin laughs]

Jasmin: Nine the number.

Natalie: That also has legs.

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: Like a—like a mother. Like a—like an Earth mother.

Jasmin: Okay. Natalie, Noah's Ark, the story? 

Natalie: A spider going like, huh?

[Everyone laughs]

Jasmin: Liv, Nair Hair Removal Cream?

Liv: Like a—an alien. 

Natalie: Yeah.

Jasmin: And for both of you, you know me, not having the police, aka abolishing the police.

Natalie: I don't think that's even like a human in my perception—or like a being. I feel like that's like a—like a cloud of dust you walk into where everything's shiny. 

Liv: Ooo!

Jasmin: I love that. I back that. Okay. Thank you for playing—

Natalie: You’re welcome [laughs].

Jasmin: —gender this. And we're going to leave you on one final question for everybody to answer. What are you going to do this week to further the homo schedule?

Natalie: I mean, I think just like existing furthers it, right? But something more specific. I'm gonna fuck around and do some mushrooms. 

Jasmin: Oh—

Liv: Oh, hell yeah! 

Jasmin: Heck yeah!

[Everyone laughs]

Liv: I'm gonna—I'm gonna be really intentional about staying in touch with my friends in different countries to me this week. Because, I missed them. And I want to stay connected, even if that's not physically possible at the moment. 

Jasmin: I love that.

Natalie: Liv, that's a good idea. It's a good reminder for us all.

Jasmin: I mean, I don't know if you guys have this, but I might ADD-ness makes me sometimes forget I have friends.

Natalie: Oh, yeah—

Jasmin: Cause it’s like an object permanence thing. And I have to be like, Oh, I love so many people! I have to call them. 

Liv: Yeah, totally. 

Jasmin: Because it can also be overwhelming. Like, I love so many people that it's—I can't call them all! So—

Natalie: Yeah. Do you know what I do? I—can I give you guys some advice that's so fun?

Jasmin: Please!

Natalie: Especially if you're bored in Vancouver!

Jasmin: Please!

Natalie: Write all your friends letters!

Jasmin: I love! That's crossed my mind. 

Natalie: Is—it’s the best getting a letter!

Jasmin: That's a great idea. 

Natalie: Especially if you're at a hotel and you have the hotel stationery. 

Liv: Yeah, that's so fun!

Jasmin: Yeah that’s a great—I—you know what, that's what I'm gonna do to further the Gay Agender this week. I'm going to write one of my best friends a letter. 

Liv: Hell yeah. I love that.

Jasmin: Thank you. Natalie Morales!

Natalie: Thank you!
Liv: Thank you so much for coming and speaking with us!

Natalie: Thank you, Liv. Thank you, Jasmin.

[Transition music]

Liv: After every interview, there is still so much more for us to read and learn and talk about.

Jasmin: So here are some citations we want to share with you. 

Liv: So in this episode, Natalie discusses the various queer characters they've played throughout their career, including an asexual Axolotl named Yolanda Buenaventura, on Bojack Horseman. Asexuality is often misunderstood in society or not taken seriously, but it is slowly gaining more representation in pop culture. And we're talking about it more as a culture in general, which is sick.

Jasmin: So sick.

Liv: So we're going to link this article, which is, “Why I Find Bojack Horseman's Depiction of Asexuality Deeply Relatable” by Michael Cuby for Them. which was written in 2018. I like this quote, “Bojack depicts the unique ways in which marginalized people are forced to contend with a world that often doesn't feel designed for us.” The link to that article will be available in the show notes. 

Jasmin: So here's an article I like. It's called, “Plan B is a Winning Comedy with Some Painful Truths” by Linda Holmes for NPR. During the episode, Natalie talked about what it was like to make their recent movie, Plan B. And this article is beautiful. It's talking about exactly what it says, the painful truths for mostly young women, and specifically young women of color, trying to access abortion pills in specific states. Here's a quote that I really like, “This is a gentle, goofy, sweet and Frank story about the importance of your best friends, the fact that people often love you more than you fear they will, and the concrete consequences of public policy debates that often don't even include the people who will navigate those consequences.” It's a great article, quick read, and it's linked for you in the show notes.

[Outro theme music begins]

Liv: This has been The Homo Schedule

Jasmin: I'm Jasmin Savoy Brown, your host, producer and creator of the show.

Liv: And I'm Liv Hewson, your host and producer. 

Jasmin: The Homo Schedule is produced by Multitudefor Netflix. Our lead producer is Eric Silver. Our engineer and editor is Misha Stanton. And our executive producer is Amanda McLaughlin.

Liv: Be sure to follow Most, Netflix's home for LGBTQ plus storytelling on Twitter and Instagram, @Most.

Jasmin: And the best way to help us keep advancing the homo schedule is to tell a friend about the show!

Liv: So, post about us on socials! Or text someone a link to your favorite episode! 

Jasmin: We'll see you next week!

Liv: This meeting has been adjourned! [Bangs gavel]

[Outro theme music ends]