Following eight seasons of IFC’s Portlandia, creator, writer, EP, director and actor Carrie Brownstein was quick to cite some favorite characters she and co-star Fred Armisen portrayed over the years.
At a Contenders Emmys panel moderated by Deadline’s international co-editor Peter White, Brownstein put feminist bookstore proprietors Toni and Candace at the top of the list.
The sketch, set in the fictional Women & Women First bookstore, famously resulted in Portlandia being slammed by the owners of real-life Portland feminist bookstore In Other Words over Armisen appearing as a Candace in a long gray wig and a dress. The owners reportedly considered the portrayal an affront to the transgender community.
Another of Brownstein’s favorite pairs brought identity issues into play: Brownstein and Armisen swapped genders as Nina and Lance. Brownstein said she misses the mustache, adding, ”I loved the freedom of sitting like this” — taking a wide-legged “male” stance in her chair on the stage, elbows on her knees. “And when I put that mustache on, I was unafraid to take up copious amounts of space in any room.”
Now that it’s finally time to put a bird on the series with its final season, so to speak, White asked Brownstein if she would continue to find room for sketch comedy in her career since is making her feature film directorial debut with MGM’s Fairy Godmother.
“I hope so, I do love … how kinetic it is,” she said, adding that she liked being in the moment “without overthinking it.”