LOS ANGELES – Three months after having her first baby and not long after she completed the Emmy-nominated series “PEN15,” Anna Konkle liked the sound of filming her next project in a remote Mexican jungle.
“You had heard of casts going to these beautiful places and they had to be quarantined and so they would just stay in these amazing hotels and film there,” she said.
In reality, Konkle’s experience of making her new movie, “The Drop,” which premieres Friday on Hulu, was anything but blissful. The poor cell reception and limited access to food and water were the least of the breastfeeding mom’s worries. By the end of the shoot, she had to have fluids administered through an intravenous line.
“Everyone got horrific diarrhea and I stopped making milk so then I would have to get the IV while I pumped to make milk because I was so dehydrated,” she recalled. In the end, she was glad she made the movie — and not just because her daughter “adapted wonderfully and was very fat by the end of filming.”
“I loved the idea of motherhood being not saccharine, but R-rated and funny. And that just felt exciting to be a part of that, I think, especially grappling with the stage that I was at,” she said.
“The Drop,” which was executive produced by Jay Duplass, follows Lex (Konkle) and Mani (Jermaine Fowler) as the happy couple tries to get pregnant. But their relationship is put to the test when Lex drops their friends’ baby in front of everyone during a destination wedding trip.
For Konkle, the film’s honest exploration of being a parent and the mistakes that come with it was a refreshing reminder as she was adjusting to life as a new mom.
“The amount of criticism that I find myself having, scrutinizing myself, comparing myself to other people and, you know, they’re vacationing with their child or they’re teaching them science or whatever,” she said. “I just loved in the film that it was kind of like, s—- happens, no one’s perfect and you grapple with that and you keep going.”
Konkle, along with her best friend Maya Erskine, garnered critical praise for “PEN15,” a cringe-filled homage to seventh grade set in the early 2000s that the duo starred in and co-created. Although she and Erskine both studied experimental theater in college, where they met, Konkle sees comedy as a natural, albeit unexpected, step in her career.
“There is something in comedy of laughing at the darkest moments and your own vulnerability that feels like you can go farther than drama,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d end up in comedy. I was like so serious. But it’s the perfect home. I feel so grateful that that’s where I kind of landed.”