NYCC 2018 Interview: ‘Stan Against Evil’ Star Janet Varney
By Dr. Zaius
Saturday, October 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am
Stan Against Evil has moved to “Regular” status at New York Comic Con. The IFC series created by Dana Gould made its third consecutive appearance at NYCC, New York’s largest gathering of geek culture, to promote the upcoming third season, which debuts on Halloween night. Along with Gould and Stan himself, John C. McGinley, was Janet Varney. Varney plays Sheriff Evie Barret, who must protect Willard’s Mill from demons and deal with a constant barrage of insults from Stan. She’s a veteran of multiple series including lending her voice to the title role in The Legend of Korra. She sat with us at NYCC to discuss Stan Against Evil and its upcoming Season 3, as well as her new project on IFC.com.
Question: When you’re not an actress, you’re also a writer?
Janet Varney: Yeah, I got a new show on IFC, another one, thankfully they’re not sick of me yet. It’s on IFC.com and just premiered this week called Fortune Rookie. I wrote it, created it, produced it, star in it, and there’s a ton of talented people working with me, so I’m not taking all the credit. But it came from my brain. It came from the one visit to a psychic I actually did and I desperately wanted to believe. I mean I’m a total Fox Mulder, my whole life. I’m ready! Aliens, ghosts, come on over! But I keep not having those experiences. I had a friend who had that experience with a psychic, and I thought maybe this will be the moment where I’m a convert, but there was just nothing. But I couldn’t get that out of my mind, what it takes to be a psychic and how to hide it if you’re not real. I put that up against the backdrop of LA and do this weird hybrid thing. I think it’s kind of like Curb [Your Enthusiasm] meets Portlandia. The LA we created is very strange, very silly, it’s deplorable. The version of myself that I play is kind of a dick. James Roday from Psych is in it, he plays my nemesis. Turns out I have a real nemesis played by Scott Adsit from 30 Rock. It’s this weird adventure of me in the streets of Los Angeles juxtaposed by me giving just terrible readings to famous people. That was a very long-winded answer, but it’s been the other passion in my life.
The actress discussed the differences between taking on voice acting roles like in Korra versus the physical strains of playing Evie, from hitting her marks, to the stunt work to staying in shape. She laughed about how happy she was to find out how much Hugh Jackman hated dieting to get in shape to play Wolverine. When asked about starring in a show where the creator is also a cast member (Dana Gould portrays Kevin), she talked about how easy Gould makes things on set and described him as “such a collaborator.”
Varney spoke about her relationship to the Evie character and said something I found insightful. She said she brings less of herself into the role of Evie than she hoped to gain from the character into her life, such as perseverance and true grit to protect the people she loves and even those she doesn’t.
Geeks of Doom: My favorite Evie moment from Season 2 was in the episode “Girls’ Night” where you go crazy and try to kill Denise (Deborah Baker Jr.). Did you have a favorite episode or moment from Season 2?
Janet Varney: I loved that episode. I loved putting on the lipstick poorly and when we were doing my makeup, our makeup person Ashley she made me do the lipstick myself and become crazy Evie and just go nuts. Then we had to shoot a different day and we realized we had to get it that same way even though it was this very organic moment of me crazily applying the lipstick. I love that episode, and in fact there’s a sister episode to that in season 3. I get to play a vampire and I’m very angsty petulant teenage, Vampire Diaries-style vampire. And then I drink blood for the first time and since I’ve never had it I get drunk. That’s the kind of episode we do that is so much fun.
Varney can be seen all over IFC. Her new series Fortune Rookie is on IFC.com now. Stan Against Evil season 1 and 2 are streaming on Hulu now and season 3 debuts on IFC on Halloween night at 10pm. New York Comic-Con runs through Sunday evening at the Javits Center, Hammerstein Ballroom, Theater at MSG, and all throughout NYC. Check back to geeksofdoom.com all weekend for more NYCC coverage.