FXX’s You’re the Worst is currently in the middle of its second season, airing on Wednesday nights at 10:30pm ET/PT and starring Aya Cash, Chris Geere, Desmin Borges, and Kether Donohue. The half-hour show from writer/executive producer Stephen Falk could best be described as a twisted anti-romantic comedy, an edgy adult comedy that never fails to surprise viewers. With season two underway, Desmin Borges took the time to participate in a conference call with journalists to discuss what’s happening with his character, Edgar. Edgar is a veteran who’s dealing with PTSD and trying his best to get back to a ‘normal’ life, and in our Q&A Borges chatted about Edgar’s new love interest, improv comedy, and why his character is You’re the Worst‘s Ringo Starr.
Even with all he’s dealing with, Edgar seems the most normal one of the group of friends. Do you think he is the voice of reason in the group?
Desmin Borges: “Yeah I guess so. I like to call him the moral compass of the show. I feel like at any point we can turn the camera over to Edgar and really get away from the ‘worst’ captioning that’s kind of going on. You know, it’s kind of like The Beatles from back in the day, right? John was the front runner, Paul was the pretty boy, George wrote the best lyrics, and then Ringo was just the lovable guy on the drums over there, that everyone just kind of took for granted. But Ringo kept the beat going and I think that’s what Edgar does.
I will say that’s the first time that I’ve ever compared myself to Ringo Starr or us to The Beatles…and it will be the last because I now just realized how ridiculous I sounded right there.”
How much of your personality do you bring into the character?
Desmin Borges: “I think with acting in general there’s always a bit of you that’s in every character. Whether it’s a part that you’re scared to recognize or a part that you’re eager to recognize, there’s always a little bit of you that’s in there. Like, I know the similarities between myself and Edgar revolving around food are totally there. Stephen [Falk] and I worked previously together on his other show on NBC, Next Caller, that didn’t quite make it to the air, and I don’t remember if he found out then how crazy I am about going out and eating and cooking my own food. I’m a foodie to the 10th degree, but then it just kind of turned into Edgar’s normal day activity here and I love it. I love the shot that we have with Edgar making the breakfast lasagna or making the protein shakes. I find it to be very comforting and very easy to be following that sort of the storyline.”
I’m so excited that Edgar has an actual, real person he can date and not somebody he’s just lusting after. What can you say about Dorothy and where that relationship is going to go?
Desmin Borges: “Oh, she’s so lovely, isn’t she?”
Desmin Borges: “It’s like a breath of fresh air. There’s like an actual real person because I guess Edgar is the most ‘real person’ within the group, but Dorothy is a real actual human being and she’s going to infiltrate our group. Hopefully she’ll add some of that normalcy on to Edgar’s plate, because I know that’s what he’s striving for with this transition like in civilian-hood here. But other than that, it’s just such a breath of fresh air for someone to be as down to earth and as nerdy and as kind of nervous as Edgar is about the whole situation he’s having. Dorothy is just kind of the exact same way and, I don’t know, it feels very easy and at home.
And, it’s with Collette [Wolfe] who’s a good friend of mine who I’ve worked with prior on Stephen’s other show Next Caller. She was actually the lead on that show, so she and I have great chemistry together and I very much enjoyed it to play around with her on the set.”
What has impressed you the most about the second season compared to the first?
Desmin Borges: “Well, I mean there’s a lot of things, but the ease with which we were able to kind of transition into the second season and we picked up running full speed ahead from where we left off with the final four episodes of the first season that really I feel like pushed us over the edge, and put us up front. Then, the issues that we’re tackling specifically within the Jimmy and Gretchen storyline, I just think that we’re about to witness something that’s never been witnessed on television before, definitely not within a comedy or romantic comedy or an anti-romantic comedy setting. Then there’s also just that I’m floored by the way Stephen and the writers can set up three to four individual storylines that weave in and out together but can take the show and make the show individually by themselves, on their own, and that’s just credit to how brilliant they are in that are in that room.”
Do you sometimes wish Edgar could have some of the traits of Jimmy or Gretchen that make them the worst and maybe have some fun playing with that?
Desmin Borges: “Oh yeah, all the time. I constantly beg Stephen to let me break bad…I want Edgar to shoot heroin. [Laughing] I know that’s probably never going to happen and it’s not something I’m actually interested in doing in my personal life. Before we started shooting the first season, a veteran came in and spoke to us in the writers room. He told us his entire story of the triumphs and the pitfalls of having PTSD and going to multiple tours in Iraq, and one of the things he said to me is that during his darkest times he would go out and look for someone to beat the hurt out of him, not that he was wanting to engage in any fight, but he wanted someone to beat it out of him because he didn’t know how to get it out. That really affected me and stayed with me, actually stays with me till this day. At some point I would like for us to explore what it would be like for Edgar to have the hurt beat out of him, which might cause him to be the worst. […]That’s definitely something that I’d like to go through.”
Edgar was surprisingly forward in asking Dorothy out. Is that the secret to asking people out nowadays?
Desmin Borges: “I’ve been saying my whole life that truth is key, right? I mean honesty is the key. No one really likes to hear it, sometimes it’s hard. You know, sometimes the truth is very hard to hear, sometimes the truth is hard to say, but everyone respects each other in the end for it. For Edgar specifically, for someone who is still trying to navigate what it’s like to be a human, who isn’t told what to wear, what time to wake up and what exactly to eat all the time, this is his first major step in actually evolving into someone who might be able to define his own path or at least start walking in the way where he can start making his own decisions, and break down those walls of just being me is unforgettable because he’s so forgettable because at the heart of it he is anything but that. I feel like he has a whole lot to offer someone with all his love – and his cooking.”
Do you think Jimmy and Gretchen would survive without Edgar living with them?
Desmin Borges: “As much as they give Edgar s**t, and the three of us living together is kind of like a dysfunctional tripod – it’s never quite balanced, it’s never quite even – I think that they desperately need Edgar there to kind of counter-balance their worstiness. And at the same time, they would never eat or drink other than alcohol out of a bottle so just for survival’s sake they have to need Edgar there. But I think Edgar is open to the idea and the possibility of moving out, becoming his own man, and having his own girlfriend and real relationship and trying to figure out what that’s like in life. I feel like those are the next steps for Edgar, and I think we’re kind of putting them into place.
But yeah, Jimmy and Gretchen, I think they might die from starvation, like, literally in the house.”
In season one Edgar and Lindsey talked about how they might just be Gretchen and Jimmy’s sidekicks, but now it seeems Edgar and Lindsey are really also leads. Was that always planned to have the four leads and the different storylines or they were supposed to be sidekicks and then it kind of evolved beyond that once the show got going?
Desmin Borges: “No, that was planned from the beginning. Stephen talks a lot about coming from the world of Jenji Kohan from Weeds and the way that in Weeds – and in Orange is the New Black where she’s an executive producer and a writer – the way that they’re able to flush out storylines with multiple characters [throughout] the season. It really gives you a lot more room to bring in other guest characters and to really widen and deepen your main characters while making everybody 3-D and real. You think about it now from the scope of last year, it was funny that we recognized in our way that we were sidekicks but that was all to bringing us to the forefront so that we would be seen as equals at some point.”
How do you feel that Edgar’s new improv adventure is contributing to the character?
Desmin Borges: “Well, it’s actually a quite common thing for vets dealing with PTSD. It gives them the ability to think quickly on their feet, think outside the box. […]From that standpoint, it’s definitely helping Edgar in that way. I think this is something that he actually is kind of good at. […]He’s actually not too bad at it so it gives him a level of confidence because this whole season is about him becoming normal. I always use quotations when I say that word because no one really knows what the hell that means. But for Edgar becoming normal is no longer being labeled a formal drug dealer or some Mexican with PTSD.
He just wants to be a regular old guy who’s not shooting heroin anymore and can actually contribute to society in any way possible. So now he has a job, he’s in improv comedy which will open the door for him to have more friends, and to find someone who’s lovable and charming as [Dorothy] is. I think ultimately as we watch the season progress it just really is another vehicle and doors for Edgar to just continue expanding and rounding out. Edgar is opening the door and help shaping this other world for more people to come in and play and more avenues for the storylines to go on.”