The very best moments from Variety’s 2023 Actors on Actors series

By Charlie Sawyer

Published Jun 25, 2023 at 09:15 AM

Reading time: 3 minutes

Ever since 2014, us film and TV fanatics have been blessed year on year with Variety’s iconic series Actors on Actors. Produced in the format of long-form YouTube videos, the concept is pretty simple: get two actors together in a small studio, plop them on plush chairs, and encourage them to have a conversation about their craft, insider info, and any other interesting tidbits they’re willing to spill.

This year’s collection of Actors on Actors has provided us with a wealth of cute moments, bros bonding, and, as per usual, a hell of a lot of ego boosts. So, without further ado, let’s break down some of the most iconic moments from the series.

1. Jennifer Coolidge and Jeremy Allen White

We had to kick things off with the queen herself. Jennifer Coolidge might just be everyone’s favourite actor and so it would make sense that her chat with The Bear star Jeremy Allen White would be one of our faves.

Both of these actors have been criminally underrated in their pasts, so it was really heartwarming to see the two revel in their recent success and contemplate what might be next.

Also, I think I could probably watch Coolidge talk about quite literally anything, and I’d enjoy it immensely. But I definitely have a particular liking for the inclusion of Mr Allen White, aka, my blessed angry chef.

2. Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl

I, alongside most of the universe, binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, and so when I saw that Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl would be reuniting for a chat on the Variety Studios show, I was, let’s just say, thrilled.

I will not tolerate any Izzy slander here—Meredith slander on the other hand is completely fine. The acting duo discussed all things Greys of course, while also touching upon newer projects like Firefly Lane and the overwhelming stress and anxiety that comes with being a part of such a long-running project.

3. Brian Cox and Emily Blunt

If there was one person in this world who I’d want to tell me to fuck off, it’d be Brian Cox. Succession was undoubtedly one of the best things I watched this year and as a lover of Scots, I find Cox to be overwhelmingly endearing and genuinely fascinating. Combine his charming brogue with Emily Blunt’s illuminating charm, and holy moly do we have a good recipe for an Actors on Actors episode.

One of my favourite moments in the duo’s discussion is when Cox looks at Blunt and earnestly says, “It’s not easy, to be an icon.” What a king. Blunt also spoke at length about how incredible it was to work with Meryl Streep: “She’s a broad and amazing and was slightly terrifying. She’s so unpredictable in a scene, and it’s what makes the screws tighten on you, being at the receiving end of it.”

4. Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey

Up next are two of the stars from one of my favourite films of all time, But I’m a Cheerleader. Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey have known each other for over two decades and so it makes complete sense that their conversation is one of the most natural and free-flowing out of the entire Actors on Actors catalogue.

I think one YouTube commenter summed up the interaction perfectly: “Two queens coming together (once again) to maximise their joint slay.”

The pair have an incredibly entertaining and comforting rapport and explore everything from nostalgic on-set moments from the campy brilliance that was But I’m a Cheerleader, to how their careers have progressed and the current roles they’re tackling. A truly enjoyable watch.

5. Pedro Pascal and Steven Yeun

We started with the queen, so it only made sense to wrap things up with the king, aka, Pedro Pascal. Paired up with Beef star Steven Yeun, Pascal opened up about how it was filming The Last of Us and how in awe he was of his co-star, 19-year-old Bella Ramsay. The actor stated: “I really don’t think I’ve met anybody like Bella in that I was truly inspired and humbled, they brought the best out of me as a person.”

Yeun himself also shared the ways in which he admired his co-star in Beef, Ali Wong. “What’s really fun about Ali is that she’s my inverse in a lot of ways and when we were approaching shooting this I would always notice that we had different entry points for the same thing, but we would always end up at the same place.”

These two were so obsessed with each other there’s even an entire timestamp dedicated to “how they admire each other.” Oh, and did I mention that the thumbnail of the pair looks like a picture from an engagement photoshoot? We love an authentic bromance, especially if it involves the internet’s daddy Pascal.

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