For finale night, I have an interview with the one and only Joy Nash, aka Plum Kettle! Besides her starring role in Dietland, Joy has appeared in Twin Peaks: The Returned, The Mindy Project, The Fosters and many other shows. She has also narrated many audiobooks. Joy’s video “A Fat Rant” went viral in 2007, and introduced many people to fat positivity for the first time. If you haven’t seen it, head over to YouTube (once you’re done with this interview, of course).
Thanks to Joy for her fearless and heartfelt portrayal of Plum this season. As the controversy surrounding Insatiable shows, not to mention the fat-suited guy in This Is Us, a fat actor playing a fat character is still not something we can expect in 2018. I’m so glad Joy got a chance to shine in this role, and to show the world what fat ladies can do.
SARAI: I think people often assume that those of us who are “fat positive” love our bodies unconditionally and never experience any negative feelings or anxiety about how we look. Therefore, “fat positivity” can seem like something impossible for the average person to participate in. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what fat positivity is. I’m wondering what fat positivity means to you, and what advice you can give fat people who are struggling with this concept.
JOY: Fat positivity for me is about power. I love that Serena Williams quote: “This is my body. It’s my weapon and my machine.” ‘Beautiful’ doesn’t mean much to me -- it’s totally subjective and not really useful. What does it get you? Love? Safety? Not in my experience. This is my body; I did not ask you what you thought of it. If it terrifies you, GOOD. Obviously I still have things to work through, but to me, Fat positivity is rejecting the notion that my worth is attached to my body. This is a bag of bones -- MY bag of bones -- that I am using to get where I want to go.
SARAI: What was your favorite scene to film this season? What was the most challenging scene?
JOY: The costumes for the fashion show fantasy were so much fun; learning how to take a punch in the face was fun, and honestly the nude scene was a favorite! It was kind of last minute. In the script it was just Plum in her regular clothes typing on her computer, but at 8am Helen Shaver [the director] said “I’ve got an idea!” And then 30 minutes later I was naked. I feel like every time we get an actual fat body on screen, it’s a victory. It’s one more opportunity for people to see themselves and feel less alone. I loved too that it was a quiet, reflective moment -- Plum was by herself, sketching herself, really looking at herself, which I think is a really powerful way to reclaim your own fat body.
SARAI: Other than Plum, what would your dream role be? [Marti Noxon suggested this question!]
JOY: Plum is an utter dream and my fingers might break they’re crossed so hard for next season. But otherwise -- so many! Top of the list, I’d like to play Belle Gunness -- America’s first female serial killer, but I’d also love to star in a feature version of my solo show: My Mobster, about a relationship I had with a criminal from France. I’d also love to play a romantic lead -- maybe a romance novel audiobook narrator who gets carried away in the stories she narrates. Oh, and an evil queen. [You know, a little of everything. Maybe Marti will help ;) ]
Connect with Joy:
Instagram and Facebook: @therealjoynash