EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Karin Anglin from Showtime’s ‘Work in Progress’

Showtime Karin Anglin as Alison and Abby McEnany as Abby in WORK IN PROGRESS

Karin Anglin from Showtime’s “Work in Progress” spoke to Heavy about how she came to be part of the series, why she thinks “Work in Progress” is an important show, and how she relates to her character, Alison.

Showtime’s “Work in Progress” focuses on the life of Abby, played by Abby McEnany, a self proclaimed, “fat queer dyke” who is a 45-year-old temp-worker struggling with OCD and anxiety, who is attempting to figure out her why romantic endeavors never pan out the way she envisions. Karin Anglin plays Alison, Abby’s tightly wound older sister.

Anglin is known for her roles in Chicago P.D. and Proven Innocent, according to IMDB. And she began her role as ‘Alison’ in “Work in Progress” in 2018.

“Work in Progress came out of nowhere. I was actually slated to do a show for Fox, and that went away, and a friend of mine, the original co-creator, Tim Mason, we’re both represented by the same person and we do voice-overs together. We’ve acted together and he said, ‘I’m working on this piece with my friend, Abby McEnany, and I have written this character, and you are Alison. You’ve got to do it.'” says Anglin, “It was a no brainer to me. I read the script and immediately fell in love. As all good actors should do, I said whatever happens happens, and six months later I get the call from Abby and Tim and they say ‘Guess what? We’re going to Sundance with this little gem of a project’ that was a true bucket list thing that I thought had passed, and the rest was history.”

How Do You Relate to Your Character, Alison?

“I probably relate to my character a little too much.” Anglin says letting out a laugh, “I think the way I relate most to Ally, is she is constantly trying to be the glue that holds the family together. I think it’s really important to her, sometimes to a fault, to get it right whatever that means.”

“We haven’t gotten any glimpses into the light heartedness of Alison, and I’m very irreverent in my humor, I swear like a sailor in real life. I feel like I don’t get an opportunity as Ally, I think the hardest part is everyone is on inside, and I’m on the out of the joke.” says Anglin.

“This season I’m letting some of my guard down little, and leaning into my imperfections and not always having it right,” says Anglin, “I’m definitely left out of the funny lunch room. I’m at a table by myself.”

Why Television Needs “Work in Progress”

“Everywhere we went, everyone responded to it, no matter how you identified. I think it was amazing to have this gem speak to the queer community, but I also think people related on a human level, and that’s where the juice of this show is. I think to me, the mission is to not create separation, not to create a show that is just for one group.” says Anglin, “I think this is so special because it does speak to the human experience.”

“The reason I love television is it gets in your living room and reaches you and allows you to feel and see and relate and connect and its so important to do that. I think what’s fun is Abby as a person and Abby as a character is so self deprecating, and honest and transparent about not having her shit together. And I think to me thats something I admire as an actor, as a person.” says Anglin, “Abby is really owning this idea of I don’t really have it together, yet I’m still lovable, I have value, I’m working on healing myself, as we all are.”

What To Expect in Season Two

“The name of the show is “Work in Progress,” I think you’ll see more of the unraveling of this work in progress. Where I feel as in season 1 it was concentrated on Abby and her being sort of “a hot mess.” In this season, you unravel where this mental illness might come from, where her worries and anxiety comes from. We do some flashing back to explain why Alison is the way she is, why Abby is the way she is, what the family dynamic was like growing up.”

“My job is to be a contrast to Abby, but what I think is cool, is as we go into season two, you know, as human beings we have these sides we present, in this season, we see a little more of a balance to both characters. Abby is not the one who’s always cared for, she’s actually looking out and caring for and supporting other people.”

“We need to start talking about things like mental illness and mental well being, and to gain compassion for other peoples point of views, and what people are going through.” says Angin, “I think thats what a truly successful piece of television does. It reaches all audiences, and demographics It starts conversations, and it makes people comfortable seeing character that haven’t been seen in awhile, and make it not abnormal, its just how it is.”

Follow Karin Anglin on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest projects, and catch her as Alison in “Work in Progress” Sunday nights on Showtime.


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