One Mississippi Star Tig Notaro Is Learning to Be a Vegan From Alicia Silverstone

And more from the culture diet of the creator and star of the Amazon series, whose second season premiered on Friday.

2015 Sundance Film Festival Portraits - Day 4
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

After turning a nearly unbelievable annus horribilis (breast cancer, a double mastectomy, a near-lethal bacterial disease, and her mother’s death) into both a legendary stand-up routine called “Hello, I Have Cancer” and a memoir, the comedian Tig Notaro also created the series One Mississippi, a semi-autobiographical Amazon series she stars in as Tig. (Notaro’s Instagram bio is, after all, “it exhausts me to think of life before comedy.”)

The series’s second season was released on Friday, and continues to feature Stephanie Allynne—Notaro’s real-life wife and partner in taking care of their two twin baby boys, and in dealing with the ills of the Trump presidency, which was what pushed Notaro to get more outspoken than ever, and more serious. Here, she talks about feeling unsafe being gay in America even before Trump, and shares tales of life as a busy mom, in her culture diet.

In this season, your character is quite outspoken about politics and issues like sexual assault. Was that emphasis at all influenced by the election, which presumably was going through its cycle when you were filming?

Yes, we started back in January, right after the election, so we just felt like these topics were very timely and important to address. It’s really blown our minds that as the clock has continued to tick closer to the premiere, they just all have become even more timely.

When the first season came out, you said a few times that you never thought of the show as being “gay-themed,” so I was surprised that the trailer for the second one began with a joke about you daring to be gay in public.

Well, that’s because in my real life, Stephanie and I went to Mississippi maybe a year and a half ago—even before the election—and there was already a shift that was starting. Obviously, things weren’t tremendous before the shift, but we did feel scared and concerned on a different level than we had prior, and we started to really realize that we could be kicked out of some place. We just didn’t feel safe.

To the culture diet questions. What’s the first thing you read in the morning?

I flip through news headlines. I’m kind of not on the best schedule of what I read first because now we have babies, and as soon as they wake up, I’m up and feeding them and Stephanie’s cooking. When I was on my way to the press junket this morning, I realized I’d been up for two or three hours but still hadn’t even looked at my email or the news or anything.

What books are on your bedside table right now?

Everything is baby-related. [Laughs.] But I have to say we’ve been terrible parents and haven’t even been reading those baby books. What I have been reading is Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet. Stephanie and I became vegan about two months ago—I’ve been in chronic pain since I was sick five years ago, and I just tried shifting my diet dramatically, and I became pain-free four days into shifting my diet. So we’ve just been trying to educate ourselves more about it.

What’s your favorite vegan recipe?

It’s really simple—just something I made up and feed the babies. We always make a big pot of brown rice and a big pot of quinoa, and I mash up an avocado and put in a lot of brown rice and quinoa and just a little bit of sea salt. It’s just the tastiest thing. It’s so good.

What TV shows have been keeping you up at night?

Not one. I’m not great at watching TV. I used to be into it in the mid to late ‘70s. [Laughs.] Like Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, All in the Family—all that kind of stuff.

What’s the last movie you saw in theaters?

Oh my gosh, the last movie I saw in theaters was that new Kong movie [Kong: Skull Island]. [Laughs.] It wasn’t my favorite.

What’s the last thing you saw at the theater?

I saw Fun Home when it came out in New York, and then I saw it when it was here in L.A., and it was phenomenal in both cities.

What’s the last piece of art you bought, or ogled?

I wish I was this fancy. I didn’t purchase it, but my friend Tony Achilles, who’s in Denver and a very well known artist out there, surprised me and Stephanie with a portrait that he’d painted of the two of us with our cats. He illustrated parts of my book, and it’s actually in my book, and he brought it framed to us which was very nice.

What release are you most eagerly anticipating?

I think it’s already out, but I’m looking forward to purchasing [Indigo Girls’s] Emily Saliers’s solo album.

What’s the last song you had on repeat?

I think the “Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round,” and “Five Little Ducks.”

Is that what your kids are into?

Oh my gosh, yes. We all sing and dance when the hits come on.

What’s the last concert you went to?

I saw Nick Cave probably a month and a half ago in L.A. It was mind-blowing.

How do you get your news?

I have this app that feeds all the different headlines into one, I don’t even know what it is.

What are your favorite social media accounts to follow?

I’m not on Twitter, but Funny or Die started a Twitter account for me, and they hand it off to someone new every day—I don’t even have the password. But my cat has her own Instagram, @TheRealFluffNotaro, and she follows about 100 different vegan accounts. I just love looking at vegan food and reading about different health news alerts and new discoveries. I just follow what my cat follows. She’s the boss.

Last thing: What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?

Other than obviously kiss my wife? A lot of times I’ll take a bubble bath.

That sounds fun.

Yeah. It is.


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