Wildcats is a new five-part web series (www.catsgoingwild.com) created by Rachel Puchkoff and starring Linnea Sage as a former cheerleader who is torn between taking down the sexiest traditions of her school while still fitting in with the cool kids. It’s a wondrous mix of comedy and drama that’s resulted in award nominations, a colossal fan base and heavy praise for its talented star, Sage.
As funny as it is, there’s a strong ‘be yourself’ message to Wildcats. Was that part of the appeal?
Absolutely. It’s about time that people (especially teens) of any age, sex, orientation, or lifestyle realize that being yourself is the best thing you could possibly be. It’s inevitable that kids reach an age where they realize they are different. Sometimes their community embraces it and it’s wonderful. There are many more times, in America and around the world, that these differences are met with hatred and confusion and bullying. There’s really no room for that in the short time that we have here. Sometimes, it’s hard to embrace differences because we may not understand them, but as long as it’s not hurting anyone else, we need to realize that differences advance humanity.
What kind of feedback have you got for not only the series but your performance?
Thankfully everything has been really positive! Attending the premier has been the only chance I’ve gotten to watch audience reactions. They were laughing so loudly it was hard to even hear what was happening on screen. It’s amazing to watch an audience respond to your work and to be moved by your performance. In the first few weeks after the series was released we were reviewed by a few influential blogs in the LGBT community. That really meant a lot to us. It really said that we did it right and we’re sending the right message to the right people, at the right time.
Did we read that Bill Clinton is a fan!?
I did find out, from a close source, that he watched the first episode and enjoyed it. He’s a busy man, but I’m sure he’ll find the time to watch the rest. *wink*
What kind of doors is Wildcats opening for you, personally?
Wonderful interviews like this one! But seriously, the best part about Wildcats, and the great publicity it’s receiving, is that it’s getting this positive message out there. There are teens in high schools all over America, just like this one, who are realizing they’re different in the same ways Allison is, and they are trying to figure out if standing up for their beliefs and views and opinions is the right thing to do. Wildcats is here to tell them that they should go for it, and the worst that could happen probably isn’t that bad in the long run.
Do you have any comedy idols, Linnea?
Growing up my biggest comedy idol was Fran Drescher on “The Nanny.” She was the first female actor I really admired for her strength and ambition and absolutely fearless comedic skills. Since then, Hollywood has been blessed with other headstrong feminists like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, and countless others. I hope I’m able to join their ranks one day.