In ‘The Other Two,’ Drew Tarver and Heléne Yorke Are Almost Famous

Drew Tarver’s room on the Bowery Hotel was shiny. It was comfy. It ignored a cemetery, however not in a creepy means. When Tarver arrived, jet-lagged and rain-soaked after a late flight from Los Angeles, he discovered a Bowery-branded teddy bear on the mattress and a bottle of purple wine on the cafe desk, compliments of the supervisor.

The subsequent morning, the actress Heléne Yorke, 36, took the elevator to his room. As Tarver hid his retainer case, Yorke learn the supervisor’s word, which addressed him as Mr. Tarver. “Who do they think you are?” Yorke teased.

Tarver, 35, is a star of the darkish comedy “The Other Two,” which started its life on Comedy Central however returns for Season 2 on HBO Max, beginning Thursday. He performs Cary Dubek, a homosexual aspiring actor. Yorke performs his sister, Brooke, a former dancer. Harassed by survival jobs, man troubles and housing crises, they lead lives of loud desperation till their a lot youthful brother, Chase (Case Walker), turns into a tween sensation — or, as one newscaster places it, “the next big white kid.”

During the primary season, Brooke and Cary experience Chase’s designer coattails, clumsily. In the second, every has achieved some success. Drew now presents a purple carpet phase known as “Age Net Worth Feet.” Brooke manages Chase and their mom, Pat (Molly Shannon), who has turn into a talk-show host.

In some methods, this restricted movie star parallels Tarver’s and Yorke’s personal lives. After years of showing in area of interest fare, they’re lastly fame-adjacent. “We’re still not famous,” Yorke stated. She seemed out of Tarver’s window. The rooms subsequent to his, she seen, had been nicer. They had little balconies.

“Turns out my bottle of wine isn’t so great after all,” Tarver stated.

“Being in your late 20s, early 30s, watching other people surpass you, it’s really disorienting,” Yorke stated. “It gives you this hunger and this thirst that is all-encompassing.”Credit…Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

Even as “The Other Two,” created by the previous “Saturday Night Live” writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, is a rapier-sharp satire of the leisure trade, it additionally presents an unusually heat and useful relationship between Cary and Brooke, undergirded by an actual affection that the actors appear to share. (Or perhaps they’re simply excellent actors?)

During an hourlong dialog within the foyer (Henri, the failed hurricane, had scotched a deliberate mini-golf outing), the 2 mentioned the present, their poor pandemic decisions and their hopes for his or her characters. These are edited excerpts from the dialog.

Who was solid first?

YORKE Drew was solid earlier than me. In true sexist style. Drew can be No. 1 on the decision sheet, two years operating, which is devastating for me as a lady.

TARVER I’ve always stated we have to make her No. 1. No one listens to me.

YORKE Drew knew Chris from the improv and sketch comedy scene. I used to be not part of that world in any respect. I acquired known as again to learn with Drew. They had been like, “Feel free to do a little improv.” And I used to be sweating by means of my garments.

TARVER In her audition, it simply felt like siblings.

YORKE In showbiz, if you happen to’re a duo, it’s not at all times roses. But it genuinely is for us. We simply have enjoyable all day.

But who’s the higher actor?


YORKE [Simultaneously:] Drew. Everything Drew does is so true. This is an individual who may be very humorous and very off the cuff but additionally has a deep connection to what’s essential. [To Tarver:] Now is if you speak about me.

TARVER She simply is available in and kills it.

Yorke and Tarver in a scene from Season 2, by which their characters have begun to attain some measure of success. Credit…Greg Endries/Hbo Max

So you at all times associated to those characters? You by no means noticed them as monsters?

YORKE I noticed myself in them. Being in your late 20s, early 30s, watching different individuals surpass you, it’s actually disorienting. It provides you this starvation and this thirst that’s all-encompassing. That’s what occurs to Brooke and Cary. That’s what you watch them undergo. I keep in mind using the subway and individuals on commutes to actual jobs, being like, they’ve medical insurance and a full assortment of pots and pans. That was so past me.

TARVER You had been using the subway with simply that one egg pan.

YORKE It was all I needed to make breakfast! But I’ve a variety of sympathy for Brooke and Cary. Anything they do that’s unhealthy or loopy is out of that starvation.

In the second season, they’re tasting success. Does it change them?

TARVER It’s stunning how little it does for them. They’re realizing, like: “Oh, I would have killed for this last year. But now I have it. Why didn’t that fix me? Why am I already used to it?”

YORKE It’s devastating to comprehend that you’re nonetheless who you might be. Success just isn’t a magic wand. You assume, “Oh, I’ll get success and all of a sudden, I’ll be this better person who’s happier and more settled in my life.” You get it, and your whole [expletive] comes with you.

TARVER The third season is simply them real-time in remedy.

YORKE It’s “In Treatment.”

You had begun the second season when the shutdown hit. How did you spend the yr off?

YORKE I grew to become a five-star chef. And I began writing. I used to be saying sure to new experiences. I used to be like, I’m going to strive snowboarding. I realized tips on how to ski on YouTube, and I tore my ACL two weeks earlier than going again to this job. So, yeah: cooking and being silly.

And what had been your accidents, Drew?

TARVER I misplaced each my ft. No. My two sisters stay in L.A. We all packed up and went again to Georgia. I additionally acquired on YouTube. My grandma had this outdated Airstream trailer, all grown over with weeds, with raccoons dwelling in it. Me and my little brother began watching YouTube movies the place individuals get Airstreams and restore them. It’s at all times like, “Hey, I’m Mike.” “And I’m Diane. And we bought an Airstream.” Then the following video is like, “We’re cleaning out the Airstream, we’re throwing everything away.” The third video is like, “We’re done with this and we’re getting a divorce.”

YORKE He grew his hair out so lengthy and a full Georgia trash beard. There are photos, a time-lapse of him shaving it into mutton chops.

TARVER I shaved it a day earlier than we began filming. It was surprising seeing my mouth once more. I wasn’t satisfied it labored proper. The first morning I got here in, I used to be like: “Hey, real quick, before we get out there, does this look like me? Am I my smiling right?”

YORKE We got here again in actual tough form.

But you gained. You made it onto a present that folks truly watch. Are there downsides?

TARVER Sometimes it feels slightly scarier. When you’re developing, you’re simply fearless along with your decisions since you’re similar to, sure, something. Then when you have got a job, you have got one thing to lose. Fear units in.

YORKE This factor that by no means goes away — and it’s so sick — is that each good factor would be the very last thing. So if it involves an finish, no person will ask me to do something.

It have to be good having a low-key form of fame, although. People acknowledge you, however you don’t must flee the paparazzi.

TARVER I imply, I do this. Even if it’s only one individual, I’ll push them over and flee.

If this present has extra seasons, what would you like for these characters?

YORKE I hope that the conditions turn into even fancier.

TARVER I wish to see them proceed to wrestle. But in palaces.

YORKE It’s really easy to say you need them to determine it out. But I don’t need them to as a result of I’m comforted by the truth that they don’t. It makes me really feel much less alone.

TARVER It does really feel good to return to work and play a bumbling individual. Because it’s like, OK, yeah, this feels actual.

YORKE We need them to at all times really feel misplaced and unhealthy. That’s what’s common.