Brooke Dubek is an absurdly confident character, and, quite often, she acts before she thinks things through. A character with that amount of confidence certainly finds herself in equally strange situations, and Heléne Yorke gives her such a likable, underdog edge that we can’t help but root for her. It doesn’t matter if she is driving a pit picture across the country or giving billionaires a piece of her mind in space. Yorke gives one of the most go-for-broke performances currently on television.
Season three ramps the silliness to an eleven in every episode without sacrificing story or character. Yorke reveals that the scripts themselves include an added layer of specificity on the page.
“One of the hidden gems is the stage directions,” Yorke says. “If you can get a hand on any of these scripts, you will see they imbue tone in their stage directions in the script that shows you how the jokes are meant to be told. Even how they want the audience to think and feel. They pay such close attention to the smallest details, because, to them, timing and how things are meant to work are communicated to the audience. I sometimes wish the [directions] came through–but sometimes I feel like they do since the world is so specific.”
Some fans may wonder how Josh Segarra’s Lance puts up with Brooke’s demands or selfish behavior. In the first episode of this season, Brooke struggles to hide her frustration as everyone congratulates Lance’s pivot from the fashion world to medicine in his role as a nurse. In a dramatic shift, Lance tells Brooke, “I’m a good person,” and she chuckles before retorting, “That’s very clear.” When The Other Two goes for those emotions, it really hits, and a fight between Brooke and Lance may surprise viewers with its honesty.
“I love working with Josh Segarra,” she says. “We came up together in New York theater, and he’s just a wonderful person. That was a chunky dialogue day, and we both came prepared to lob it at each other. I think what makes that scene so wonderful is that you watch Brooke push against this person so much, and she’s projecting her own insecurities onto this wonderful person. She feels and knows in her heart that she’s no good. We do that, right? We shit on things to make ourselves feel better. If you say you don’t do that then you might be lying, and that’s what makes that moment so devastating. Josh is such a pure person, and the payoff, for the audience, is to watch Brooke push push push, and we see a character stand up for himself. We love Lance, so it’s satisfying to see that. That scene shows such a great color of Josh’s abilities, and, broadly, to be able to be given where you get to have a 360 experience is so rare. I hope we have 45 seasons for that very reason.”
At the start of the season, Brooke and Lance are engaged, but we don’t see the proposal. Would Lance plan a dabbing flash mob? Would he try to get Chase or Cary involved? Yorke imagines a rather sweet affair.
“We did a photograph of it actually,” Yorke reveals. “It’s on the set on their TV console. I don’t think there is ever a shot of it, but we shot it at Steiner Studios. It’s in front of the skyline of Manhattan, and he’s down on one knee. I think Lance is the type of guy that does something very thoughtful, and he invites the entire family to see it. He would propose and, maybe, her entire family is around the corner to congratulate them.”
As Brooke realizes that she may need to “do good” with everyone else, Cary’s star is on a meteoric rise. He isn’t really equipped to handle it, and his head balloons to a massive size. Brooke is normally quite supportive of her brother, but, throughout the season, we see her reacting to her brother’s online presence more and more.
“I think she is very concerned about her brother, but she’s also on her own selfish quest,” she says with a laugh. “She’s not thinking about him as much as she should be. Sometimes you watch your friends or a family member spiral, and you have to ask yourself when you should get involved. Should I even get involved? I am always of the mindset to dive in, but a lot of people would think that’s the wrong approach. I love that we get to see Brooke have a clear opinion of what he’s going through and hoping that he will figure it out. Maybe he will get there after he falls on his face.”
When Brooke drives Chase’s pit picture across the US, she is accompanied by Ken Marino’s Streeter, and I realized that we haven’t yet seen this pairing do a lot with one another that isn’t drenched in contempt (“Pitch it! Pitch it! Pitch it!” Yorke chanted when I joked of a Brooke and Streeter spin-off). Jumping into scenes with such a friend was something Yorke relished this season.
“I read the season and was over the moon that I had so much time with Marino,” she says. “What a dream! One of the great things about the character of Streeter is that he is so annoying but he is very sweet. He’s got the two bedrooms for Cary and Brooke after he and Pat break up, and he thinks of himself as a member of the family before anyone else does. He’s a bit like Greg from Succession in that way. Ken is such a generous person to act with in addition to be a wonderful person. I love eating with him also because we will both order the entire menu just so we can taste everything. I loved that I got a chance to really expand the relationship between Brooke and Streeter this year. The same goes for acting with Wanda Sykes and Jimmy Fowley. In many ways, I am a theater kid who sat in shit when it comes to comedy, so to work with these people is really gratifying.”
A fan favorite episode comes in episode five when “Cary & Brooke Go to an AIDS Play.” Yorke has starred on Broadway in American Psycho and Bullets Over Broadway (and we gushed over our mutual love of Amy Spanger), but Brooke only goes to the theater when she has to. With 8 Gay Guys with AIDS playing to a packed (and guilted) audience, Yorke was confident that she would attend every important hour.
“I went to see the most recent revival of Angels in America with Chris Kelly, so when I read that episode, I thought Chris was a savage beast for doing that. I saw both parts of Angels, both parts of The Inheritance, and both parts of Harry Potter [and the Cursed Child]. As a theater girl, I would think that I would make it to all seven parts of 8 Gay Men with AIDS.”
The Other Two is streaming now on Max.