‘Hacks’ Is Back for Its Third Season, and Hannah Einbinder and Jean Smart Are More Than Ready

It’s been a long and winding road to the third season of Hacks, Max’s brilliant, deliciously offbeat series about a legendary Las Vegas-based female stand-up (Jean Smart) and a thorny Gen Z screenwriter (Hannah Einbinder) forced to collaborate on new material. Not only did the WGA and SAG strikes set production back, but Smart has been open about undergoing a heart procedure last winter, encouraging fans on Instagram to “listen to your body and talk to your doctor.”

Now, though, Season 3 is out in the world, and Einbinder and Smart couldn’t be happier. Recently, Vogue spoke to the comedy duo about finally getting to celebrate the season’s release, the parts of the Hacks set that they missed most while out on strike, working with Christina Hendricks, and dream-casting late night; read the full interview below.

Vogue: How are you both feeling about the release of Season 3?

Jean Smart: It’s been such a long journey, but the response from reviewers and fans so far has just been incredible. I can’t believe the writers keep topping themselves.

Hannah Einbinder: We have a really symbiotic thing going at work with all the cast and crew, and we were really eager to get back in that room because it’s such a rare one, where everyone really gets a long and there’s so much love and frankly, zero drama. We were super eager to get back to work, also because we, too, are fans of the show and want to see it come out into the world.

I know you were both on the picket lines during the SAG and WGA strikes; what did you miss most about the Hacks set while you were away?

Einbinder: I think just getting to be in this collective of individuals who are all so funny and hardworking and lovely. We really do get into a groove, and having that disruption and dealing with the very real-life consequences for our crew and all of the people who work below the line created a lot of anxiety in terms of how hard the strike was for them. We were so eager to get everybody back to work.

Smart: We laugh so much on the set, we just laugh all the time. It’s not just the cast, it’s also the crew, and I hope that the fans and crew and people in other unions realize that the actors weren’t just out there asking for more money or something. This was really something that we felt had to be done for the future of the industry.

We’ve seen Ava and Deborah’s relationship evolve so much. How would you two describe your IRL relationship these days?

Smart: We actually don’t speak anymore, except during interviews. [Laughs.] I love her so much!

Einbinder: We don’t bicker the way those two do, but we do laugh the way they do.

Smart: That’s a good way of putting it.

Hannah, I have to ask you about the Christina Hendricks of it all. What was it like working with her?

Einbinder: She’s incredible. She’s one of our great American actresses, and I feel so honored to have been able to watch her work. I’ve been a fan of hers for many, many years now, and she’s iconic. It’s so insane. I can’t believe I got to work with her!

Smart: I met her when she was…oh, my God, she was just a baby. Not a baby, but, you know, just starting out, and she was so darling, and she still is.

Based on this season’s arc, I’d love to ask both of you who in Hollywood you’d most like to see host a late-night show.

Einbinder: Sarah Sherman.

Smart: Me!

I’d watch.

Smart: I’m kidding. That would be fun, but I don’t want to do that. How about Meg Stalter? Meg Stalter, there you go.

Is there any unexplored terrain you haven’t touched yet on Hacks that you’re dying to get into?

Einbinder: I think there’s a lot to explore, and Season 3 will find Ava and Deborah in an environment they haven’t spent as much time in yet and that people might not be as privy to.

Smart: Hannah does such a great job of putting us in situations that bring out different parts of Ava and Deborah’s relationship. We’ve gotten lost in the woods together, we’ve gone on a road trip together, we’ve gone on a cruise together…

This conversation has been edited and condensed.

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