Kaitlin Olson Still Likes Playing Dee-Like Roles Because ‘I’m Really Good at Emasculating Men’

Olson isn’t bothered that ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ caused her typecasting because she’s simply too good to stop doing Dee
Kaitlin Olson Still Likes Playing Dee-Like Roles Because ‘I’m Really Good at Emasculating Men’

If anyone doubts Deandre “Sweet Dee” Reynolds’ ability to terrorize a man, just remember: She traumatized Ben the Soldier worse than two wars ever could.

Like many sitcom stars before her, when Kaitlin Olson started exploring new projects after It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia exploded in popularity, she found that most casting agents and TV executives were tripping over themselves to offer Olson the opportunity to do more of the same. On the tragically cut-short Fox sitcom The Mick and during her current run on the critically beloved Max series Hacks, the majority of Olson’s non-Dee characters have had a similarly abrupt, aggressive and aviary demeanor as her most popular performance. Olson’s Always Sunny co-star Glenn Howerton has experienced the same age-old typecasting phenomenon, once remarking, that, every now and then, he’d love to play a part that doesn’t require a Dennis-esque intensity and show off his non-serial-killer qualities as an actor.

Olson, on the other hand, has embraced the TV industry’s eagerness to see more of Sweet Dee victimizing her male scene partners on different shows, remarking in a recent interview with Vanity Fair that, “I’m really good at emasculating men, and that’s really quite an honor.” 

As Sweet Dee discovered in the Always Sunny sexual harassment episode, Olson’s most famous character is just lucky that the “honor” isn’t sitting behind a bench.

“Every script I’ve been offered since Dee, it’s all versions of that character,” Olson told Vanity Fair of her projects outside of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, though she insisted that, “I don’t find it annoying.” As the saying goes, if you’re good at something, never do it for free, and TV networks have been happy to keep cutting her checks to make men sweat. Her lead character on The Mick, Mackenzie "Mickey" Molng, was similarly rough and profane to Dee on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, only without Dee's proclivity for “coercion.” 

However, like any artist, Olson is careful not to hit the exact same note too many times, saying of her underrated Fox series, “When John and Dave Chernin wrote The Mick and they described it to me, I was like, ‘That sounds so funny,’ but I was being offered a similar character. I read the script and was like ‘Ugh, damn it, I love the script. I want to do it, but I’ve got to find a way to make it not Sweet Dee.’”

And, to be clear, it’s not as if Olson seeks out parts that are within her established wheelhouse — on the contrary, Olson explained, “Generally, yeah, I very actively try and take roles that are different so I can do something else. I still get to do Dee, so I’m not really giving one up for another.”

On that point, Olson made a comforting comment for Always Sunny fans, saying that Dee is “always going to be there, into her 90s. I’ve decided we’re going to do that show (that long).” After all, as she explained, “I’m happy every single day I go to work. I’m working with people I find to be at the absolute top of their game. I’m so well taken care of. My showrunner knows what he’s doing. I also happen to be married to him. It really does allow you to go off and experiment and try new things, because I still always have that to come back to. Now we do eight episodes a season; it’s a six- to eight-week commitment. It’s a no-brainer.”

Thankfully, Olsons showrunner doesnt require “emasculation” to make her happy — and Rob McElhenney probably takes much better care of her car than Mac does.


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