Natasha Lyonne Was Disappointed She Didn’t Get Marvel Offers After ‘Russian Doll’ Success

Sometimes, creating a universally acclaimed streaming series isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Natasha Lyonne’s “Russian Doll” catapulted her into the upper echelon of television auteurs when it premiered on Netflix in 2019. The show returned for an even bigger Season 2i in 2022, and Lyonne followed that by headlining Rian Johnson’s case-of-the-week Peacock series “Poker Face.” But while the multi-hyphenate has stayed busy, she can’t help but wonder why her recent success hasn’t led to more opportunities.

Appearing on The Hollywood Reporter’s Actors Roundtable, Lyonne lamented that “Russian Doll” didn’t open more traditionally commercial Hollywood doors for her.

“It’s funny when you are the writer, the creator, the director and the star and you have 13 nominations or whatever, and it’s not like, ‘Here’s a bunch of Marvel movies,’” Lyonne said. “In fact, they’re like, ‘Oh, now we see you as potentially intimidating.’”

Lyonne pointed out that prominent men in similar positions haven’t typically faced that problem — with the possible exception of Larry David, who she concedes is probably in the same boat as her.

“But to my mind, the male auteurs, and I guess I am naming names, the Bill [Haders] and Donald Glovers — by the way, you’re talking about all brilliant people that I love. In other words, I’m talking about an industry thing, not a personal thing, but for some reason it’s much easier to say, ‘Oh my God, this person is brilliant and fun to watch, let’s put them in a bunch of stuff.’ It’s just very different for boys and girls,” she said. “Although I would say the exception might be Larry David. It might be that he is actually not getting a lot of calls from Marvel. Or maybe he is and he’s just like, ‘Um, no thanks.’”

Lyonne also clarified that her complaints had less to do with Marvel than the larger conversation about the way artists are allowed to move between prestige and commercial projects in Hollywood.

“I don’t even mean anything to Marvel,” she said. “And it can be unintentional. I think a lot of it is people trying to be generous, almost saying, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you’d want to do that kind of thing. Like, you created ‘PEN15,’ why would you want to…’ And I don’t know those ladies personally, but I don’t suddenly see them on billboards all over the city for rom-coms or whatever.”

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