Metro Weekly

Spotlight: Fortune Feimster on ‘Barb and Star’ and podcast ‘Sincerely Fortune’

Fortune Feimster is part of the polished comic ensemble who make "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar" shine

Fortune Feimster
Rose Abdoo (left) with Fortune Feimster (right)

Serious times call for seriously silly comedy to help lighten the mood — and film comedies don’t come much sillier than Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. A refreshing dip in the same bosom buddy comedy pool as Romy and Michele, the candy-colored camp-fest stars Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo as middle-aged Midwesterners Star and Barb, two besties willing to push themselves far out of their comfort zones in search of their fading “shimmer.”

The movie is just as willing to bend over backwards for a laugh, and that boldness pays off, according to co-star Fortune Feimster. “There’s so much going on in the world, like more than ever. We all need an escape at some point,” says the actress and comedian. “And so I’m really glad that we have this movie, to hopefully let people experience that. It’s obviously very silly, very crazy, but in the best way possible.”

Feimster plays Pinky, one of the ladies of Barb and Star’s amusingly awkward Talking Club, presided over by strict rules-keeper Deb (SNL vet Vanessa Bayer). Pinky and the other gals don’t make the trip to Vista Del Mar, but they add to the film’s oddball brand of kitsch, which Feimster credits to co-authors Wiig and Mumolo, Academy Award nominees for their Bridesmaids screenplay.

“In real life, Kristen and Annie are super close,” says Feimster. “And so they’re writing this movie as two people who make each other laugh a lot, two people who are very familiar with each other…. You never get tired of them, you never get tired of their journey, and you really start to care about them and want to find out what happens to them.”

Feimster brings her own brand of fun-loving energy to Barb and Star, as well as to a recurring guest role on NBC’s new sitcom Kenan, and a voice cameo as one of the stewards of the afterlife in Pixar’s animated hit Soul. “I’m the upbeat counselor. ‘Hey, Jerry, everybody inside! All right, Jerry? Hey, Terry!’ So I was the ‘Hey, Jerry/Hey, Terry’ person.”

The successful standup also hosts a podcast, Sincerely Fortune, with her lesbian partner Jax, and is more than game for a return to Talking Club. “I think we all would have loved even more Talking Club, but they had such a wealth of funny things that I was happy that we’re in it when we are,” she says. “I know Kristen and Annie are very busy, but I think they should write a Barb and Star 2, and have a whole lot of Talking Club in it.”

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is currently available through streaming on-demand.

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André Hereford covers arts and entertainment for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at ahereford@metroweekly.com. Follow him on Twitter at @here4andre.

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