Debby Ryan On Why You Should Give Netflix’s Insatiable A Chance



Last year, when Netflix’ Insatiable released its first season’s trailer, not all viewers gave themselves the chance to watch the show in its entirety. That is all about to change this time around.

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Calling the first season’s trailer “fatphobic” and “offensive,” viewers were taken aback by the said preview, because it depicted Debby Ryan’s character, Patty Bladell, getting thin to impress people.

After the first season’s run, mixed reviews were put out. Some understood and enjoyed it, while others had mistakes to point out. A year later, a second season was made and they’re ready for redemption.

Debby Ryan, Dallas Roberts (Bob Armstrong), and show-guest-star, former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz (Gloria Reyes) promoted the second season through a fan event in the Philippines yesterday. MEGA sat down with each of them to discuss their experiences in shooting the second season and why viewers should give the show a chance.

In its first season, the show touched on Patty’s eating disorder alongside some of the characters’ depression and mental state.

MEGA: How important is mental health for you to share on your platform and the show?

Dallas: It’s very important. Mental health is one of the crucial things that many of the characters are dealing with, so it is very important to discuss.

Debby: I think it’s very important. There is a lot of stigma around it. I broke my knee two summers ago and I needed to stop walking. I needed to stop, go, and get it fixed. I could still move, I could still see my friends, I do my things but I needed to be really careful, protect it, and make sure that when it’s rebuilding, I was rebuilding it right, so that for the rest of my life, I get to walk on it balanced and not keep hurting myself. I think mental health should be treated exactly the same.

MEGA: Was there some sense of redemption in playing Patty after Season 1?

Debby: Yes, I think after season 1 people got to really go on a journey and they got to see not only where it starts, but this is where it takes Patty and [showed] introductions to why she is the way she is. I’ve dealt with disordered eating for a long time and the scene where Patty eats a cake, that was the first time that I’ve ever seen that. I’ve never seen someone on camera do that thing you do in private, in shame. And to be able to put all of that out there, and then come back and do it again, it felt freeing. It felt redemptive, it felt like all of the fear, all of the shame, the damage, and people telling you what you’re doing, that you’re a bad person for doing it [the show] or whatever; to be able to know how many people it helps and hear from countless people about having never seen things, heard things, and needing to see a coming out story goes like that [Patty’s disorder] and even to see someone find themselves that way. We get to do it all over again knowing that we had all these people who are just like us in a corner, (and there’s) nothing more redemptive than that.

MEGA: What lessons do you think people can learn from the show?

Dallas: We’re not people who behave particularly well. Hopefully, the show shows people that you love making decisions that maybe you wouldn’t make in your own life. The best thing you can learn from the show is not to behave like us.

The show focuses on Patty’s character who is a rookie pageant queen, handled by her coach Bob Armstrong. Together, they join pageants and discover their true selves with the help of each other and other characters of Insatiable.

It was announced prior to the release of Season 2’s trailer that the Philippines’ own former Miss Universe, Gloria Diaz, will be appearing as a guest star on the show. She’s one of the two Filipinos that are going to be featured on the second season of the show (the other being Vincent Rodriguez III, as revealed on NetflixPH’s IG TV).

Playing herself but with a twist, Gloria Diaz is Gloria Reyes, an intimidating former Miss Universe who now spies on pageant queens, which, as she is quick to point out, is nothing like her.

MEGA: How was working with Gloria Diaz?

Dallas: Great, amazing. When you read the script, she plays this intimidating legend. And Bob is like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe it’s her.” And when she showed up on set, she had a powerful presence.

MEGA: [For Gloria] Who in the cast did you reach out to first when you arrived on-set? How did it happen?

Gloria: All of them. They were very kind. I think Bob was the first one to welcome me. Even the crew [welcomed me]. Here in my country when I come in, they just go on drinking their coffee, eating their sandwich, but here [Insatiable] it seemed like all of them were so happy and they welcomed me. It felt right, I felt good.

MEGA: How did you prepare for that role considering there was a twist in the original Gloria Diaz?

Gloria: I have a daughter, Isabelle, and she read the script very well. She said, “Mom, it’s this way, you are like Devil Wears Prada [Miranda Priestly]. Do that.” My daughter, who’s OC, said: “You are this way, proud and elegant.” She prepared me, to a certain extent. Of course, whatever I did, it was never enough.

“Mom you should have-”

“Belle, I can’t do more, this is it. It’s difficult.” 

MEGA: What are you Insatiable for?

Gloria: I’ve done about 175 films. I always think after everything I do, I always want to do another take, but I am embarrassed to ask for it. I feel like I could do better, I should have done better. I don’t even watch myself because I know I could do so much better. It’s like an obsession to do better.

Dallas: Intensely difficult recipes and anyone who’s spent 10,000 hours on a specific task. When you see someone who’s been doing the same thing for 15 years. In movies: Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Gene Wilder. In music, Dawn of Midi, Radiohead, and Lizzo.

Debby: Conversation. Obviously, because I talk too much. Like if I could freeze time, have like a 10 or 15-minute conversation with every single person I meet, and just ask them 10 or 15 questions to get to know why they are the way they are, what their favorite references are, what they’re weak for, and what they’re about. I would love that, truly I would totally swoon for it. I just think human beings are so infinite. There’s no combination that’s the same in every single one of us. It’s very delightful that when you meet someone you’re like “oh wow, I’ll never meet someone that has the same thing as you do.”

MEGA: Why should people give Insatiable a chance?

Dallas: The best part about the current state of media is that there is so much content, there’s so much to watch. So, when you turn it on and you don’t like it, it’s fine. It costs you 40 minutes. But if you love it and if a lot of people love it, it really pays off. It rewards you for sitting there for the end of season 2, like 22 hours of your life [Season 1 and 2].

Debby: That’s a good question because it’s wild (laughs). Our show runner’s very smart. She has been very honest about the damage, everything she’s gone through. In terms of sexuality, disordered eating, and public perception. By design, she made the first season so binge-able that you just watch it. And then you wake up [realizing] I don’t know how to feel about that. It’s a fun, campy, hilarious binge. But it’s also everything, it’s messed up. It appeals to every part of you. And then season 2 goes even further into that direction, because you wake up at the end of season 2 and say, “Was I rooting for a bad guy? was I happy that someone got hurt?” It’s neon, fun, you’ll never stop laughing. You can laugh and cry in the same two hours. You’ve never seen anything like some of these things and also in the same sense, it touches on everything you know about.

Is Season 2 the redemption arc we’re looking for?

The first season introduced concepts and scenarios that made Patty who she is and why she acts the way she does in certain situations. There were also many questions left unanswered during season one that the upcoming season will delve deeper on. Viewers will get to see how the characters will continue to develop their personalities.

The show is simply wild, hilarious, romantic, weird, and relatable. It is nothing like anything on TV or Netflix, which makes it too interesting not to watch. It becomes too real sometimes without losing its humor, but it all goes down to dealing with mental health and seeking help for it.

Patty Bladell’s pageant adventures continue on October 11, 2019, with another season of Insatiable to be released for streaming on Netflix.

The first episode of the show can be streamed for free on netflix.com/insatiable.

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