How Aisha Tyler became Hollywood’s jack of all trades
There’s almost nothing that Aisha Tyler hasn’t done in Hollywood — acting, voiceover work, hosting, directing, writing, producing.
Her latest project is “Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys,” an aftershow in which she interviews the cast and crew of Amazon’s dark superhero series “The Boys” (returning for Season 2 on Sept. 4). The aftershow premiered Friday, Aug. 28, with a look back at Season 1.
“I hosted a panel for ‘The Boys’ at Comic Con for their first season. I’ve always been a big comic book person, so I really just loved that show and was able to communicate that passion,” Tyler, 49, tells The Post.
“When they decided to do an aftershow, they approached me first about having a bigger and longer conversation about ‘The Boys.’ Thematically, it’s a show about a lot of other things — superheroes are the conceit. But it’s really a show about wealth and power and capitalism and lots of other sociocultural issues.”
“Inside the Boys” filmed last month, with Tyler interviewing series actors such as Karl Urban under strict social distancing guidelines, with everyone separated into different “work zones,” she says.
Tyler is no stranger to hosting, as she’s known for CBS’ “The Talk” (2011-17), and “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” She’s also known for playing Charlie on “Friends,” starring as Dr. Tara Lewis on “Criminal Minds” and voicing Lana Kane on “Archer.”
But she didn’t set out to be a jack of all trades on purpose, she says. In fact, originally when she was attending Dartmouth College, she thought she wanted to go to law school.
“I didn’t have a plan. It’s been a strange kind of ever-expanding, asymmetric blob of skills where I learn something new and that drives me to try something new. I definitely took a left turn after I graduated [college]. I started as a stand-up comedian, which is an amalgam of a lot of different skill sets. You’re a writer, you’re a performer. In a lot of ways you’re a producer, you’re doing your own marketing. And so you become very self-driven. So I think maybe starting out as a stand-up drove a lot of the expansion of the work that I’ve done — but they are all related.”
‘I’m kind of in a sweet spot right now that I’m directing and producing more.’
She’s expanded into directing, with an episode of The CW’s “Roswell, New Mexico” this year, and “Inside The Boys” also marks one of her first stints as an executive producer.
“Directing is probably the thing that’s the most satisfying because you get to take care of everybody on the set and empower everybody to do their best work,” she says. “I’m kind of in a sweet spot right now that I’m directing and producing more. It’s nice to be able to help other creators — especially women and creators of color — get more opportunities in this business and create a space of them for them to excel.”
She estimates that she has around six shows in various stages of development at the moment, in addition to filming “Inside the Boys” last month and still lending her voice to sexy spy Lana Kane on “Archer” (returning with Season 11 Sept. 16 to FXX).
And that’s not counting Courage+Stone, a ready-to-drink cocktail company in Brooklyn that she launched in January.
“I like to work,” she says. “I like to be busy, and I’m most effective when I’m 1 or 2 percent over capacity.”