I had the chance to chat for a second time with the lovely ladies of Avocado Toast. No, not women who sell avocado toast, but the great minds behind the series Avocado Toast. Thank you very much to Heidi Lynch and Perrie Voss for chatting with me again about the upcoming Amazon debut of the series.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourselves?
Heidi Lynch: Hi Nerdy Girl Express readers! I’m Heidi! I split my time between London, U.K. and Canada because I am completely in love with a human being who happens to live across the pond. I play goalie on a soccer team in the U.K. sometimes and resist the urge to call it football at all costs. I am keeping my CO-VID19 doldrums at bay by teaching my nephew and four nieces a drama class everyday at 11:00 am on Zoom and have such a new found respect for teachers all over the world. Was that an answer? Oh yeah, I wrote, produced and play the role of Molly in Avocado Toast the series.
Perrie Voss: Hello! I’m Perrie Voss. I’m born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. I grew up riding horses – I can’t believe that’s the second thing I’ve told you…. but quarantine brain has officially set in and here we are! SO yes, I grew up riding horses. I love painting, writing, acting, cooking. I love skiing, running, tennis and walking by the water. I was a theatre actor professionally for 10 years and then I switched into acting for film and tv. I’m a screenwriter, actor, producer and picture editor on Avocado Toast the Series. Is this feeling more and more like a dating ad? I love dogs. Call me.
What inspired the creation of Avocado Toast the series and what do you think makes the story so unique?
HL: The story was inspired by our real life experiences. We met when I was figuring out how to come out as bi and Perrie’s parents were splitting up. We needed each other to laugh through it and we leaned on each other pretty hard. As we slowly healed from our real life we realized we needed to share a story about the power of female friendship through those two experiences. We really felt like bisexual coming out stories, stories about coping with parental divorce as an adult and stories about female friendships were not well explored and that we had a unique story to tell. You’ll be the judge!
PV: Avocado Toast the series is based on our real life events and us meeting at a very serendipitous time. Heidi had been going through a really huge revelation about her sexuality and then two weeks after we met, my parents told me they decided to get divorced extremely suddenly after 38 years of marriage. We were both going through it and what we realized is that we had this incredible strength to draw on with one another. We both laughed a lot and cried a lot but there was a trust and a bond that I had never experienced before with a friend- especially that quickly. So we have translated that into this story! I think it’s unique because of the way we’re telling the story and the lens it’s through. It’s 30 something year old women trying to get through things that they had figured they wouldn’t be dealing with at that point in their lives. They have to face some pretty huge moments. But we’ve decided to tell it with humour and through friendship, because that’s literally how we managed to get through it all — And lots of wine.
Could you describe your characters and their connections to their parents?
HL: Molly’s parents have always been focused on her and what she needs and wants. They have even done the work of hiding their open marriage from her for her entire life because they didn’t want Molly to be judged for it. They are a constant source of support to Molly. When Molly is finally forced to come out to her Mother, Meredith (played by Mag Ruffman), her mother tries to comfort her by opening up about the open marriage. Molly does not react with unconditional love and instead judges her parents for their lifestyle. Internalized homophobia is real yo! I think it is important to address and represent so that we can talk about it. Creating representation for open and accepting baby boomers was also very important to me. Fun fact: ToolGirl Mag Ruffman is one of my best buddies.
PV: Elle has looked up to both of her parents her entire life. Her mom is an ad exec and has been a complete workaholic Elle’s entire life. Elle basically wanted to be her mom growing up, and she pretty much did it! But then her mom shatters the illusion and Elle is let down beyond repair, so she sets out to take her down. I think somewhere deep down she’s still deeply inspired by her mom, but Elle’s heart is so broken she can’t see past it. Elle’s dad is actually not her biological dad but she loves him like her own blood. He is her dad as far as she is concerned. She loses her family due to the pain that is running through the middle of it, so she needs to figure out what those new relationships will look like.
What is your hope for the series? Are there reactions or responses in particular that you are hoping for from viewers?
HL: I know as a producer I should say, I hope we sell it to Netflix! And like…I do…lol, BUT this story is so personal to Perrie and I. If this series makes anyone feel less alone as they are going through a big emotional transition it will have served its purpose. The most incredible part of this process has been viewer feedback. Even our two minute trailer elicited responses from people all over the world saying “Hi, I’m bi and thank you for telling a story that acknowledges bisexuality”. The countless times we have met people in relation to the project including two of our crew members who experienced parental divorce when they were “adults” and hearing them re-process it while working on the show and say “Yeah..That was hard” reaffirms that this story is going to really mean something to people. I hope we make people feel seen and help them laugh through what could potentially be a trying time.
PV: I want us to go all the way baby! I don’t actually know what that means, but I hope that people like us enough to share this with their friends, their families. I see big things, but it will be interesting to see how this comes together. I definitely hope we get to make subsequent seasons and keep sharing these characters with the world.
I also hope that our viewers feel seen. Both of our storylines are ones that I haven’t seen before in full, or realistically. Bisexuality and divorce are often talked about or mentioned but the actual experience of going through and discovering those things can be extremely painful and ultimately life changing. Both of us would have needed this show when we were in the trenches of these experiences and I’m hoping that our viewers feel like we’re connecting with them through telling this truth. But we also really want to make people laugh. We do ridiculous things when we’re in pain and we show that. We hope you laugh too.
With conventions a bit up in the air right now, how has that impacted Avocado Toast?
HL: Our biggest hit has been missing out on ClexaCon. This has affected the ClexaCon guests more than anyone. It is an incredible opportunity for people who are hungry for female focused queer content to get to meet their heroes and absorb the kind of content and representation they don’t get to see everyday. We know that ClexaCon 2021 will be kick ass and we can’t wait to connect with the fellow panelists, artists and fans in 2021.
PV: Well first of all we were extremely lucky that we wrapped production and our actual picture editing before covid changed the world. I literally dropped the hard drives of the picture-edits off to our post-production studio for colour-grading the day that Toronto was shutting down. But that means that things like our colour-sessions, ADR (automated dialogue replacement) for post-sound, promotional photoshoots, in-person interviews, our planned public screenings and our panel-discussion at ClexaCon Las Vegas, like Heidi mentioned, has all been changed, rescheduled, or cancelled. Which is sad because we had so looked forward to a lot of that. But honestly, we’re so grateful that everything that needs to continue to actually launch our show is moving forward. Colour grading sessions will be postings, our cast is sending their ADR on voice-notes on their phones or at-home studios and hey! We’re writing lots of interviews, gratefully (thank you!!). I also want to say thank GOODNESS for video calling because meetings can continue after my fingers freeze up from typing all day (laughs). We’re all making it work in our own ways, aren’t we.
How excited are you for your Amazon Prime debut and when can our readers see the series?
HL: I can’t explain how excited I am. I don’t know how I am going to sleep the night before. This has been such a long time in the making and it would take me hours to relay to you how many generous, creative and enthusiastic human beings have contributed to the creation of this series. It started out as a personal story and now it is something made by an incredible community. You can watch Avocado Toast the series on OUTtvGo.com (sign up for your free 7 day subscription and enjoy other shows there as well!) in Canada, and it’s available on Amazon Prime in the U.S. and U.K.
PV: I honestly don’t have words for how excited I am. This will feel surreal. Heidi and I have been working on this show for almost 5 years and the fact that we’re about to unleash it onto the world isn’t quite registering for me yet. We’re also still wrapping up post, so we’re still working long long hours to get this done. But I think when it launches I’m going to have a large glass of wine, cry and then laugh really hard. Yes. I’m SO excited. MAY 18TH 2020 holy cow!
Where can our viewers keep up with you both and Avocado Toast the series?
HL: Our website www.avocadotoasttheseries.com has links to everything you could need including our mailing list to stay connected!
To keep up to date with the next brainchildren from this awesome producing team follow Guts and Gall Productions Inc. on Instagram @gutsandgallproductions
My personal Instagram is where I hang out most @greatheidi
From One Nerdy Girl to another thank you so much for the chat! Lots of Love! x
PV: And my personal instagram page is @perrbear!
*Photographs by David Leyes Photography*