Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.
Photo: Mike Pont/2014 Getty Images
In the off-Broadway play Annapurna, real-life awesome couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman hold nothing back. From the opening scene, they rage against each other, throwing barbs and dragging skeletons out of the closet. Offerman’s character, the cowboy-poet Ulysses, wearing nothing but a grease-stained apron and his pride, is living in a trailer home and dying of lung cancer. Learning of the news, his ex-wife, Emma, played by Mullally, returns 20 years after having walked out on him.
The couple first met at a rehearsal of The Berlin Circle back in 2000 and they’ve been together ever since, appearing together onstage, onscreen, and in YouTube videos. “We’re the Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy of today,” Mullally told Vulture at the last night’s after-party. We asked the duo if they’ve learned to navigate each other’s tics before big performances, and they were off. “Megan does this sort of meditation,” said Offerman. “I see that starting, I get out of the room. I go in the next room and have gas.”
Megan Mullally: He’s on a real farting tear right now. I don’t know what is going on. It’s unbelievable.
Nick Offerman: It’s my thing. No, it’s been building my whole life.
Mullally: I don’t know how you keep it in for 90 minutes on that stage.
Offerman: I had to begin avoiding open flames.
Mullally: It’s crazy, it’s like, there’s no amount of soundproofing that can …
Offerman: P.S. I don’t keep it in for 90 minutes. I just wait until I’m over in the kitchen.
Mullally: I don’t really hear the audible ones, though.
Offerman: When I’m behind the kitchen counter, I can get a hold of one cheek, and that allows it to aerate without getting the full flap involved.
I have to ask: Do they smell?
Mullally: Not so much recently, although in the past. I remember one time we were vacationing in Mexico. We had never been to Mexico, and we were in Mexico, and we were in our room dead asleep. I was in, like, a REM state of sleep. I just woke up. I thought we were being poisoned, like mustard gas had been released. It really scared me. I shot out of bed. I was like, What is that!? It didn’t dissipate. It was under the covers. It was like a Dutch oven. It didn’t dissipate for, like, ten minutes. I was in the other room and I kept coming back and was like, Not yet?!
Offerman: First you punched me.
Mullally: Oh yeah. Because it scared me.
Offerman: I was awoken by a punch.
Mullally: A friendly punch.
Offerman: That may have been the peak of my career.
Mullally: It may have been the actual fart that punched you.
Offerman: It may have been.