Hannah Gadsby Opens Up About Creating Nanette

Extended interview available exclusively online

What you need to know
  • Tonight on The Project, Hannah Gadsby speaks about her Netflix smash hit Nanette
  • Check out an extended 29-minute version of the in-depth interview

UPDATE: Check out the extended interview with Hannah Gadsby here.

If there is one Australian comedian who’s an absolute global force at the moment, it’s Hannah Gadsby.

The timely release of her extraordinary one-woman stage show Nanette on Netflix last month made her a superstar in the U.S. - a place she said she’d never even tried to crack into – and around the world.

“I’m sort of recovering from that tour. For the rest of the world it’s a thing, not just the US. I’m getting messages from India. I’m big in India.”

The show, which swept comedy awards around the globe, is not just hilarious, inspiring, and bitingly political, it also famously takes the job of a comedian – telling jokes – to pieces.

So we decided to send our own resident funny-person Peter Helliar off to have a chat with Gadsby, to get an insight into how Nanette developed, and to find out if she’s really going to follow through on the threat she makes in the show: to quit comedy.

Pete with Hannah and her dogs, Douglas and Jasper
Pete with Hannah and her dogs, Douglas and Jasper

She revealed how the earliest version of the show contained far fewer jokes than the final performance at the Sydney Opera House that was filmed. And how over more than 200 shows, revealing the truth of her story was a taxing experience.

“It was not a performance. It was lived. I could feel it in my body. I felt hurt. I felt pain. The grief of a wasted life a bit.”

She also spoke of how her mum, finally decided to see the show for that climactic performance.

“Which is fine but what it meant was both the stakes for my career, and personal stakes… sky high at the same time.”

In the extended interview, Gadsby told of why the timing of the release of the show in the age of #metoo was purely coincidental.

In an in-depth discussion, Hannah takes us on a special journey through the creation of Nanette, an incredible piece that redefines what stand-up comedy can be.