“Emmy Contender Carrie Brownstein on Balancing ‘Portlandia’ by Day, Rock Stardom by Night”

“For me, it is part of the same world,” she tells TheWrap of dividing time between the sketch comedy show and her band Sleater-Kinney

When Carrie Brownstein talked to TheWrap about her job writing and acting in the IFC series “Portlandia,” she was near the tail end of a long-awaited tour by her seminal Portland-based indie rock band Sleater-Kinney. The band had been on hiatus for four years when she and Fred Armisen first launched the satiric sketch comedy series in 2011, but its return gave Brownstein one of the most unusual split personalities of any of this year’s Emmy contenders.

TheWrap: Is it hard to divide your time between “Portlandia” and Sleater-Kinney?
Carrie Brownstein: Well, I’m in “Portlandia” land right now. We’re doing a festival in Washington state this weekend, and then another festival in Spain. This is sort of the last of Sleater-Kinney, and I have turned my attention to writing Season 6 of “Portlandia.” I should still be OK playing guitar, but I do like to focus on one thing at a time, and for it to be immersive. I don’t necessarily want things to be as compacted as they are this weekend.

“Portlandia” began with a series of short videos that you and Fred Armisen made — but did you know what you were getting in for when you decided to write and star in a series?
I don’t think any of us did, and I think that kind of discovery is part of the charm of “Portlandia.” There was a clumsiness to the first season that felt important to hang onto. When clumsiness becomes more intentional and more refined, it is still able to capture the awkwardness of some of life’s moments, and that’s important for us to hold onto. I think it was to our benefit that we came together not knowing the rules. Because it doesn’t feel like a show that follows too many rules…”



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