You’re the Worst’s Aya Cash: ‘There’s bad stuff about all of us’

The star of the hit comedy show about a misanthropic romance talks about channelling her inner rebel and why we fall in love with people for their flaws

Aya Cash is convinced that her character, LA-based misanthrope Gretchen on the FXX comedy Youre the Worst, would hate her car. I live a very different kind of life than she does, Cash says. I have a Subaru a Subaru Outback.

Shes probably right. Its not a car that really screams hip music publicist. But its clear from talking to Cash that shes nothing like her brash, vain, narcissistic character who has been slowly falling in love with British author Jimmy (Chris Geere) for the past two seasons and into the third, currently airing. But while Cash wouldnt steal a blender from the gift table at a friends wedding, she does see similarities between Gretchen and herself.

I think we both have a drier sense of humor and a blacker sense of life, she says. I can be pretty blunt, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad. She shares that. We both love to do cocaine. Yeah, that last one was an example of that very dry sense of humor that they share (though Gretchen really does love her cocaine).

Another thing they have in common: they both hate therapy. The shows third season sees Gretchen returning to psychiatric treatment after struggling with clinical depression for most of the second season. Cash, whose father was a therapist, hated going to the shrink so much as a teen that she would blow off her appointments altogether, even though she had to pay a cash penalty every time she skipped. I would rather pay the fee than go, she says. I really didnt want to go to therapy.


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Just as Gretchen is starting to warm up to her therapist (played by Orange is the New Blacks Samira Wiley), Cash eventually warmed to the experience as well. I think its been very helpful for different points of my life to reset and learn more about myself, she says. Gretchen and I are so different. Mostly I went into therapy trying to figure things out and I think she goes in trying to get a pill and a path. I didnt draw from real life in that sense. Maybe I channelled my inner rebellious 16-year-old wanting to play hooky.

Now that Gretchen has managed to get over her funk, she seems to be having a lot more fun. There is a lot of silliness this season, which is a good change of pace, she says. Shes a little dumber this season. Shes like a happy, contented pig. I dont want to say shes dumb, but everything is a lot lighter.

Some fans were upset that the second season veered toward the serious, but the show seems to have gotten its mojo back by focusing on what made it so great originally: a love story between two awful people. Although Cash doesnt think that Gretchen and Jimmy are that bad. Theres bad stuff about all of us, she says. Its about finding someone compatible. Ultimately you dont fall in love with someone for their best qualities. You fall in love with someone for their worst qualities or what they would think of as their flaws. That is what humanizes you to someone else. I think these two really make their particular brand of crazy and fucked up work together.

While she might work in Los Angeles, Cash still lives in Brooklyn and is fully aware that shes a type often ridiculed in the hipster-baiting show.

Im very much the market of what were making fun, Cash says. I will go buy a $5 matcha and go to an indie bookstore and then have a meal at a spicy Thai restaurant. I dont have a lot of ego about it. Im also not 19. Im an adult and I like what I like and I dont care if its stupid or silly to other people. Which sounds exactly like something Gretchen would say

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