‘Hacks’ Star Hannah Einbinder on the Red Carpet – The Hollywood Reporter
Actress and comedian Hannah Einbinder was the star of the HBO Max comedy series hacks, earning an Emmy nomination for her role as Ava Daniels, a young, bisexual, aimless comedy writer who provides jokes for no-nonsense, brash Las Vegas stand-up comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart). With the success of the Emmy-winning comedy (it won three trophies in the fall, including one for Smart), the Los Angeles native, 27, suddenly found herself in uncharted territory: on the red carpet.
Working with stylist Kevin Michael Ericson, Einbinder elevated his everyday look — vintage t-shirts, jeans, black Doc Martens — into A-lister style, appearing more often in suits and tuxedos. “I’ve been so lucky to work with an all-queer team [Ericson, Molly Greenwald and Brian Fisher] for glamor and style, and as a result, I’ve always felt incredibly seen and heard when it comes to how I want to dress and present myself,” says the actress, who identifies as bisexual. “I’m also so lucky to come to a time where I can wear whatever I want.”
How would you describe your red carpet style?
Attention to detail, bespoke and fit for a gentleman.
You often alternate suits and dresses when you’re on the red carpet. How do you decide which to wear?
There is incredible security, for me personally, in wearing suits. I feel really safe in this kind of clothes. It’s been an ongoing conversation with my stylist – who is the most incredible collaborator in this very fun and very new to me art form of fashion. This conversation always revolves around what feels safe and what feels like pushing a personal boundary. And this is a good thing. Whenever I wear a dress, I gravitate toward looks that always seem to have strength.
When you’re not on the mat, how do you dress? Still prefer a more structured look?
The truth is, when I’m not on the mat, I’m on the couch. (Laughs.) My everyday style has definitely been elevated working with Kevin, but I’ve dressed pretty much the same since high school: Doc Martens, vintage black jeans, T-shirt, and flannel. Pretty much a version of a jacket with this base layer. Since working with Kevin, I’ve become much more interested in pants, tailored pants, and prints. It oscillates between loungewear – I relax as much as possible – and a more put together version of what I’ve always worn.
What have you learned about fashion since you started attending so many red carpet events?
My instinct as a Los Angeleno native is to wear, like, all black. Later today I have an FYC event with the creators and Jean [Smart], and I’m wearing an Alexandre Vauthier orange, blue and cream houndstooth suit. If you asked me two years ago if I felt like I could confidently stick to it, I would say no. Kevin really massaged me to get to this place where I now have a more complex understanding of fashion theory and colors and silhouettes. I know what I like and what works for me, and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m absolutely into it. It was a really wonderful thing to be like, “Oh yeah, I can wear that.”
Would you say Ava’s style on hacks is similar to yours? Do you ever show up and see a costume and think, “I want to take this home”?
In the first season, some of his clothes were things I brought [to set]. In the pilot, Ava wears a tan flannel shirt jacket and a black vintage Levis — both were mine. But I love his style. I think she’s a mix of the way [co-creators Jen Statsky and Lucia Aniello] dress. There have been several days where I’ve come to dress up, and Jen, Lucia, and Ava are dressed very similarly, which I like because I feel like they lent it that direction they themselves. I happen to align myself with their style in my everyday life.
Who is your ultimate style icon?
Fran Lebowitz. She’s so sexy, it’s crazy.
Have you ever seen Jean Smart on a red carpet and thought, “Wow, I’d love to wear that”?
Her look at the Critics Choice Awards was amazing. It was Valentino, a white top and a sequined skirt – I couldn’t [pull that off], already. She went with some really gorgeous 60s style hair that flipped upside down, it was so cute.
What’s the show you aired recently?
[HBO Max’s] made for love. Cristin Milioti is one of the most stunning actresses working today. I loved the first season, but what she does in season two is amazing. There’s a storyline where she has to play a different version of herself, and she’s just masterful.
Interview edited for length and clarity.
This story first appeared in the June 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.