Cristin Milioti Is Ready for Her Reset

A candid conversation with the ‘Palm Springs’ star on endless days, existential funks, pirate hooks, Michael Keaton, and the art of “dealing with your shit”

If you want to get a sense of who Cristin Milioti is, ask her about the hook.

“Wait, so you heard about the hook?!” she says, eyes widening as she doubles over laughing on her couch. Actually, it’s technically not her couch; she’s staying at a friend’s house in L.A.’s Los Feliz neighborhood, sort of stuck in between places. She had been filming out in California when the state, the country, and the world at large went into lockdown mode. Luckily, Milioti had a place to crash and her “silent-film, Muppet, trash-can dog,” Rupert, was with her, so all’s as well as it can be in the early summer of 2020, which is not very well at all.

But back to the hook. Both her Palm Springs director, Max Barbakow, and her co-star Andy Samberg have mentioned an incident involving the actress and some sort of implement; and given her reaction, you get the sense there’s a story here. “Well, yes, there is,” Milioti admits with a sideways smile on her face, as Rupert, the silent-film, Muppet, trash-can dog stops pawing at the edges of her extremely oversize tie-dye T-shirt before exiting the frame of the Zoom call. “But then we’d have to talk about the pirate costume, which means we’d get into the whole crazy montage thing, and, well…” she trails off, before comically adding in a Broadway diva’s voice, “Are we inching into spoiler ter-ri-tor-y?”