Tawny Newsome is already known for her improv skills and for her work on the Yo! Is This Racist? podcast. With Space Force debuting this week on Netflix, the series’ hilarious young star sat down with Rolling Stone for its “The First Time” video series to talk recording music at Muscle Shoals, participating in rodeo team penning, and meeting Steve Carell for the first time.
Space Force is meant as a workplace comedy about Mark R. Naird, a four-star general (Carell), who teams up with an eccentric scientist (John Malkovich) to jumpstart the military’s newest agency. Newsome plays plays helicopter pilot Angela Ali, who is tasked with transporting the general while hijinks ensue. That’s enough to intimidate any newcomer and, remembering her first encounter with Carell, Newsome jokes: “I don’t have that shirt anymore because the pit stains were so egregious. It was my third audition for Space Force.”
“He was delightful,” she continues. “I would love to see that audition tape because I must’ve looked insane.”
Carell and Newsome are both alumni of Second City, the Chicago-based improv comedy troupe, known for launching the careers of Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and many other notable comedians. “Coming from Second City, there’s a lot of alumni. But I’d never met him or anything, so I didn’t know I’d be lucky enough to get to work with him so much.”