Leslie Bibb did this. She has worked hard, honed her skills, overcame adversity and now takes on one film or television project after another. Is everything smooth? Not always, but through a journey that has had a lot of determination and great mentoring, Bibb now gets opportunities like God’s Favorite Idiota new Netflix series that lets her jump over fences while playing Satan.
Show created Ben Falcone who also plays the role of Clark in it. One day Clark is struck by lightning, and the next he glows. It turns out that the lightning strike was not a random occurrence. This is because Clarke was chosen by God to spread the world in an attempt to prevent the impending apocalypse. Someone he will have to face in this pursuit? Bibb as Satan.
FROM God’s Favorite Idiot now available to stream on Netflix, Bibb joined us for an episode of Collider Women’s Night to revisit some of her journey from big success with Popular to get a dream opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic. While this article and the video at the top of this post do contain some of the highlights from my conversation with Bibb, I highly recommend checking out the full hour-long conversation in podcast form below. Bibb has a wealth of stories to share, all filled with valuable insights into the realities of building an acting career in Hollywood.
For example, Bibb had a whole story about one of her very first performances – or rather, what was almost one of her very first performances.
“I got the job after a great audition. I went and was an outsider and got the part, and literally that night they said, “You should fly to Chicago!” It was one of my first jobs and I was so excited. I’ll have money in the bank! It was so exciting. I literally go home, pack my suitcase, get on a plane and fly to Chicago because I’m going to be on some show that’s filming in Chicago. Kyle Chandler had an Early Edition show. And somewhere in the middle of the flight there were no cell phones or anything, in the middle of the flight Les Moonves said, “No, I don’t know who that kid is.” I think they chose Christy Swanson. – I know who she is! And so I landed thinking I had a job and I think I had a beeper and I got all these beeps and I went to a pay phone at Chicago O’Hare airport and called my manager and he like, “Baby, you don’t. I have a job. Les Moonves changed his mind. He doesn’t think you’re famous enough” or something like that. And he’s like, “What do you want to do?” And I thought, “Get me out of here.”
A very reasonable response to such an experience. However, the story does not end there. In fact, the experience taught Bibb an extremely valuable lesson on how to keep her ego in check, as well as highlighting her ability to stick together and persevere.
“For 24 hours [it] There was such a big high and such a big low. And I think maybe a month later the showrunner, who was a really nice, decent person, I don’t remember his name, and I think they really wanted me to be in this job, they called me up and said, “Couldn’t would you come.” make a series? And I thought, “To hell with this show!” [Laughs] Firstly! And then I thought: “No, there is something.” And I went and filmed the episode.”
This ability to recover and move forward proved vital to Bibb. This is actually a lesson from her mentor and acting teacher. Maggie Flanagan heavily emphasized:
“I think this business is really shitty. It’s very hard, you know? You must have very thick skin. And I remember when I was studying acting in New York, I studied with this woman, Maggie Flanagan, and she is an incredible teacher. Just unbelieveble. She has this truth laser. She is an incredible teacher. She’s so smart the way she looks at things. She is gorgeous. And she’s tough. She is really tough. I walked out of the classroom, I was in tears and thought: “What am I doing?” And I remember one day I was talking to her and I said, “I don’t know why I can’t understand this!” I thought, “Maybe I’m just a terrible actress or something.” She’s like, “No, no, no. Listen, I think you are talented and I think you will go far in this business, but I think this business is not very kind, so if you can stand me, you will. [this business].’”
Another example of how Bibb proves he can stand up to business challenges? Her experience after the show Popular came to an end. The show was a hit back in the late 90s and was a game changer for a number of actors involved. However, this hype soon faded, and the series was canceled after just two seasons. Here is how Bibb described the situation:
“I remember when we ended the show, they said, ‘It’s not being made,’ and I had a movie that I was going to shoot in New York and I was so excited. [about]. Then 9/11 happened, and the world sort of shut down. The film I was going to shoot in New York didn’t happen. The world just stopped and I felt like I was a little stagnant. But, you know, you just keep on puffing. And then you just come back and think everything will come back, and then you’re like, “Oh no, now you have to go and audition.” When you are on a show, you can skip two steps and then enter and meet the director. Now you might need to go back downstairs and still meet with the casting director, do you know what I mean? So you still have the same garbage. Your freeway ramp is a little different. You are no longer in the HOV lane. You’re stuck in traffic trying to make your way up the 405.”
And the “frog” climbed 405, which she did! We’d be stuck here all day if I rattled off all of Bibb’s posts…Popular achievements, but personal favorites include Trick or Treat, iron Man, Midnight Meat Train, nanny movies and then some! The newest addition to this growing filmography? God’s Favorite Idiotof course, and trust me when I tell you that Bibb is the main highlight of this show, soaking up every opportunity she gets to succeed with her performance of Satan.
“When I read this, I just remember imagining Tracey Flick from The Choices and just thinking, ‘There’s something freaky about her. I thought that she was very lonely and she really needed friends, and she was just the kind of person who made the wrong choice at the wrong time. I just felt like she was the sister that her father didn’t love as much as the other sister, or she was an adopted child, you know what I mean? There was something about it that I wanted to try, to see if I could make her somehow attractive. I just thought it was so much fun. I mean, she was so rotten. She is like a three-year-old child, like a naughty child who so desperately wants to get her way.
Bibb also noted how Falcone and Melissa McCarthy urged her to just go for it in the role of:
“They are so wonderful and they are so collaborative. They just keep [saying]“What about this idea? Or how about this? Or you do something and it hits them and then they just say, “Or you could say it!” So all you have to do is just give up all control and stay in yes and just say yes yes yes and then just be fearless.”
And she is fearless! Bibb’s performance as Satan is a great example of an actor getting such an explosion in a role that it’s impossible not to soak up that infectious enthusiasm and enjoy the wild ride with her.
Eager to hear more from Bibb about her journey in God’s Favorite Idiot? You must be! You can catch our uncut conversation in podcast form below, which includes memories from the sets Intimate parts of the body, iron Man, Trick or Treatand more!