If you grew up on the show “Freaks and Geeks” like me, you’re likely familiar with Busy Philipps, the actress who played the role of bad bitch Kim Kelly. Now a host of her own talk show, “Busy Tonight” on E!, Philipps has built her career since a young age, but her road to success was not always so easy.
Philipps recently joined her friend and workout buddy Hillary Kerr, co-founder of Who What Wear and Second Life podcast host, on stage at SXSW to chat about her journey as an actress, establishing her voice and hustle, and her success telling stories through Instagram.
The session opened up with Philipps sharing her gratitude for having started her career on “Freaks and Geeks” and how those she worked with on the show, particularly Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, inspired her to eventually pursue her own projects and creations.
However, her newfound confidence soon was tested after accepting a role on “Dawson’s Creek,” where she first experienced the pressure to be something she wasn’t and to look away she didn’t want. Like many have experienced in Hollywood, Phillips felt as if the industry was saying “You’re not fucking good enough,” which caused a bumpy road for years as she struggled to create her own content.
"Dawson's Creek was a big transition for me after Freaks and Geeks… it was like a heap of hot people on that show… and sometimes I didn't feel good enough." @BusyPhilipps @sxsw #sxsw #sxsw2019 @hillarykerr— Shuffle Online @ #SXSW (@shuffleonline) March 8, 2019
Through her frustration and boredom, Philipps found her voice in another, unexpected way: Instagram. As she began sharing her personal stories through her feed and stories, Philipps’s following quickly boomed and she eventually moved on to write her New York Times Bestseller, “This Will Only Hurt a Little.”
"The thing I felt was important was telling all those stories in my life beyond the quirky ones I share on Instagram. The hard stories. I wanted to let go of these experiences I felt I needed to hold in because I'm a woman." @BusyPhilipps on her new book. @sxsw #SXSW #SXSW2019— Shuffle Online @ #SXSW (@shuffleonline) March 8, 2019
Soon after, she had a crazy idea to host her own late-night talk show, which eventually became a wild success. “There has to be a woman’s voice in late-night television,” she reiterated. One of her greatest successes thus far, second to her family, “Busy Tonight” has allowed Philipps to inspire others through a new platform and pave the way for future females in late-night television.
Featured image & photo gallery credit: Leigh Kettle/Shuffle Online
Leigh is a native Texan gone temporary New Yorker and now proud Austinite. Passions include but are not limited to music (both as a spectator and dabbler), traveling & cultural adventures, film & television, true crime, design (of the fashion, interior, and graphic sorts), and photographing & writing about all the aforementioned. Self-acclaimed coffee connoisseur & wino, cat aficionado, book worm, and nature junkie.