Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe Robinson

Kathryn Page
Phoebe Robinson

Toccarra Cash and Phoebe Robinson in Everything's Trash

Vanessa Clifton/Freeform
Fill 1
Fill 1
July 14, 2022
In The Mix

Phoebe Robinson Turns Trash Into Treasure

To combat life's stresses, the writer-producer-performer brings the laughs in Freeform's Everything's Trash.

When actress, writer, producer and comedian Phoebe Robinson published her second book, Everything's Trash, But It's Okay, in 2018, she couldn't have known how prescient that declaration would prove to be. But Robinson insists she's not clairvoyant.

"Historically, the world has been trash," she says, taking a break from shooting in Brooklyn, where she's lived for over a decade and where Everything's Trash — now a series as well as a book — takes place. "But when things are stressful or insurmountable, I try to make people laugh. I want to be a bright spot in life, even if I'm talking about serious things. I want it to always come from a place of joy."

The Ohio native and costar of 2 Dope Queens — which started as a hit podcast in 2016 and two years later became a series of HBO comedy specials — is now executive-producing and starring in an adaptation of Everything's Trash for Freeform.

Robinson plays a version of her younger self: a thirty-something podcaster trying to straighten out her messy life. TV Phoebe is a stark contrast to her brother, Jayden (Jordan Carlos), who, like Phoebe's real-life older brother, emerges as a leading political candidate. (Robinson's brother Phil is a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.)

The series, which debuts July 13 with a double episode, explores what it means to become an adult during tough times — when everything from dating to the job market to the state of the world in general is, well, trash. Like many millennials, Phoebe isn't sure she wants the big house, picket fence, 2.5 kids and a dog that so many young people were indoctrinated to desire. She navigates an uncertain path in uncertain times with less-than-perfect grace,  occasionally bumping heads with her much more polished big bro.

"It's a two-steps-forward, two-steps-back kind of thing," Robinson says. "TV Phoebe is smart and cares about things, but she's definitely a little messy. She's more open to whatever happens if it's an adventure. I'm more Type A — I have a one-year plan and a five-year plan.

"But what I like is her level of confidence and her intentionality," Robinson adds about her alter ego. "I didn't have that at her age. I tended to overthink things. But Phoebe beats to her own drum, and that's cool."

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine issue #7, 2022, under the title, "A Fine Mess."

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