LONDON : Lolly Adefope has range. In the last few years, the 30-year-old actress and comedian has appeared on TV as the sweet-natured specter of the 18th-century noblewoman [in the BBC comedy ''Ghosts''], an exuberant hairdresser in Portland's queer scene [in the Hulu dramedy ''Shrill''] and God's apathetic assistant [in TBS's ''Miracle Workers''].

What unites these disparate roles, Adefope said in a recent interview, is that the characters ''really know themselves.'' As, it seems, does Adefope., whose discerning approach to her career demonstrates natural self-confidence, a rigorous dedication to her craft and an unwillingness to be pigeonholed.

''I want to play all of the parts,'' Adefope said, although she added she would draw the line at an action hero. [Too much training before those door - kicking scenes, she said] A spy, however? ''That would be cool.''

Her career plan, Adefope said, was ''to nail a few things first, and then maybe I can focus on the one I do best.''

In Britain, TV viewers have had the chance to check our her diverse talents since she crossed over to acting from stand-up five years ago, but in the United States, she is still best known as Fran on ''Shrill''.

Based on Lindy West's memoir of the same name, the shows third, and final, season is now on Hulu.

When ''Shrill'' premiered in 2019, some critics noted with approval that the show casts two plus-size women in complex, layered roles.

Aidy Bryant of ''Saturday Night Live'' co-stars as Annie, the character based on West, and early episodes focused on her journey toward self-acceptance - but today ''Shrill'' is not only a show about body positivity. ''It's just a funny, touching show about people and how they interact,'' Adefope said.

Although Fran started out as a more of a supporting role, she has grown into a complicated character with more screen time.

''You can hit the comedy,'' Adefope said, ''But a lot of 'Shrill' is also emotional. It was ''probably the most dramatic acting I've done,'' she added.

In an interview, Bryant, who also wrote and co-created ''Shrill'', praised Adefope's technical skill and her ability to make minute adjustments that transform the timbre of a scene. ''When we edit the show,'' Bryant said,'' we always marvel at how much she can convey with just the slightest movement of her eyes.''

Born in South London, Adefope grew up watching British TV comedians like Catherine Tate, Armando Iannucci and Steve Coogan. A high achiever in school - ''that's having Nigerian parents, to be honest,'' she said - she studied English literature at college, where she first began performing in a comedy sketch troupe.

Given Adefope's exacting approach to her career, it was perhaps inevitable that she would end up behind the camera, writing her own projects : She said she was developing a show for an American production company, with a view to starring in it herself, and that she was also working on a narrative podcast.

'' It's not necessarily going to be the industry that creates all this versatility for you.'' she said. ''It has to be something you do yourself.''

It could be a while, though, before we get to see what she's done. ''I work very slowly at writing my own stuff,'' Adefope said - partly because she's filming a lot, but also because she's ''a perfectionist''.

When both projects come out, they will no doubt be crafted with the precision engineering that characterizes all of Adefope's work. ''I watch other shows and I really analyze what works and what I think doesn't,'' she said. 

''I put a lot of pressure on myself. I'll want to make sure my show id flawless.''

The World Students Society thanks author Sirin Kale.


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