Thursday, April 11
10:30pm ET, FX.
Hey, remember way back in the Legit pilot when Jim hired that prostitute to take Billy’s virginity? Well, as funny/wrong/weirdly inspirational as that episode was, it has set up an even stranger season finale. In “Fatherhood,” Wendy the prostitute returns, pregnant with Billy’s baby.
It’s safe to say that when Kate Luyben signed on to play Wendy, it wasn’t a role she was ever expecting to reprise.
But life is funny sometimes, and not only is she back playing Wendy, she’s also now Legit star Jim Jefferies’ real-life girlfriend and the mother of his child. Baby Hank was born in November, and the little tyke will once again have the chance to see Mom and Dad together onscreen (but only when he’s much older, of course, as Legit is pretty much the opposite of kid-friendly).
Luyben isn’t saying much else about the plot, other than alluding to a fun twist somewhere along the way, but she was able to talk about the difference between being on set for the pilot and then for the Legit finale.
“It was a great set to start with and even better when I went back,” she says, adding that her second Legit appearance was her first acting job after having the baby. “It felt like a family. They all teased each other more, and their relationships were deeper. I’ve been on quite a few sets and it was probably the best one I’ve ever been on.”
Love blossomed on the set between Luyben and Jefferies, but it almost wasn’t to be. Jefferies actually wanted another actress for the part but the pilot’s director, and Legit co-creator, Peter Fallon gave the gig to Luyben. Now, unsurprising to anyone familiar with Jefferies’ raunchy sense of humor, the comic takes great joy telling people that he met the mother of his child when he hired her as a prostitute.
But Luyben says there’s a much sweeter side to Jefferies, and that she felt an attraction right away.
“I didn’t know who Jim was before I got the job,” she says. “I actually thought he was just another actor when I was working with him. [Our characters] had to walk across the room and hold hands … and I just really liked holding his hand walking across the set over and over. I just thought he was adorable.”
Legit started slow in the ratings, but grew an audience steadily with word-of-mouth, and became a media darling thanks to its respectful portrayal of people with disabilities. Luyben says it’s been gratifying seeing the man in her life reap the rewards of his hard work.
“I’m very excited for him, and he definitely deserves it,” she says. “He works really hard. I mean, this morning he woke up at 5 o’clock in the morning to do an interview. He’s always ready to do whatever he can for his career. He’s really kind to other people and tries to help other people he knows. I think he’s just a really great guy. He comes across as tougher, but he’s just very blunt, which I admire about him.”
Since Legit has been renewed for Season 2, when it will be part of new channel FXX, it begs the question of whether Wendy the prostitute could return yet again. Luyben says it’s possible, and that she’d totally be up for it, but nothing has been discussed. I for one am pulling for it to happen. You know, for Hank’s sake.
Photo: Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FX