Aya Cash struggles with depression — in the comedy ‘You’re the Worst’

Aya Cash stars in YOU'RE THE WORST, a second year show that has struck a chord with millennials who know just how complicated and utterly miserable dating can be.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

It’s the 10-letter word that FXX comedy “You’re the Worst” dared to tackle: depression.

About midway into the second season of the cynical comedy, which centers on a twisted yet relatable couple, it was revealed that romantic lead Gretchen (played by Aya Cash) was struggling with depression. What followed was a multi-episode arc that delved into a condition that is often grappled with in private.

While the Stephen Falk series has a small, loyal following, the story line and Cash’s performance were lauded by critics and viewers and spawned several think pieces, including our own.

“It was incredible,” Cash said of the response when she stopped by The Envelope’s video studio for a chat Wednesday. “It was so moving to have people write and say, ‘Thank you so much’ … or ‘This got me through a hard time.’ ”

Cash, of course, didn’t enter into the challenge thinking she was going to affect the world.


“However, there is this idea that we’re telling stories in order to help create empathy and to show people what life is,” she said. “Hopefully you’re telling stories that illuminate life in new ways for people.”

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And though she hopes she did justice in her portrayal of clinical depression, she acknowledges there is no one right way to depict it.

“Something like clinical depression, as with many psychological issues — which we all have, let’s be real … they’re as varied as snowflakes,” she said. “Different people have different reactions to the same problem. So it wasn’t everyone’s experience of clinical depression… this is only one representation.”

For more on Cash’s thoughts on what unfolded in Season 2 and what’s to come as production gets underway for the show’s third cycle, check out the full video of the chat below. And look for her to throw some major love to “Mr. Robot” and its star Rami Malek.

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