All aboard the time-twisted subway train, courtesy of Rosie O’Donnell.
The comic actress is credited in Season 2 of Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” and series co-creator and star Natasha Lyonne clarified to Entertainment Weekly that while O’Donnell doesn’t appear onscreen, her voice frames the pivotal setting for the time-traveling drama.
“She’s the subway announcer. She’s the, ‘Next stop, this is Astor Place. Next stop, 14th street,'” Lyonne said.
The second season of the critically acclaimed hit takes place in the New York City subway system, which Lyonne’s character Nadia uses to jump from decade to decade. Lyonne added that it was necessary for the “Russian Doll” subway conductor to sound as authentic as possible.
“I just texted her, because we knew we wanted a real New York accent. We were sort of running down the line, we’re like, ‘Rosie Perez, Rosie…Mike Rappaport. Who’s doing this part?'” Lyonne continued. “And so I texted Rosie, and she just would start sending me these little voice memos.”
The Emmy winner summed up, “It was very generous of [O’Donnell].”
O’Donnell is listed as playing “Nowhen” on “Russian Doll” per IMDb.
“Russian Doll” Season 2 showrunner Lyonne likened corralling the multiverse tentacles in the meta Netflix series to a hero’s journey. “There were times where I felt like Linda Hamilton in ‘The Terminator,'” Lyonne told IndieWire. “I would wake up and listen to George Harrison to try to get into a mellow state of mind while doing pushups to stay fit. It was a real duality. It was like, ‘Get your head in the game kid! Get your body flowing! We’re going to be up and down a lot of subway steps today!'”
And what better soundtrack addition to the subway than O’Donnell’s instantly recognizable voice?
The former “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star is in the midst of a career renaissance with the upcoming Showtime series “American Gigolo” and Prime Video’s “A League of Their Own” slated for 2022 releases. O’Donnell previously starred in the 1992 film “A League of Their Own,” and is slated for guest appearances in the series based on the same story of an all-women baseball league during WWII.