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Charlie Barnett Explains How Russian Doll Co-Star Natasha Lyonne Has Touched His Life - Exclusive

Everyone needs that one work friend they can confide in who's always there during the tough times, whether personal or work-related. Actors are no exception — they may not work in an office, but co-stars often forge those bonds while filming TV shows or movies. That can certainly be said for "Russian Doll" actor Charlie Barnett (who plays Alan) and series co-creator and co-star Natasha Lyonne (who plays Nadia). 

The actors' characters are embroiled in some kind of strange cosmic joke that went from a "Groundhog Day" type of situation in Season 1 to familial time travel in Season 2. As the trippy series gets stranger by the minute, the duo has each other to ground themselves in reality when the cameras aren't rolling. 

During an exclusive interview with Looper, Charlie Barnett got candid about how Natasha Lyonne has touched his life. He also dished on their process of sussing out the more confusing moments of "Russian Doll."

Lyonne takes care of Barnett offscreen, too

Charlie Barnett offered a heartwarming story about Natasha Lyonne when asked about the best moments he's had with the cast. He said, "There [are] personal moments that I can say Natasha has really changed my life in sobriety, in a certain sense, and awareness of my abilities and pushing my own self from watching her create this whole mountain, [a] behemoth of a mountain. I've been inspired a lot. Then, there's this side of watching Greta [Lee]. You can literally give her a phone book, and she can make it interesting and hilarious. That is a craft that I wish I could have an inch of." 

Of course, Barnett is selling himself short here. He's shown an immense range just in the two seasons of "Russian Doll," playing various versions of the same character — never mind the talent he's displayed throughout the rest of his career. But he credits his co-stars for helping elevate his craft, including dealing with the challenges of their preparation work.

The grass is greener on the other side of the budget

Charlie Barnett quickly confirmed that he and Natasha Lyonne often sit down to hammer out some of the series' more confusing moments. "That's the [most fun we had] working on this show. There's a mutual addition to that though — you have to also let go and not try and figure everything out. It's juxtaposition to be in, because you're trying to ... We block shoot too, [and] block shooting is really difficult," Barnett explained. "If you're working on a time scope, jumping around into people's bodies, it gets really confusing. You have to have a certain sense of, 'Here is my trajectory, this is my route,' but be willing to stray from that route whenever you can."

While fans wish that Season 2 were longer, so does Barnett. He added, "In watching this second season, truth be told, I wish we could have had two or three more episodes because there's a lot more stuff that could be filled in. Note to Netflix, 'Hey, can we have some more money?'"

Barnett also noted that Lyonne, despite her role as co-creator, has no control over the red (or green) tape. "That's not a Natasha thing. I know where that ends, but ... [after] working on it and now watching it back, [and] I'm like, 'Oh man, there [are] so many other things that I wish we could have kept, or could have planned for or seen ahead of time,'" he said. "You never have control of the edit. You're forced to let everything go to a certain point. There [are] some things that I wish I could change about this season, but yeah, now it's done." Well, he'll just have to bank those ideas for a possible Season 3.

Season 2 of "Russian Doll" is now streaming on Netflix.