Ruby Wax became known for the ’90s series Ruby Wax Meets, in which she traveled the world to film quirky segments with various public figures, such as Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and former sports star OJ. Simpson.
There was also her late night talk show Ruby, which aired from 1997 to 2000, and she worked as a screenwriter for the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.
Now Illinois-born Wax returns to our screens in the new BBC Two show, When Ruby Wax met …
Through three episodes, we see the comedian reflect on her television career, her refreshing interview style, and the most memorable encounters, including interviews with former U.S. President Donald Trump, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher. and Hollywood star Tom Hanks.
Here, the 68-year-old – who has been married to producer and director Ed Bye since 1988 – tells us more.
What was it like seeing those iconic interviews again for the first time?
“You get my reactions as I watch it; I’m surprised. It looked like I was having a good time. If it wasn’t for me, I’d be so jealous because, clearly, it was so much fun hanging out with. people, and I made friends with a few of them, it was like the unpopular girl suddenly had access to all these really great and popular girls.
“Carrie Fisher and I became best friends. Spending the night at her house, and she made me laugh and read me songs from her book… what a joy.”
Who was your most difficult interlocutor?
“Oh, Donald Trump! It was a car crash. Bad interviews always make good TV, but I just think it’s terrible, and it’s the wrong thing to do. threw from his plane. I thought he was joking when he said he wanted to be the president. I thought he was funny – and he wasn’t. “
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your career so far?
“I didn’t know it would be good when you lost a job. Luckily I reinvented it, but it could be a tragedy if you hold on to something and they take it from you, and you keep telling people : “Oh, do you remember who I was?” And that’s your highlight. If you’ve got a career, and it’s taken, find another. “
Your fifth book recently came out, titled A Mindfulness Guide to Survival. Can you tell us more?
“I wrote it during the pandemic. It’s a binder, so there are quizzes, you can draw in it, you can write in it. It’s like a journal on how to survive in a pretty rocky world and be happy.
“I do mindfulness, but the book isn’t all about mindfulness. It’s a bit about self-reflection because people get sick thinking ‘what if? during Covid-19 and it made them sicker than if they actually got sick, and I thought that was interesting. “
As a mental health advocate, how worried are you about the impact of the pandemic?
“I wanted the book to come out by August because I thought that in December people would be so traumatized, or they would try to pretend nothing happened. We don’t even recognize the fallout from this (Covid -19) But then, it just happened, and we don’t even know if it’s over.
“I held these nightly (online) meetings called Frazzled Cafe (where people can talk openly about the stresses of modern life) every night during the lockdown; that’s how I got the idea for the book. . I always do it once a week and believe me people are still pretty freaked out. “
Being in the public eye can be difficult. How was your sanity at the height of your television career?
“I had depression, but I didn’t have it all the time. It was every three to five years. So I’m lucky that I didn’t have a nine to five job because then you would be fired. But luckily I didn’t work when I was sick. “
The industry has changed in recent years. It is much less rare now to have a woman on the front of the stage …
“My daughters (Marina and Madeleine Bye) do comedy and they do live shows all the time. They are called brothers and sisters, and my daughter (Madeleine) does shows, and there are a lot of women who do. go up So they have their shot now.
“(The siblings) are very French and Saunders, that’s not what I do. But good luck – who knows who does?
“They’re on the last show of When Ruby Wax Met… watching me. That was Clive the producer’s idea. He said, ‘Put your girls in there, let’s see what they think. They are really funny. “
When Ruby Wax Met… premieres on BBC Two on Sunday August 22nd.