Who Carrie Brownstein
Accomplishments Co-creator and star of IFC’s Portlandia; guitarist and singer in Wild Flag (and formerly Sleater-Kinney); onetime employee of Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Base Portland, Ore.
What’s the first information you consume in the morning?
The New York Times website. I have a couple of news sources that I go to: Salon, Slate, Atlantic, Boing Boing, and then I head over to Twitter usually.
Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?
There are some shows I like on TV, yes. I love Girls, I watch Louie, which isn’t on right now. I watch The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Parks and Rec. I’m obsessed with The Bachelor and also Ken Marino’s Bachelor spoof, Burning Love. Oh, and Homeland. And I just started Breaking Bad. I’m going to be set for a few months.
You’re pretty active on Twitter. Do you ever get yourself in trouble?
I try to be prudent on Twitter, and successful. I don’t need it to stoke controversy. I would say either things fail or succeed on Twitter. There is no algorithm for that often. You think, oh, this is going to be a great tweet, everyone’s going to find it so funny and pithy—and no one gives a shit at all about that tweet.
Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?
If I’m being good, I really try to read before bed because I think it helps me sleep instead of having the interface of a glowing screen in front of me. That seems to kind of mess with my sleep patterns a bit. I just finished the new George Saunders book [Tenth of December: Stories] and right now am reading Richard Ford’s Canada and Dave Eggers’ Hologram for the King. Reading before bed is relaxing and edifying, but if I’m too tired for that, I’ll try to get in a Breaking Bad episode on Netflix.
You briefly worked at Wieden + Kennedy. Do you look at advertising differently since you know how the sausage is made?
I know they tend to be smart, creative people who bring different schools of thought and skills into a pitch or idea. Sometimes the end product is not as glamorous or incendiary as the intention. You have to filter it through clients, and it becomes a different beast. One of the exciting things about working at Wieden was that it was like entering a whole world in Portland that I didn’t know. It was pretty insular; they work long hours. They’re like unicorns. You don’t see them outside the building very often. I got to hang out with unicorns for six months, and then I never saw them again.
With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?
I don’t take my phone places, which is hard. For the first 20 minutes, I feel like it’s been amputated, and then I’m fine. In my mind, I imagine everyone’s texted me with really important texts, and there’s one text from my dad. It’s never the emergency, alarming or exciting situation that I imagined.