How Actress Martha Plimpton Is Making Twitter a Friendlier—and Artsier—Place

The Real O'Neals star on social, podcasts and her favorite shows


Martha Plimpton

Age 45

Claim to fame Stars as Eileen O'Neal on ABC's The Real O'Neals (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m.)

Base New York

Twitter @MarthaPlimpton

Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning? 

Martha Plimpton: The New York Times website. I get the print edition on Sundays. And then I usually go straight to Facebook and look at all the things that my friends posted overnight. It's really a general consumption thing with Facebook—news articles, pictures of Chihuahuas that look like blueberry muffins.

What's your go-to social media platform?

Facebook is the one I prefer, just because it feels like I'm having an extended conversation with my friends. I use Twitter, but I don't find it particularly enlightening or helpful in terms of getting information. I also find that it makes me tense after a very short time. The one thing I do like using Twitter for is this thing I started called Sunday Art Exchange where people post images from their favorite artists on Sundays. Twitter can become such an exhausting, fast-paced, hostile environment—I've noticed that people have a tendency to start fights on there—so the Sunday Art Exchange is just a nice way of chilling out.

How about apps?

I'm getting into Spotify now, which I didn't used to understand at all because I'm old. I'm really slow on the uptake with all this stuff, being 45. I'm not a Luddite, but it takes me a little longer because my brain just doesn't work the way a young person's brain works. [Laughs] I use Waze a lot, the traffic thing. And I'm obsessed with Bitmoji. I think it's hilarious. I communicate with it all the time.

Do you listen to any podcasts? 

Not with any real regularity, I have to admit. I usually listen to podcasts when I'm on a road trip. I like the This American Life app. And the Theater People Podcast is good if I want to hear a friend being interviewed about show business. They have interviews with fun actors and performers, and I like the host a lot, Patrick Hinds. He's a friend of mine.

What do you watch on TV?

I'm really, really enjoying The People v. O.J. Simpson. I think it's fantastic. Sarah Paulson is killing me on that show. I loved Getting On, and I wish it was going to stay on the air because it's so brilliant. And I recently semi-binge-watched this older British show that Veep is loosely based on, called The Thick of It. A friend of mine recently introduced me to that, and I loved it.

How does it compare to Veep?

I love them both for different reasons. The Thick of It, first of all, is far more foul, especially the language. And, obviously, it's got a more British sense of humor. I thought it was hilarious.

What's on your reading list?

I've been reading this book called The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray. It's a sort of fantastical, dark comic look at the financial industry, and I'm really liking it. As far as magazines, I have a subscription to The New Yorker and Harper's. When I have time, I try to keep up with them as they come, but lately, because I've been so busy, I do have back issues piling up.

This story first appeared in the March 21 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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