Q&A: Byron Hardy on season two of ‘#Washed’

Byron Hardy, center, and his parents at the #Washed season two preview in January.

Put this on your watchlist: A Dallas-based TV show with an all-black cast.

“#Washed” returned for a second season this week to Amazon and washedseries.com.

It’s a half-hour adult comedy, from East Dallas-based Jerod Couch, about a guy hitting a quarter-life crisis. It has HBO vibes with hilarious sex scenes, laugh-out-loud dialog and characters you want to BFF.

The independent show is filmed in Dallas, and couch makes a point to showcase the beauty and architecture of his hometown.

“Diversity isn’t only skin color,” Couch says. “Even being an all-Black cast, we have different types of people within one race with different likes, different backgrounds. I’m not one to say TV and film can change the world, but it can. If we can show someone on screen who is a Black exec, say a young adult sees that and thinks, ‘I can be in the C suite.’ That can be impactful.”

Byron Hardy, aka the rapper B. Hardy, plays Eric, the wise-beyond-his-years street-hustling buddy of the main character.

Hardy, who is from Oak Cliff and graduated from Carter High School, does way more than acting on the show. He’s also a producer, a writer and the sound engineer.

How did you get involved with #Washed?

Jerod and I had been friends for a really long time, and I did some audio and voiceover work when he was at the Texas Rangers. When he and Corey were getting the show started, I said I would help any way I can. The night before the auditions, I did a screen test, reading for Eric, and I wound up getting the role. I got the first role I ever auditioned for. People say, ‘How did you become an actor?’ and I say, ‘Hanging out in Jerod’s living room.”

What is it like working on an independent series like this?

You never know what’s going to happen day to day. Because we’re doing this independently, we turned it into one big family atmosphere. If you’re going to be working with people night and day, around the clock for months, it’s good to like them at least a little bit.

What is it like working with Jerod?

It’s a really collaborative process. He’s always open to ideas, even if he doesn’t agree, he’ll try it both ways. He’s really good as a director at giving actors the freedom to make our own choices. We’ve got our script, and we know our characters, so we are allowed to really build the moment without any type of worry about the director coming down and saying, ‘No that’s now how we do it.’

How long did it take to make season two?

We probably started in November 2018. We started shooting in June, through October of 2019, and we’ve been in post since.

How do y’all pay for it?

A lot of it is self-funded from the Couches. We did a Seed & Spark campaign that raised close to $20,000, plus a little revenue from season one. The rest was money out of our own pockets, bartering. It’s been funded in every way imaginable, except for a studio. The amount of sweat equity. We have people filling multiple roles. Even right now, I am doing audio editing for an episode while I’m on my lunch break at work. That’s why it takes so long to make. You can’t be good, cheap and fast.

Did I see that you recently graduated from college?

Yes, I went back and finished my bachelor’s degree at UNT—Dallas.

What is your day job?

I’m the IT administrator for the City of Glen Heights.

What is different about season 2 of #Washed?

The fans of season one are going to be blown away by the growth in every regard, from writing to acting to camera work and lighting. We have much better audio. We had wardrobe. We had makeup. It’s almost like a relaunch. It’s #Washed 2.0.

Rachel Stone

RACHEL STONE is Oak Cliff editor. Email rstone@advocatemag.com

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