Saturday Night Live alum Vanessa Bayer is back in New York City for an surprising project. The Emmy nominee teamed up with Allergan for the Know Your Birth Control campaign where she’s using humor to encourage people to talk about a not-so-funny topic.
Through a series of online videos, Bayer is helping to decipher between fact and fiction when it comes to contraception. And by engaging in dialogue with women on the street, the comedian is learning some new things about the pill herself.
“I’ve just learned that there’s so much stuff that I should know that I don’t,” Bayer told Yahoo Beauty. “I just sort of took for granted that I understood, that I knew a lot of stuff about birth control, and now I know that a lot of the misconceptions that people had, I also had.”
Although Bayer admits to the difficulty of some of the conversations, she knows that there’s nothing quite like humor to navigate such an intimate topic.
Yahoo Beauty: How are you showcasing your hilarious personality in this campaign?
Bayer: I’m kind of trying to do a bit with the people on the street and improvise with them. And I feel like I’m not objective, but I feel like it’s going pretty well. This could be such a personal topic, it’s kind of nice to be able to joke with people and inject some of my own humor into it.
You’ve spoken before about how humor has gotten you through some difficult health moments yourself once you were diagnosed with leukemia as a teen. How has that experience helped you to understand this project?
I think jokes are the best thing to put people at ease. I know for me they are. I just think [the humor] is probably making people feel more comfortable, and I just want to make birth control and the heavy questions about it more relatable. So I think loading people up with jokes helps make everyone feel more comfortable with these conversations.
You have such beautiful red hair, which some people can feel self-conscious about growing up. Was that ever the case for you?
Well, my mom is a redhead and she comes from a strong lineage of redheads. She’s always been so, I would say, overly proud to be a redhead. She used to stop people on the streets that were redheads and be like, “Hey! Are you part of the redhead club?” It was always very embarrassing for me, but I just feel like my mom has always been so proud to be a redhead, that I never really was embarrassed about it. I was always just like, “This is a cool thing, and I guess I’m in the redhead club.”
How was it to be able to then transform yourself into different characters on Saturday Night Live?
It was so much fun to be transformed with the different costumes and makeup and wigs and everything. The wigs were so fun because they would just change your whole face. I remember when I was first doing Miley Cyrus, the wig was so impressive and so cool, and she had such beautiful hair, it was like I could have that hair, which was so fun.
A lot of the time you’re in a tiny changing station and all this stuff is being put on you, and so you’ll see it for a second, or sometimes you won’t even see how you look until you get off stage. So it’s just so amazing to be transformed and then see the final product, sometimes after you’ve already been wearing it on a live stage. Just the element of surprise of being like, “I can’t believe how much I look like this person, or how different I look from who I am,” it’s really crazy. Sometimes people would be like, “This is an amazing look on you!” I’d be like, “I haven’t even seen it yet!” It’s been crazy.
So where can we expect to find you after this campaign?
You know, I’m still kind of figuring it out. I’m doing a movie in about a month and we just filmed this movie in Eastern Europe, so I’m very excited about that. And then we’ll see what comes after that. I’m sort of exploring different options and catching up on a lot of TV, and seeing a lot of friends. It’s very exciting and I will of course miss SNL so much because I love everybody there and it was such a great experience. But, I’m excited to find out what’s next and figure that all out.
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Walgreens Accused of Sex Discrimination After Pharmacist Refuses to Fill Prescription Due to ‘Personal Beliefs’
- The Sneaky Detail in Trump’s Leaked Birth Control Rule That Would Restrict Access Even Further
- Getting a Year’s Worth of Birth Control Pills at Once May Soon Be a Reality