Instagram Stories launched just over two years ago – and so, too, did Busy Philipps 2.0, even if the actress didn't know it at the time. She seized upon the social media platform's newest feature to tell her life's daily stories in all their untouched glory, and it accidentally made her a whole new kind of star.
"I had two kids, had this big TV show that ended [Cougar Town], and I felt like I was at a career crossroads,” Philipps tells Refinery29's global editor-in-chief and co-founder Christene Barberich in the latest episode of UnStyled. “And then Donald Trump won the [American] election. And I was like 'You know what? Fuck this. I'm just gonna let it all go."'Any artifice of what I thought I should be, what people fucking wanted me to be, I don't want to do it anymore. I'm done.'"
That meant Instagramming, to the delight and comfort of millions, sweaty workout selfies, raccoons invading her house, other critters having "rough sex" on her porch, and more. "I always have loved telling stories, and weird things happen to me. I'm just one of those people," she says.
Philipps' newly discovered talent as a charismatic, relatable storyteller has elevated her to unexpected places. This week sees the publication of her memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, and later this month, E! premieres her talk show Busy Tonight.
As you might expect, the book is unabashedly honest and personal about everything: motherhood, marriage, family, friendships, anxiety, aging, Hollywood, and sexual assault. Among many other revelations, Philipps writes that her marriage to screenwriter Marc Silverstein was in jeopardy shortly after the birth of their older daughter, Birdie, now 10. "It was tough," she says on UnStyled. "I felt very isolated and alone, and I think he felt like he didn't know where his place was, or what he was supposed to be doing, and so he just kind of stepped back and didn't really do much, which I think happens a lot."
Finally, she issued an ultimatum. "I said 'I can't, I can't do this anymore. I'm gonna have to just peace out. I'd rather be alone and not expect anything then be together and expect something that I'm not getting.'"
(Spoiler: Silverstein stepped up. They are parents to Birdie and her little sister Cricket, 5.)
Find out how Tina Fey, a rejection, and a trip to Palm Springs ("I was a little high") led to Busy Tonight, how Philipps deals with the fallout of oversharing, and more from her freewheeling chat with Barberich by clicking here and subscribing to UnStyled via Apple Podcasts today.