NEW YORK — Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams amplify each other. Separately they are forces unto themselves — both are actors, producers, writers and comedians — but together they are kinetic.
Their chemistry was obvious on their podcast, “2 Dope Queens,” and live shows, which feature short sets from comics interspersed with banter from Williams and Robinson about hair, men and living in New York. But in the first episode of their new four-part HBO series, also called “2 Dope Queens,” which they screened on Wednesday night at the Public Hotel in New York, their dynamic takes on a bigger, more colorful dimension. They argue, they agree, they show affection, they recede and maintain a sense of intimacy even while performing in a vast theater.
On the red carpet, they conducted interviews separately but were still in tandem mentally. Both hope to have Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King on future episodes and they are both still into skin care, despite the recent vitriol being flung at the category.
Here, WWD speaks to the 2 Dope Queens about things they consider dope:
What’s your favorite hair-care product?
Jessica Williams: Carol’s Daughter. I love their hair milk. I’m still very into coconut oil and black seed oil for my edges just to make sure they are growing. I have a lady in Brooklyn who made me this custom blend and she put it in a plastic bottle and I’m like, “O, this is so DIY.” I’m supposed to rub it on my edges every night, but I don’t. I try to do it from time to time.
Phoebe Robinson: I would say SheaMoisture. That’s really good.
WWD: What’s a dope skin-care product you use regularly?
J.W.: PCA skin care has saved my life. I had really bad acne in my early- to mid-20s. They aren’t incredibly well-known, but they have really cleared my skin up. And I know for me as a black woman, I hyper-pigmentate easily, so I’m always trying to prevent that. I use PCA and sunblock. Sunblock has been a lifesaver and I think the reason why we have hyperpigmentation is because we don’t wear sunblock.
P.R.: I use Dr. Brandt’s Do Not Age moisturizer every day because apparently once you hit 30 everyone is just like, “Run for the hills, you are dying.” So I’m trying to stay young for Hollywood.
What’s the last dope movie you saw?
J.W.: So obviously I can have three cocktails and I can go home and I can throw on any Harry Potter movie and I will be like “Yo, this is lit.” I will be like, “Wow, play this at my funeral, please.” So that’s just there by default. But there’s also “E.T.” I love that movie because it’s like a suburban dream. And any Disney movie. I’m kind of an Alan Menken freak.
P.R.: I rewatched “Get Out” with my boyfriend because he hadn’t seen it yet because he travels a lot for work. And watching it a second time I thought, “If this does not win the Oscar, who do I have to call?” Steven Spielberg, let’s start a protest. But that was my hands down favorite movie.
Where do you go in Brooklyn to decompress?
J.W.: I like to go to Pizza Loves Emily in Clinton Hill. They are great. They always give us the hook up or like free banana pudding.
P.R.: I really like going to the General Greene on Dekalb. It’s like cute and cozy and never too crowded. Every time I’ve gone it’s always chill. It’s really great to go to and then go to a concert at Barclays. [Editor’s note: The General Greene is now closed.]