October 22, 2015 6:00 AM EDT

How does your method differ from more experienced dramatic actors?

Comedy and drama are different, but they definitely share a wall. But it wasn’t a part that should have anything familiar in terms of me or the comedy I do. I wanted to play her very objectively.

Did you purposefully choose a script as far from comedy as possible?

I didn’t put any thought into it because it didn’t occur to me the movie would get made. Most movies don’t get made. When it became a reality, I found myself in a ball on the floor trembling, thinking “I can’t do this.” Then I realized that’s Laney’s constant state of mind–living in that what-if. That’s when I realized, “Maybe I can do this. Because I’m doing it now on my bath mat.”

Was it oppressive to live in this dark world each day during production?

I was like a 2-year-old who didn’t know what to do with her feelings in between scenes. And I’m so glad I didn’t know that going in. I would probably have tried to get out of it, because I’m a quality-of-life junkie.

Why is there so much depression in the comedy community?

To become funny usually comes from a way of surviving. The reason people become funny is to overcome pain. The most basic is the fat kid making the fat joke first.

You’ve been in therapy. Did you worry it would make you less funny?

There are comedians who have that fear. For me, therapy has opened up a whole new world comedically. The fear that comics have of going to therapy is silly, because it’s really just a fear of changing their act at all.

This appears in the November 02, 2015 issue of TIME.

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