Chris Geere, the star of FXX’s “You’re the Worst” sat in a chair and pressed every of his arms right into a blue steel brick as a digital camera whirred. The digital camera would seize his aura — not less than that’s what the poster in the window of Magic Jewelry, a tiny crystal-studded store simply off Canal Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, claimed.
On “You’re the Worst,” which simply aired its finale (so sure, spoilers comply with), Geere performed Jimmy Shive-Overly, a pompous English novelist with bone-deep daddy points. Over 5 seasons he lied, cheated, deserted his girlfriend (Aya Cash’s Gretchen) simply after proposing and months later despatched her a textual content that learn “Hey …” — Jimmy’s aura should appear like a waste dump with seepage points.
But that’s why they name it appearing. Geere’s image, taken per week earlier than the finale aired, confirmed a buttercup sunburst cradling a fuchsia coronary heart. Charlene Chen, the Magic Jewelry employee who interpreted it for him, referred to as it, “Bright, big, strong and sunny. Happy looking.”
“We’ll take that,” Geere, whose pores and skin seems prefer it has by no means seen a U.V. ray, mentioned brightly.
Though Geere, 38, relies in Manchester, the place his spouse and younger son reside, “You’re the Worst” shoots in Los Angeles and he has fallen laborious for California mysticism. Though this was his first aura picture, he has seen a few psychics and not too long ago had his tarot playing cards learn. (“I got the Death card and I was like, ‘Oh [expletive] great,’ and she went, ‘No! This means the end of something.’”) He additionally noticed a palm reader who advised him he ought to cry extra. “I’m just a big believer in positive change and getting reminded that you’re still alive,” he mentioned.
Geere grew up all over the United Kingdom with brief stints in Hong Kong and Phoenix, Ariz. — his father had a job reviving failing newspapers — and attended the Guildford School of Acting. He had guest roles on a couple dozen different series before playing a drama teacher in the soapy BBC drama “Waterloo Road,” but “You’re the Worst” is the show that has made him almost famous. After the reading, he went off in search of bubble tea, clowning in front of a window full of lacquered ducks along the way. Middle-aged Chinese ladies kept stopping to smile and wave. Maybe they recognized him. Or maybe they also liked ducks.
As part of a mini-wave of anti-rom-coms that also includes “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Catastrophe” and “Lovesick,” “You’re the Worst” deglammed the genre, making it available to more realistic (if still very attractive) characters in more realistic pain. In the final season, most episodes began with grim flash-forwards, hinting that Jimmy and Gretchen, two damaged people, would never make it to happily, let alone ever after.
“We knew it was never going to be: Jimmy and Gretchen walk off into the sunset. Cut. It was always going to be far more complex than that,” Geere said.
But the show, at its not-so-shriveled heart, was always a romance, and if Jimmy and Gretchen ditched their own wedding, they did not ditch each other. The last shot finds them scarfing down pancakes, together.
“It really did feel right,” Geere, who had known the ending since the season began filming, said. “They were never not going to be together. That would have been foolish. If the show had ended and they had split up, I would have been upset.”
Personally, Geere is a staunch romantic, even a sappy one. He described his courtship of his wife, the jazz singer Jennifer Sawdon, saying, “Put all those aspects of your life to music, then everyone’s got their own little rom-com, don’t they?” (Do they?)
He had always pulled for Gretchen and Jimmy, even though he used to open his scripts, look at Jimmy’s lines and say to himself, “No! What is he doing! What is he doing!” When Jimmy left Gretchen after the proposal, “I felt like a villain in a superhero movie,” he said. “It was horrendous. And I was worried because, being a heavily insecure person myself, I didn’t want people to hate Jimmy because I didn’t want people to hate me.”
The bubble tea arrived, his first, and he sucked up the tapioca through a wide pink straw. “What is that? Quite tasty.”
Jimmy, he realized, had to bottom out before he could grow up. Five seasons gave the characters time “to understand about compromise, about change, about relinquishing control,” he said.
In many romantic comedies, external obstacles keep the characters apart. But Jimmy and Gretchen had nothing to get over except themselves.
The question was never will they or won’t they — they went to bed the first night they met. It was, could they evolve enough to stick the landing? They could. “In the end I think it was just a love story,” Geere said.
It was a love story that cuddled up to a lot of darkness, and was praised for its nuanced treatment of both clinical depression and PTSD. Sometimes it was funny. Sometimes it wasn’t. As Geere said, “It was messy and complicated and that’s far more interesting and relatable, isn’t it?”
Now that the series has finished, Geere has received several offers to go dark again, playing Jimmy-adjacent characters. So far, he has passed. “I think I need to shed him for a bit,” he said. He has a part in the Pokémon movie “Detective Pikachu” that he couldn’t discuss and a role in “This Way Up,” a comedy produced by Sharon Horgan, one of the creators of “Catastrophe,” among others. That’s hush-hush, too.
What would he really like to do? “A superhero thing,” he said. He mentioned that the Captain America comics include a character called Captain Britain, though he couldn’t remember his superpower. Tea making? Or denial? “Do you have a problem?” he said, putting on a superhero voice. “I’ll sweep it under the carpet.”
With his coconut bubble tea half drunk, he headed back to the crystal shop where his manager was waiting. She’d bought him a citrine orb to use while he meditates. (He does 10 minutes every morning and 20 minutes every night, “because I think too much.”) Chen told him the citrine would help his digestion and that it would also make him more popular.
A few minutes before he had told me that he was much happier having been part of a cult show like “You’re the Worst” than something that would have changed his life too much. But he accepted the crystal happily.
Could he feel it working? “I’m far too popular to talk to anyone right now,” he said.