‘Hacks’ Star Hannah Einbinder On Eating Tom Cruise’s Famous Coconut Cake

The actor and comedian eats her heart out on season 3 of Hacks.

“I’m eating some Pirate’s Booty,” Hannah Einbinder declares minutes into our Zoom call to her in Los Angeles. Catching my quizzical look, the actor grabs the packet and holds it up to the camera. “They were a very popular snack when I was growing up in the ’90s.”

Food is front of mind throughout our interview, as Einbinder crunches discreetly on her cheddar puffs and I ask her about the hotly anticipated third season of her TV series, Hacks.

The show follows Ava Daniels (played by Einbinder), a comedy writer who navigates a complicated mentorship with renowned comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart).

The new season sees the return of several fan favourites as well as some new stars, including Tom Cruise’s famous coconut Bundt cake.

Hannah Einbinder. Image: Sandy Honig.

“They bought the cake from the exact baker in the valley where Tom Cruise buys it from, so it was the real deal,” she says. “I’m from the Brad Pitt school of acting, so I eat on every take. It’s important to eat for real [and] obviously that makes me sick, but pain is weakness leaving the body!”

As a stand-up comedian playing a comedy writer, Einbinder (whose first screen production was landing Hacks over three years ago) is aware of the ultra-meta space she occupies.

jean smart and hannah einbinder as their characters on Hacks
Jean Smart as Deborah Vance and Hannah Einbinder as Ava on Hacks. Image: Hacks

“I found acting to be far more vulnerable than doing stand-up,” she says. “The show has only made me more comfortable on stage and created more depth in my comedy.”

Einbinder is the daughter of Saturday Night Live cast member Laraine Newman and comedy writer Chad Einbinder, so it might seem like she was born for this role. “Initially … I wanted to be like [TV host] Rachel Maddow,” she recalls. “My parents had NBC on constantly when I was growing up [and] I loved the way [Maddow] spoke … I also had a crush on her, so that explains a lot.”

Hannah Einbinder’s stand-up comedy special is coming soon to Binge and all seasons of Hacks are streaming on Stan.

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