When I sit down to speak with the radiant Fortune Feimster at a recent Netflix junket, the only potential obstacle I face is that there’s another star in the room, one who shines so brightly that he threatens to blind us all. But to my credit, I manage to wait at least 10 minutes before mentioning the presence of Biggie, the tiny fluffy rescue Pomeranian that Feimster and her wife Jacquelyn Smith (a.k.a. Jax) adopted about five years ago.
Feimster agrees with my assessment of his stardom, though. “He is amazing. So cute,” she says. “We’re both obsessed with him. As you can probably tell.”
Smith is also present (she’s the one holding Biggie as Femister and I talk), which feels fitting, as the occasion for this conversation is Feimster’s new hour-long special Good Fortune. Her second Netflix special features both Smith and Biggie in a brief cameo at the end, as the pair pop up on stage after an occasionally intense story about Biggie experiencing some medical issues — a choice Feimster says evolved out of her time touring with this material.
Originally, she says, Good Fortune ended on a different story, but “we started thinking about it and some friends watched it and felt like [Biggie] was the end, the full circle moment. So that’s why we switched that. And then we started having him pop on stage about halfway through the tour, and people would just go so nuts for him that we were like, ‘Well, we’ve got to do that when we tape’ — because I’m telling the story of this really traumatic thing that he went through, and you want that victory of seeing him okay.”
While Biggie’s presence was commonplace, Smith’s appearance on stage (and on-screen) “was kind of a last-minute decision. We didn’t decide to do that until the night before. She’s very shy, she’s not trying to be on camera, and so we had to kind of coax her into coming out. But that felt like another full circle moment too, where I told you a lot about our relationship and getting engaged, and so it seemed like fun to be like, ‘Here’s the person who I’ve been talking about a lot this last hour.’ To be on stage with my little family that we’ve created felt like a nice special moment to have, as part of this.”
It’s a lovely touch that matches with everything Feimster brings to the screen — if you’ve seen her, you know how easy it is to feel embraced by her warm friendly style of comedy, whether it be as a standup or as a supporting player in shows like The Mindy Project, Life in Pieces, and Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens.