Lake Bell Improvised a Lot of Poison Ivy’s Cursing in ‘Harley Quinn,’ Especially in a Memorable Season 2 Scene
DC‘s Harley Quinn is known for its raunchy, hilarious writing and very-much-for-adults content. The series took very well-known characters and really built on the work of Batman: The Animated Series and the comics. Plus they did it all with a ton of swearing involved.
There really isn’t an episode that goes by that someone isn’t cussing or someone isn’t brutally dying. And two of the leads, Lake Bell and Kaley Cuoco, loved competing on who got to say the most amount of f-bombs. And Bell really shined in one episode.
Lake Bell was great at improvising her colorful swear words
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Dec. 1, Cuoco and Bell couldn’t stop their excitement about the fact that they got to curse so often on the show. But they also did reveal that there’s a limit to how many f-bombs or other raunchy words they get to use.
“There’s often a fight,” Bell said, with Cuoco adding a scenario where Bell took the last open profanity for that episode.
In a Reddit AMA on July 13, co-showrunner Justin Halpern shared that Bell is such a talented actor and she crafted Ivy’s accent and voice herself.
“She completely created the sound for Ivy. She’s a badass,” Halpern wrote. “One of the best vocal performers around. Also a crazy-good writer, too. She improvised so many good lines.”
Halpern brought up Season 2, Episode 9 to point out an instance where Bell’s improvised potty mouth made for a great moment.
“We script a lot of F-bombs but we also allow the cast to improvise. Lake Bell is a preternatural curser,” he wrote. “She’s brilliant at it. All those sequences where she goes on a rant, she’s just ad-libbing. ‘P*ss cakes of a d*ck’ is pure Lake Bell.”
A fan-favorite moment was Poison Ivy’s speech in Bane’s Pit
There is also a less R-rated scene from Season 2 that Halpern praised as well. In a must-see-episodes breakdown for Entertainment Weekly, Halpern talked about Ivy’s speech in Bane’s Pit. This is after she and Harley Quinn miss George Lopez for their chance to escape.
“That’s one of my favorite moments in the series, even though it’s not a joke. It’s a testament to Lake and director Colin Heck,” Halpern said.
Poison Ivy is going through a lot of emotions at this point and is now in prison even though she has a wedding to plan with Kite Man. She’s reflecting on how she used to really hate humans and all other living things (aside from plants) and how she never knew it would be so great to have people that care about you. Of course, she’s bummed that she’s back in a literal pit as opposed to an emotional one.
Poison Ivy’s story will become more central to the show if they get a Season 3
With all of that said, Poison Ivy was vital to this series, of course, but viewers didn’t get to see her back story. Or what really lies beneath the surface for her. In the same Reddit AMA, Halpern said that they’d “really activate Ivy” if they’re given a third season.
“Definitely going to be diving into Ivy’s origins more if we get another season,” Halpern continued in another answer.
Part of her past is shown in her brain in Season 1, and comic book fans know that she went through a lot of trauma to get to where she is. So the viewers already have a hint that the Poison Ivy we know so far is only the half of it.
Halpern shared that they want to do an Ivy-centric episode too so that they can really get at “what makes [Ivy] tick.”