Judah Lang Proves His Improv Acting Supreme on HBO’s ‘Betty’

Getting a glimpse into the life New York City-bred actor.

Judah Lang is the kind of New York City kid who, in elementary school, befriended the neighborhood halal guy. “He would give me free donuts,” Lang says with a laugh.

By his late teens, Lang’s self-described “philosophical SoundCloud rap,” wherein he name- drops historical figures like Catherine the Great in lieu of luxury watches and cars, had earned him a Times write-up. “[I] ended up doing my own thing pretty quickly,” he says. But as he cultivated that inarguably cool oeuvre outside of school, Lang was also drawn to a certain historically uncool elective: “I had an amazing improv teacher in high school,” says Lang. “We had to spend three months as an animal. I was a mouse, so I’d crouch and run super fast, like a cute little deer mouse!”

For his role in 2018’s Skate Kitchen, Crystal Moselle’s Sundance standout, Lang was back in default heartthrob-skater mode. “I just chopped it up with them and smoked Newports,” he says, referring to the film’s ensemble cast of teen skaters. “They were trying to see if I was someone they would want to hang out with on set.” He evidently passed the test, seeing as Moselle brought Lang back for the forthcoming spin-off series, Betty.

Set to hit HBO this summer, the show allowed Lang to showcase both his skating chops and his improv training. Of the loosely scripted series, in which he plays the love interest, Lang says, “Scripts are great, but you have a lot more fun by not closely binding yourself to what somebody wrote in an office a million years ago.”

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