Bad Trip’s Michaela Conlin Reveals Her Wild Audition In New Interview

Actress Michaela Conlin sits down with The Illuminerdi to talk about her extraordinary experience of starring in the hilarious hidden camera comedy, Bad Trip.
Bad Trip Michaela Conlin Eric Andre Lil Rel Howery

Actress Michaela Conlin sits down with The Illuminerdi to talk about her extraordinary experience of starring in the hilarious hidden camera comedy, Bad Trip.

This weekend, Netflix released the long-awaited comedy Bad Trip, starring Eric Andre, Lil Rel HoweryTiffany Haddish, and Michaela Conlin. The film combines hidden camera elements, with real world reactions from unknown participants in the mayhem. The film follows Andre and Howery’s characters as they travel on a road trip that is full of non-stop comedy.

Bad Trip Trailer

In Bad Trip, Conlin plays Maria Li, a successful art gallery dealer who happened to have gone to high school with Chris (Eric Andre) who is madly in love her. After a chance meeting, Chris and his friend Bud (Lil Rel Howery), embark on a trip from Florida to New York to try win the heart of Maria and while causing a wave of hilarity at every stop.

The Illuminerdi Interviews Bad Trip’s Michaela Conlin

Michaela Conlin sat down with The Illuminerdi’s Braxter Timberlake to talk about her experience filming the comedy. Conlin, a television veteran known for her work in Bones and most recently on For All Mankind, explained how this project was unlike any other acting job that she has ever had. Conlin also shared the unconventional audition process that she went through:

“I had a pretty traditional audition process, but then as they got into their final few girls, the screen test was a real-life prank situation at a mall in Los Angeles.

It was so crazy. They were like, ‘Okay, you are going to show up on Tuesday at one o’clock. Eric and the director will be there, they will tell you what you’ll be doing when you get there. itself you have to be game for that. So I was like, ‘Alright. Cool.’

We showed up…in the scenario we were essentially pranking a woman who worked in an Express, not a specific woman, but we were pranking the employees of an Express store. The director was my boyfriend who I had found cheating on me, so I confront him in the store. It was encouraged to make quite a scene…which we did. And they were secretly filming it. It ended up that one of the woman in the store had had a cheating ex-boyfriend, so she was very comforting and ended up hugging me. Which of course we felt terrible, because of course none of this was real.

But it was a great way… I really love that they did that because that was the conceit of the shoot. There was obviously a script but the situations changed often via locations or who they were able to get for specific pranks. So you really just had to be game. Those guys are so funny and smart and they made it very easy.”

Bad Trip Michaela Conlin

Bad Trip is an unconventional film in many different ways, so the final stage of the audition process makes a lot of sense. In the interview, Michaela Conlin explains how she has little live comedy and prank experience on her resume, so Bad Trip was truly a new experience for the actress.

The film wouldn’t work if the unsuspecting public felt that the scenarios were disingenuous and the enormous success of the film is a credit to the performers and creatives who staged the mayhem. While Conlin was a newbie to the sub-genre, she is the macguffin that truly makes the movie come together in a believable way.


If you are need of good laugh and a comedy that truly stretches the boundaries of the genre, make sure to check out Bad Trip on Netflix.

Bad Trip poster Eric Andre Lil Rel Howery Michaela Conlin


This hidden camera comedy follows two best friends as they go on a cross-country road trip full of hilarious, inventive pranks, pulling its real-life audience into the mayhem. Bad Trip stars Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, and Michaela Conlin. The film is directed by Kitao Sakurai from the minds of Dan Curry, Kitao Sakurai, and Andre – and produced by Andre, Jeff Tremaine, David Bernad, and Ruben Fleischer.

Bad Trip is available on Netflix now. What do you think of Michaela Conlin’s audition? What did you think of Bad Trip? Tell us what you thought in the comment section below or on our social media!



Picture of Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake was born in New York and raised in California. He’s a graduate of UC Berkeley and the School of Hard Knocks and is always in search of the next adventure. The daring writer and editor of The Illuminerdi is also a veteran of film and television production, with an unquenchable thirst for stories, whether on the comic page, video game console, or small, medium, or the big screen. After years of expeditions in search of K’un-Lun and Wakanda, he now spends his time investigating all things geek and shares his spoilery findings with anyone with open ears. Aside from on the internet, he can be found on the basketball court, hiking with his dog, or at a screening near you.