Rising Star Megan Stalter Speaks Exclusively to PEOPLE

Hacks star Megan Stalter is filled with gratitude, hope, and humor as she reflects on her career and the evolution of LGBTQ+ representation in the media. Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Stalter often felt the absence of bisexual characters on screen. “Maybe [if I had], I would’ve known sooner that I was into women,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. She adds, “We were so starved of queer stories, and I think now we have so much more than we had before.”

Hacks Finale Highlights Emotional Growth

Stalter, 33, shines in her role as Kayla in the HBO Max series Hacks. In the season finale, which aired on Thursday, May 30, Kayla’s character experiences significant emotional growth. She sets up a meeting for her boss Jimmy (Paul W. Downs) with a potential client, only to discover that the client was a bully from her past. This revelation leads to a heartfelt confrontation with Jimmy, showcasing Kayla’s depth and vulnerability. “I feel like there were a couple of emotional scenes between me and Paul that felt so natural,” she says. “All this emotion is there. Not only do I know Kayla so well, but I know Jimmy so well, and I love him so much.”

Broad City and Alt-Comedy Influence

Stalter credits the Comedy Central series Broad City for helping her embrace her own identity and career. “I love stories where sexuality is just part of the character, not the only thing about them,” she says. In 2018, she created The Megan Stalter Show, an online “fake talk show” that gained her a following in the alt-comedy scene. This platform led to a manager and opportunities for memorable roles. Stalter highlights the power of the internet in discovering new comedic talent: “Anyone can post anything, and everyone’s watching everything that we’re posting.”

Cora Bora and Future Projects

Looking ahead, Stalter is excited about the release of Cora Bora, where she plays a bisexual musician trying to win back her girlfriend. The film premieres on June 14 and holds special significance for her. “I would’ve loved to see a movie like this when I was younger. You don’t [often] see the lead of a movie as bisexual, not super-skinny and also in a bad mood all the time,” she says. Stalter’s portrayal of Cora adds to the growing representation of bisexual characters in media.

Additionally, Stalter is filming the Netflix series Too Much, loosely based on Lena Dunham’s life. Working with Dunham is a dream come true for the Girls fan. “It’s just the funniest show,” she says. “Every day on set, we were laughing so hard I was crying.”

Embracing Diversity Onscreen

Megan Stalter’s career continues to flourish as she champions the importance of diverse and authentic representation in media. Her roles in Hacks and Cora Bora, along with her contributions to the comedy scene, highlight the significance of bisexual characters and the impact they can have on audiences. As Stalter aptly puts it, “If you see it, you can be it,” underscoring the vital role of visibility and representation in shaping our understanding of identity.

Image credits: Instagram