IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Why 'Russian Doll’ star Natasha Lyonne plays ‘at least four hours’ of word games a day

She says she's "over” Wordle, and has moved on to Duotrigordle: “Instead of just one board, it’s 32 of them, so it’s much more challenging,” she tells TODAY.

If solving the daily Wordle puzzle is part of your routine, you're not alone: It often seems like everyone plays the five-letter word guessing game and its multiple spin-offs.

"Russian Doll" star Natasha Lyonne can officially be added to that long list of names.

During the premiere of “Russian Doll” season two in New York City on Tuesday, the leading lady told TODAY that she used Wordle as a way to unwind after a long day of filming, and continues to play.

But Lyonne’s end-of-day gaming doesn’t just stop at Wordle: She dips into a range of other word games and puzzles. Altogether, she can easily accumulate up to four hours (yes, four hours) of play time in a sitting. 

“At the end of the night, I do like to spend at least four hours doing Wordle and Octordle and Sedecordle,” she told TODAY during the interview. “Then, I play several games of chess against the computer, I do a crossword, and then I do the New York Times spelling bee.”

“It’s very time consuming,” Lyonne said of her nightly puzzle schedule.

The "Orange Is the New Black" actor said that she’s pretty much “over” Wordle and has graduated to playing Duotrigordle, which is just as intimidating as it sounds. “Instead of just one board, it’s 32 of them, so it’s much more challenging,” she said.

Lyonne said these games were an essential part of her routine while filming “Russian Doll," which she co-created with Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland. The time-bending show's second season dropped on Wednesday, and touched on heavy topics like inter-generational trauma and war.

Russian Doll. Natasha Lyonne as Nadia Vulvokov in episode 201 of Russian Doll. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Russian Doll. Natasha Lyonne as Nadia Vulvokov in episode 201 of Russian Doll. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022Netflix

Lyonne plays Nadia Vulvokov, "Russian Doll's" time-traveling protagonist. In the first season, Nadia is stuck in a time loop in which she dies, over and over again, the day of her 36th birthday; in the second, she's time traveling via subway to various points in her mother and grandmother's pasts.

In both seasons, Nadia disobeys rules of the space-time continuum — and looks chic while doing so. Sporting bright red curly hair, Nadia trots around New York City (and in the second season, around the world) in a lengthy black jacket and sunglasses.

Nadia's look aligns with Lyonne's, who wore a black leather-and-chiffon Roberto Cavalli dress to the premiere. But Lyonne said that her character isn’t similar to who she is in real life.

"My own life is more crossword puzzles and less time travel.” 

“I think often about RuPaul and how he says, we’re born naked, and everything else is just drag. I did not wake up like this,” Lyonne said.

“My own life is a lot more hodgepodge — you know, glasses, and there’s no eyeliner. It's a little sadder, in a way. But it’s also more neutral, it's more crossword puzzles and less time travel.” 

Natasha Lyonne said she played up to four hours of word games and puzzles a day while filming "Russian Doll."
Natasha Lyonne said she played up to four hours of word games and puzzles a day while filming "Russian Doll."Netflix

Still, Nadia does share DNA with Lyonne. Nadia is ultimately a result of Lynne "grabbing snippets" and taking notes of moments throughout her own life.

"I walk down the street of the East Village, and I’m like, 'This is a fun way for a character to walk, I wish I was this person all the time, or this is the kind of a blazer that would feel really cool,'" she said.

Nadia is a repository of Lyonne's thoughts. "In many ways, I’ve just been gleaning moments that make sense for her, for a lifetime, and then I just try to put them all in place," she said.