I think formulaically, they’re similar shows in that they’re told through the eyes of a female protagonist who is a journalist, and her crazy friends. And it’s about her eccentric friends that encircle her, so in that way it’s similar, but after that I think the similarities end.
What’s new this season with your character PJ?
This season, so many different things happen around the character PJ. PJ is a little bit in that lost time her life where she doesn’t totally know where she should be going next, what she should be doing next. The overall arc of PJ this season is that you’re going to see her try to grow out of that place of extended adolescence that she was in before. She’s going to fill out her womanhood a little bit more….it sounds like she needs a bigger bra or something ha.
Last season, you had a lot of great guest stars on the show. Could you talk about any we can look forward to this season?
Yeah, well the guest star that hopefully you’ll look forward to because I know I was super excited when I found out is Nia Vardalos is going to come join us for a few episodes and if the name doesn’t ring a bell, she was the creator and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She was apparently a fan of the show and asked to have a part filmed for her, which was incredibly flattering. She is great on the show. She comes on for three episodes. And then we also have another great guest star that is with us for almost half of the episodes. Andy hires a super hot Swedish nanny for his daughter, and obviously there’s a ripple effect with all the guys. The nanny is played by an actress named Minnie Amden who is just this stunningly beautiful model/actress. I think she’s an ex Victoria’s Secret model, so that’s a pretty good storyline.
I wondered what do you feel is the most rewarding part of being on the show so far?
I just want to bring laughter to people. No I’m kidding, ha. For me personally, it’s really an incredible experience being able to go to work with people who you actually genuinely like and learn from and who you like to be around. People that remind you not to take things so seriously and to have fun. To do a job where the goal of that job is to crate a product that is just about having fun. To me, what the show is about isn’t about PJ being a sports writer or being a tomboy, it’s about all the situations and entanglements that we all get into in life and try to poke fun of them, and that way we can find out how to not take ourselves so seriously.
The guys that I know that I watch the show all think that PJ is the perfect girl. I was curious your thoughts on why she still hasn’t found Mr. Right?
I think what’s funny about that is that she’s male in the things that she likes to do. Playing the poker, drinking beer, watching sports, but she’s also kind of male in her routine setting, in her traditions. She doesn’t want to shake her traditions and the routine and the set of friends and the things that they do. She doesn’t want to shake that up at all. Any time that you want to be in a relationship, you’re compromising and you’re changing things around and you’re trying new things and she just so genuinely likes where her life is and what she does, or at least she thinks she does, so that any time there’s any change of course on that, she gets uncomfortable, she sort of backs out and that’s where she has the trouble finding “the” guy.
One of my favorite things about the show is that my group of friends can watch it and we can relate to something – how much like the cast are you guys?
It’s actually really funny. We’ll have conversations on set that will directly reflect or be similar to the conversations of the dialogue. Just yesterday on set, Kyle Howard (Bobby) and I were talking. I said that the scene we were doing was in reference to a conversation that I had with Kellee (Stewart, Stephanie). He was like, “oh my god that’s crazy, did the writers put that in because you knew you had this conversation?” And I was like “No, I only told Kellee, because Kellee is the only person that I go to with my private stuff,” and that’s very PJ and tephanie. And the antics and the sarcasm, it’s all pretty mirrored off set as it is on set.
How pleased were you in general with Season 1? To your thinking, what works, and where did you personally see room for improvement?
That’s a really good question. For the first season, I think a storyline that I wasn’t as on board with, there were two of them, was the boyfriend Hank. This is nothing to say of the actor, but the storyline. Before we had gotten a chance to establish PJ as a character with her group of friends, I felt like going into a relationship for four episodes that pulled me away from the guys and the friendship which is what the show is about. I wasn’t as big a fan of that choice as I have been of others, and we all agreed about that. One of the things I love is how big of a sports fanatic she is, and the fact that she’s a sportswriter. I would love to see more of that, more of her in the press box. I can see why they’re not going to be doing that this season. The show is about a group of friends sitting around the poker table, and the girl happens to be a sportswriter. It’s not about a sportswriter that has a group of friends sitting at a poker table, you know what I mean? I think any time you have a scene where she’s at work, is a scene less that we get to see of the guys. I think the dynamic between the whole group of friends is the heart of the show. I would love to do more than that but at the same time we can’t. And because I’ve been talking to so many sportswriters and shadowing so many sportswriters, I had a hard time with the cute Cub thing. But I guess I struggled with it in the same way PJ struggled with, like “what am I doing dating a player?”
Do you film anything in Chicago? Where do you hang out in the city?
Trust me, I can speak on behalf of the cast, we all wish we could shoot the whole show in Chicago. We shot a week and a half there so far. For this batch of 9 episodes, we’re not going to go to Chicago at all actually. I love to go catch a game at Wrigley Field obviously. Every time I go, I’m trying to check out new things. I like doing things that are probably little more of what Jordana likes and less what PJ likes if I’m going just for fun. In that case I would go to the Art Institute, I’ve seen some concerts, and you know just checking out different restaurants. When I go just to work, we’re shooting most of the time. We don’t get to do too much other than shoot the show.
Can we expect to see PJ find a guy or several guys this season?
She struggles this season. She really does. One of the big storylines this season is that we’re planning for a wedding. That obviously has some repercussions throughout the group.
Why do you think people continue to tune in and watch the show?
It’s not for my wardrobe such as in Sex and the City. I think that the storylines are really relatable. I think that the banter is clever and current. I think a lot of women see a lot of themselves in PJ and a lot of guys see themselves or one of their friends in one of guys or a combination of them.
How long could you see yourself playing this character?
Right, at what point does PJ get the catheter and start drinking Ensure and saying “Let’s call it a night?” It really depends on how imaginative the writers stay. I think the show could last 10 years if it stays fresh and current, and all the writers and all the actors are as enthusiastic as they were on day 1. I think it just depends on the team.
Do you have a favorite moment from last season?
I would say two of my favorite scenes from the first season were the douchebag intervention where we had to do like an AA intervention on Brendan for being such a douchebag because he was like wearing sunglasses in doors, and just way too large belt buckles and girl jeans. So we had to really sit him down and give him a talking to. I thought that was great, because I know so many of my friends that I want to put through it and tell them to just stop wearing the leather bracelets!
One scene that I felt totally in sync with the character, and everything was totally aligned. In the episode called Mixed Signals, where she wants to date Bobby and Bobby has no ideas and she’s trying to give him all these signals.