On tonight’s instalment of COMMUNITY you play a mean girl named Meghan. What attracted you to this role that is very different from what your fans are used to seeing you play?
Hilary Duff: I think I just like to have fun. Meghan was a very different character and it was only a few days out of my life so it was really enjoyable to to just kind of jump into that. I’m also a really big fan of the show, and that was very enticing for me as well. COMMUNITY is funny, unique and I think the actors really get to shine in it. Plus, I got to work with Danny Pudi and Ken Jeong who are so funny, and Gillian [Jacobs] who is so sweet and nice.
Having spent a large portion of your post LIZZIE McGUIRE career guesting on television shows such as the GHOST WHISPERER, JOAN OF ARCADIA and LAW & ORDER how challenging is it to fit in with an already established cast?
I think that it’s always a little scary walking into a new environment where people see each other every single day and where they kind of know how to banter off one another in a scene. But they – especially the COMMUNITY cast were so sweet, welcoming and just super outgoing. You can tell they hang out offset and are good friends because they’re just total goofballs. They get to have so much fun on the show because it’s so quirky and off beat. It kind of made it easy for me to jump in there and have fun with them.
What can you tell us about tonight’s episode?
Basically, Danny Pudi kind of comes into our clique and just mutilates everyone with these horrible insults which he’s very good at. So my character kind of gets put in her place because he’s a robot and you can’t really fight against that. We have this scene where I walk into the school cafeteria and call him out and everybody hears and he ends up really embarrassing me and I leave. Obviously status is very important to my character, Meghan, and we just go back and forth the whole time. It’s very funny because they’re in community college… they’re old enough to know better! But it’s everything to them in their world.
Was it fun trading insult with Danny Pudi and were you able to freestyle or did you have to stick to the script?
We did a little bit of both. We do a few takes where we stuck to the script and then they let you have fun with it. So there’s structure, but then for seven or eight takes you’re really getting in the flow of everything and getting to bounce off the actors and just come up with stuff that feels funny and natural at the time. Which is great because Danny and Ken Jeong, who I worked with most were – they’re just total goofballs.
Danny just dances his way through life, It’s so funny. He’ll just be standing there doing nothing and all the sudden just start wiggling, it’s hilarious. While Ken Jeong, actually, a lot of my scenes are with him and there’s this scene where I’m storming out of the cafeteria and I’m really embarrassed and he is laughing so hard that he squirts milk out of his nose and he calls it a snarf. It was so disgusting and hilarious at the same time and he was really doing it, it was amazing. But he walks out — I walk out and he blows the milk out of his nose and he’s like, “Oh, my God, that girl looks exactly like Haylie Duff!” It wasn’t written or anything, but I thought it was hilarious, like I almost fell down to my knees because his delivery and everything was so, so funny. And my sister loves him. So when I told her that story she was like, just dying.
And finally, where do you think Lizzie McGuire would kind of fit in with the COMMUNITY crowd?
Well, I don’t know. The whole premise of that show was that she didn’t fit into any crowd, she was kind of just nice to everyone and stayed neutral and that got her in trouble a lot of the time. So I think she would kind of fit in with the outcasts, I guess.