As a struggling actress trying to make it in Hollywood, Beth Behrs knows a thing or two about being broke. So it’s only fitting that for her first steady TV gig, she joins the ridiculously likeable Kat Dennings in what we’re already calling television’s next big break-out hit, 2 BROKE GIRLS. But what — aside from the steady paycheck that is — attracted her to the role, who are her comedy icons and is she ready for her life to completly change? We recently had the chance to catch up with Behrs, who was in Toronto to promote the series to find out just that.
Tell us first about your role on the show?
Beth Behrs: I play Caroline Channing, a trust fund princess from the Upper East Side who loses everything when her crook-of-a-dad [Think: Bernie Madoff] ends up in jail. When they freeze all our assets and bolt up our townhouse, Caroline is forced to go to Brooklyn to get a job at a diner so that nobody from the Upper East Side will see her working. There, she meets Max (Played by Kat Dennings) who takes Carolyn under her wing. My character, who went to Harvard Business School, sees that Kat makes amazing cupcakes and decides that they should start a cupcake business together. Of course, in order to do that they have to make two hundred and fifty grand, which means they’ll have to work a bunch of odd jobs throughout the series to make the money that they need to start the business.
As a struggling actress, would it be safe to say that you’ve had more than your fair share of broke moments?
I was broke before I got the show! I was a nanny, I’ve worked at Chili’s, did tempt work. I was actually telling Michael and Whitney [Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings created the show] about the odd jobs I did so maybe they’ll incorporate some of that into the show. I think a lot of people in their early 20’s coming out of college — even if you have a business degree from harvard — a lot of people are having trouble getting jobs so the show premise is really relatable right now. Especially for young people just growing up in the world.
What was the casting process like?
Kat got cast first and was actually in Florida filming a movie — this is actually the sweetest story ever — when I was screen testing. For my final test, they were like, we kind of want to see the two girls together but Kat was literally in the middle of shooting this big dramatic movie. So after seeing my audition tape, she took her five free hours on Sunday and flew out to test with me which was amazing and wonderful and that’s when they knew, it was like okay, we got it, we got our girls.
Were you looking to do a comedy?
This is a dream job for me. I’ve always loved comedy and I also come from theater so having a live audience is kind of an amazing mesh of both television and the theater world. I also grew up loving FRIENDS, WILL & GRACE and am a big sitcom fan.
Would comparisons to LAVERNE & SHIRLEY be a valid one?
Actually I’ve heard people say about our show is Lucy and Ethel. Which I love, I mean I have Lucy posters all over my house, I love Lucille Ball. I’m not as familiar with LAVERNE & SHIRLEY, I have seen it, but I do know I LOVE LUCY. Ethel and Lucy always get into really sticky situations and that’s what’s going to happen with me and Kat working a bunch of odd jobs.
Any other comedy heroes?
After seeing Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig, I think is unbelievable as far as a current comedian who I admire, her physical comedy is uncanny. Also I was a big fan growing up of Debra Messing on WILL & GRACE, I love her.
Have you given any thought into how your might life change once this show catapults you from relative obscurity to TV star?
I got a little taste of it with Kat when we were doing press in New York and it was very overwhelming. It’s crazy to watch it on TV, or see it growing up happen far away but when it’s right in front of your, screaming as photographers try to knock down the SUV trying to get to Kat, I had not experienced anything like that yet. But you know what, if people love the show and the character which I’m so happy to be doing the show, and am so happy to be a part of, I’m excited for that.
2 BROKE GIRLS premieres on CBS (CityTV) on Mondays at 8:30PM this Fall.