Funny Business: Cheryl Hines Talks SUBURGATORY and Reflects on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM

cheryl  hines suburgatoryBy: Victoria Nelli

Cheryl Hines stars on the ABC fan favorite SUBURGATORY. Hines plays Dallas Royce, the superficial, big-hearted, drama queen of Chatswin. I spoke with Hines about her work on CURB YOU ENTHUSIASM, her characters romance with George (Jeremy Sisto) and what we can expect to see tonight on SUBURGATORY.

Can you tell us a little bit about tonight’s episode?
Cheryl Hines: Dallas decides to hire a matchmaker mostly for Dalia (Carly Chaikin) but she decides since she is coming over she might as well get a match as well. The matchmaker encourages Dallas to go on a date with herself to see if she likes herself, and Dallas was underwhelmed. (Laughs) She decides to give herself a make under to get to what’s really real about Dallas. It’s very funny and Dalia is horrified, Dalia doesn’t recognize Dallas on the street. Going back to how shows can be so funny visually, there’s a moment with a funny image that stands alone without dialogue or anything. We do a funny moment it’s like a take off from the movie Tootsie when Dustin Hoffman makes himself over as the woman and he’s on the crowded streets of New York. There’s a moment where Dallas has her make under and she’s on a crowded sidewalk in Chatswin and it’s a tip of the hat to Tootsie and it’s hilarious.

Your character Dallas is very superficial, but has such a big heart what’s it like to play her?
It’s a lot of fun; my outfits alone could really be their own show. It’s a lot of fun because it’s so different from CURB, CURB was very subtle and you were supposed to feel like the audience was a fly on the wall. SUBURGATORY is fun because we have a good time making fun of ourselves and fun of what we’re doing out there, as parents, as people. Getting dressed up for the carpool pick up lane, which they do. (Laughs)

How do you feel about Dallas and George braking up, do you think there is a possibility they could get back together?
I’m so sad about Dallas and George breaking up! I mean they do live very close by each other, so odds are something’s going to happen. They’re just too close, logistically. It’s not like Los Angeles where you might not see that person again for five years, Chatswin is pretty small so I have a feeling something will happen. I don’t know if they will get together or if it will be the same as it was but I think something will happen.

What was your whole experience on CURB YOU ENTHUSIASM like?
It was amazing it changed my life! I went from being an actress that was getting small parts here and there to starring on a TV show with Larry David and going to The Golden Globes and The Emmys and hanging out with guest stars like Ben Stiller.

Do you find it easier or harder to go from a more improv-based show like CURB to a more scripted show like SUBURGATORY?
It has its advantages and disadvantages. I have to study lines now (laughs) but its really nice having writers writing funny lines for me. I have such a great time at our table reads fro SUBURGATORY which is something new for me because CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM was all improvised, so we never had table reads. It’s a completely different way of working but I love SUBURGATORY, I love how collaborative it is.

Do you pitch ideas to the writers if you have an idea for a storyline for your character?
I do, sometimes we’ll pitch storylines and sometimes lines if we have a table read or while we’re shooting if I have ideas I’ll throw it out there and talk to the writers and see what they think, we all work together to try and find whatever is funniest.

Is there anything you took away from CURB that really helped you with SUBURGATORY?
I did learn a lot about comedy especially how valuable visual images are. Larry’s very good at looking at something and knowing ‘Oh that color blue is funnier than that shade of blue.” It was interesting to watch and work that way and then Emily Kapnek on SUBURGATORY has that same talent. The shows are so completely different; SUBURGATORY is a satire so Emily knows what’s funny and how to translate that visually.

You can watch Cheryl on SUBURGATORY tonight on ABC at 8:30 and you can follow her on twitter at @CherylHines For more information on SUBURGATORY you can visit http://abc.go.com/shows/suburgatory

Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli