I recently got the chance to talk to Brooke Lyons about her role in new TV series ’2 Broke Girls’. Here, Brooke talks about the first series and what it’s like working with the cast and crew on-set…
Hey Brooke. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about ‘2 Broke Girls’!
My pleasure. I’m delighted that ‘2 Broke Girls’ has come to the UK.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the series?
Max Black is a waitress at a Brooklyn diner. She’s smart and tough and grew up with nothing. Caroline Channing is a bubbly Manhattan billionaire who loses everything and ends up working alongside Max. The two become friends, and the series follows them as they navigate life in their 20s, juggle various jobs, and pursue their dream of running a cupcake business.
Tell us a bit about the character you play…
I play Peach Landis, a Manhattan socialite and mother of baby twins Brad and Angelina. Max, played by Kat Dennings, is Peach’s nanny.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I read the pilot script, fell madly in love with it, auditioned for the role of Peach, and the rest is history.
What do you think makes this TV series different and unique to most comedy shows…?
The show centers on two intelligent, empowered female characters who have a dynamic relationship in which they address careers, livelihood and dreams. Their interests include but extend beyond the more traditional female tropes of beauty and dating. Also, the characters are very diverse in terms of age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and worldview, which makes the universe of the show really rich and textured. Perhaps the show’s most salient quality is its ribald humour. As you’ll see when you watch, it pushes the envelope at every turn, while at the same time maintaining a real sense of heart. As edgy as they are, the characters and situations are coming from a place of authenticity — an irresistible combination, in my opinion.
The series stars Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs, Garrett Morris, Jonathan Kite and Matthew Moy – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
It is an honour and a pleasure to work with this cast and crew. Not only are they wildly talented, but they’re also the nicest people you can imagine. There’s a real team spirit to the show. The writers, actors, set designers, costumers, make-up and hair artists, and everyone involved take pride in what they do. There’s an electricity on set – a sense of enthusiasm and collaboration that lends itself to a very supportive, creative sense of play… and lots of laughs. Those are some of my favourite moments. When the writers give me a line that I can barely say because I’m laughing too hard. Or when I’m watching Kat and Beth keep straight faces as the rest of us are rolling in the aisles because the scene is so damn funny. It’s that kind of chemistry that makes the whole things sparkle.
Let’s talk a bit about you Brooke. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
College. Before that I had been a ballet dancer. I happened to go to a university where theater is very popular. The climate there made me wonder what it would be like to speak onstage. I was physically comfortable up there but had never uttered a word. My very first role was in a production of Neil Simon’s ‘Rumours’. On opening night I was a bundle of nerves, terrified that I would forget a line or miss a beat. What I learned was: even if I did, it was okay. Because of my cast mates, it would all work out. It’s a little like being a trapeze artist. You let go and trust that your partner is there to catch you. That’s how you’re able to dangle and spin and do all sorts of tricks – things you would never be able to do alone. I was and am very drawn to that “anything can happen” element. I also really like the idea of storytelling through play. Stories enacted onstage and on-screen give the gift of escapism through laughter, catharsis through tears or vicarious adventure through action. They can provoke and engage you, causing you to contemplate politics, history, anthropology, and – on a very basic level – what it is to be human. I think the whole enterprise is endlessly interesting.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Be yourself. Listen and learn, take it all in, but most of all: be yourself. Also, rather than talking about it, just do it. If you’re a writer, write. If you’re an actor, act. If you’re a director, direct. Do what you do, and keep doing it.
You’ve been in a number of different films and TV projects – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with so far and why?
All of them for different reasons. You learn something valuable from everyone you encounter. Acting with someone is like stepping into an alternate reality, playing game of catch in a magical universe you’ve collaborated to create. There’s a lot of listening and responding and trust involved. When you’ve shared that with someone – anyone – it leaves its imprint on you.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three ‘personal’ things could you not live without?
If we’re being pragmatic: water, food and shade. If we’re being romantic: The Complete Works of Shakespeare, a journal, and a good-humoured and remarkably resourceful companion. Just to be clear: there’s no way to charge an I-Phone on this island, right?
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Let’s invite Eleanor Roosevelt, Leo Tolstoy and Oprah. I don’t think that list requires explanation. If there’s room at the table, can we also invite Freddie Mercury?
What is your favourite word?
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
Right now I’m working on an ABC Family show called ‘Jane By Design’, starring Erica Dasher and Andie MacDowell. I play Birdie, the Human Resources director at a New York fashion company called Donovan Decker. And in July, the premiere of ‘Sullivan And Son’ is coming out, a new comedy on TBS. I playAshley, the girlfriend of title character Steve Sullivan - played by Steve Byrne.
Thanks for the interview!