Actress-model Brooklyn Decker tackles her first regular TV role on the CBS sitcom “Friends With Better Lives,” which premieres Monday. TheWrap sat down with the actress to discuss the anxiety of becoming a series regular, how annoying happy, loving couples can be, and more.
TheWrap: This is your first regular TV role. Is that intimidating?
Brooklyn Decker: It’s very intimidating, for so many reasons. One, I’m working with such seasoned actors. Even Rick [Donald], who played Lowell, he’s new to the States and he felt a little bit like a fish out of water, but he’s been acting for 10 years. So I definitely felt like I had to rely on these guys for their guidance. So it was intimidating, for sure, but luckily the cast is so supportive. And they love helping each other, so it ended up being a really nice working environment.
Has there been anybody who’s been particularly supportive?
Everyone has been. Kevin [Connolly] is kind of the most protective of everyone. He wants to make sure that you’re happy, and if he sees you having an off day on set, he’s the first one to text you after and make sure that everything’s clicking and everything’s OK. But I have to say Zoe [Lister-Jones], Majandra [Delfino] — the girls in the cast, the three of us, clicked instantly and became super-close, super-fast. And I feel like the support system we all had and the support we had from each other was definitely the most integral for me in terms of support from the cast.
The characters on the show are all coming from different perspectives. Which one would you say you relate to most in your life?
This is strange, because they’re polar opposites, but I feel like a mixture of [Lister-Jones’ character] Kate and [Decker’s character] Jules, mostly because Kate is incredibly driven and incredibly snarky and sarcastic, but loves her friends. There’s definitely a big sensitivity chip in her, and that’s something I can relate to. But I also feel like I have Jules’ demeanor — I feel like I’m optimistic, I feel like I’m at times naive, I feel like I am always trying to find the good, even if it’s not always the best thing to do, so I feel like I’m kind of a mix of the two.
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Your character Kate and her fiance Lowell’s relationship is on an upward trajectory in the pilot, which definitely isn’t the case for all of the characters. How does that play out over the course of the season?
Frankly, watching the perfect couple in love gets old after a while. It gets annoying; it’s like, “Why are you so perfect? Why are they so in love? Stop making out!” And so for us, Rick and I were both excited mostly about seeing those cracks start to form during the relationship. Essentially you have two strangers who have fallen in love, or they think that they’ve fallen in love, and they’re now forced to stick by each other because they’ve made this commitment of being engaged. So you do start to see cracks, and you have these little discoveries of these people that you didn’t know. What I like about them is that you get to see them come off of the top of the totem pole and fall a little bit, which is really fun.
What drew you to this series initially?
I read the pilot, and the title got me, because I loved the idea of not playing one character the whole time, a one-note character. I wanted you to see the ups and downs of these people. The idea that these friendships are all cyclic and you get to see the highs and the lows, and the breaking apart and the getting back together — that, to me, was what was exciting. It’s not necessarily what’s in the pilot but what comes after the pilot — for me, I thought that would just be a really fun thing to play. And then [series creator] Dana Klein was a huge pull — her pedigree’s incredible. And I sound sexist, and I love that she’s a woman, and that she’s funny, and that her past work is really wonderful. And I came on really early, so the cast came together after I was attached, but the cast for me really made everything. The chemistry was off the charts instantly, and I feel like that made the full experience so much better. It really elevated the show.