If you want to be a jerk, don’t do it on the set of “The Good Place.” Kristen Bell says her NBC hit sitcom has a strictly enforced “no jerks” policy that makes the set pretty heavenly.
During TheWrap’s Emmys panel discussion — which also included “Silicon Valley” star Martin Starr, “Loudermilk” star Ron Livingston and “Dear White People” star Logan Browning — we asked what each panelist has learned on their shows. Bell said “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur has proven there’s never a need to be nasty to anyone.
“Working on his show, the practical, day-to-day of it, is a joy,” Bell said of Schur. “He has curated really cool people. And there’s just a ‘no jerks’ policy. Everyone is cool, everyone is so decent and lovely, and it has confirmed for me that is possible. You don’t really ever need to be a dick. You truly, you just don’t need to do it! You always catch more flies with honey, and I’ve watched him do it.”
Bell dared anyone to find a single person in this business who has a bad thing to say about Schur.
“When there’s a deadline, when there’s a difficult topic, when you want to say something, how do you take your writers room and study for a week to say something in the right way so that it’s not offensive, so that it is getting a point across,” Bell said. “He has taught me there is a way to have a complete, thorough conversation with yourself to make sure your point is getting across while treating everyone you ever come in contact with, and people you don’t even come in contact with, like respected, decent, human beings.”
Browning also praised her show’s creator, Justin Simien, for treating “everyone with the same level of respect and admiration.”
“He will lose all fingers and hairs and nails before you see him sweat. He does that so well,” Browning said. “I always believe that the energy on a set trickles down from the top, so when that energy stays level-headed, it doesn’t allow for any frivolous crazy to happen, and if it does, it’s like a spike in the system.”
“This is why you get in trouble sometimes, because you have to fight like hell to make the thing as good as it can possibly be, and you get caught up in that,” Livingston added. “The thing you’ve got to remember is, everyone on set is also there to fight like hell to make the thing as good as it can possibly be. It’s not just you. Everybody here has a very important job, they have very important opinions, and you have to be respectful of that even if you don’t agree with it.”
Watch the full video from TheWrap’s Emmys Panel Discussion above, and jump to Bell’s comments starting at 19:23.