Last summer’s comedy series Undateable is back for a second season now. The cast had a lunch panel for the Television Critics Association and spent it riffing back and forth. Later that night, I saw Bianca Kajlich at the NBC party so I spoke to her some more. I had also seen her in the horror movie Dark Was the Night which premiered at Screamfest.
Undateable is on Tuesday nights at 9 on NBC. It’s one of the few comedies still shot before a live studio audience, although Kajlich’s previous show Rules of Engagement was as well. She told us about a few of the funny episodes coming up this season and her history in comedy.
Nuke the Fridge: Does Undateable fit your comedy rhythms like Rules of Engagement did?
Bianca Kajlich: It’s different. I feel like the boys really elevate everybody on the set because they’re so desperate and challenging themselves to one up each other wit the comedy aspect of it so it’s good. The character I think is a little more close to home than Jennifer was.
Nuke: Are the guys as rowdy on the set as they were on the panel?
Bianca Kajlich: Worse, absolutely worse. Was that the most fun you had at a panel? It’s awesome. There’s not one show that we’ve shot where I don’t have to have my makeup redone after a scene because I’m crying because I’m laughing so hard.
Nuke: What funny stuff is coming up for you?
Bianca Kajlich: We have an episode where Leslie is fighting the manager of her local gym because they’re using a promotional poster of her ass without asking her. And then when she asks about it, they say it’s not her butt but maybe if she works hard, one day she can get there. So the boys rally together to support her and do an Oceans 11 and steal the poster. Lots of hijinks. We have a fake trial in the bar. I feel like they live in the land of make believe.
Nuke: Have the audiences changed now that people have seen the show?
Bianca Kajlich: Yeah. We can feel the turn of when it first aired, there were a lot of critical “oh, this can’t be good.” Now people who’ve said that are coming back around and saying it’s a really funny show. It’s nice to see people eat their words.
Nuke: I loved Dark Was the Night. Is it a fight to get seen for more dramatic, intense stuff when you’ve done so much comedy?
Bianca Kajlich: Yes. When I first moved down here, of course I had this big picture idea that I was going to come out and be a dramatic actress, and then I kept doing sitcoms.
Nuke: And you did Bring It On.
Bianca Kajlich: I did Bring It On and 30 Minutes or Less, which I love doing, but I was really excited when I did that movie because it was such a good script. It reminded me of Signs where there’s more of an actual character arc and then there was the monster, the aliens. So it was awesome to do that movie. I’m so glad you saw it.
Nuke: Did you have to sell the director on you?
Bianca Kajlich: No, somebody fell through and I was available. I didn’t even have to audition for it. I was so lucky.
Nuke: I love the scene with you and the school principal. Was that a great scene to do?
Bianca Kajlich: That was an awesome scene. First of all, Kevin Durand is amazing. That movie is what it is because of Kevin. I think he’s such a powerful actor. I think he’s the best dramatic actor I’ve ever worked opposite, so it was really easy to sit in with him. It’s heavy stuff to be dealing with losing a kid. Obviously I’d never had a kid at that point yet, but I loved it. Plus, it was really fun for me to do a guerrilla [style film]. We didn’t have trailers. We didn’t really have hair and makeup. Everything was very much indie moviemaking which I loved.
Nuke: And then this public school principal wants to tell you how to handle your child.
Bianca Kajlich: Oh yeah, like f*** you.
Nuke: After doing Dark Was the Night, was it a relief to go back into comedy?
Bianca Kajlich: Yeah. We shot that in the Hamptons. I don’t know if you know, I’d never been to the Hamptons before so I had this idea of it being this amazing beautiful place where all the rich people go, but in the winter it’s dead. It has a very depressing quality to it. So we were there. We were by ourselves in this very depressing movie dealing with loss, so it felt really dark the whole time we were there filming it. So it was nice to come back and do [comedy]. Actually, I think I came back and then got the job on Undateable.