Happy endingsThe show aired for only three seasons. Elisha CuthbertIt is a great achievement for the sitcom.
“What I love is that it’s found another home in streaming [on Netflix]This to me, is where we should have begun. I think we would’ve thrived, but I look at that and I go, ‘Three seasons, we did three seasons.’ Some people don’t even get past the pilot,” the actress, 39, exclusively told Us WeeklyWhile promoting her new movie The Cellar. “So the fact that we got past the pilot and got to do three years together was just, it was such magic. I got to hone my comedic skills. I learned so much from the rest. And then left that show with such a confidence that I can’t even tell you, because I had such a good time. And I went, ‘Oh, maybe I am a little funny.’”
The ABC comedy’s pilot kicked off with Cuthbert’s Alex Kerkovich leaving her fiancé, Dave Rose (Zachary Knighton), at the altarAnd ultimately having to navigate how to still be cordial alongside the rest of their dysfunctional thirty-something friends in Chicago. Casey Wilson, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans Jr. and Eliza CoupeThe cast was complete.
“My favorite was actually just when we weren’t filming and we were off camera sort of just goofing around. We did a lot more improv. Those moments are so special for me because it really got me to explore past what’s on the page. That was never even an option for me,” Cuthbert explained to Use. “You go from 24, where it’s so scriptedAnd it is so important to stick to story line, and then you get to work with a creator like David Caspe and Jonathan Groff and they give you the license to take the brilliant writing that’s already on the page and go wild with it. It was really just the banter between us crazy, kooky kids that was the best.”
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The series was cancelled in May 2013 due to low ratings but it has maintained a cult following. Although Cuthbert doesn’t know if Alex and Dave would be together today (“I hate hypotheticals. David Caspe can handle that. I want to know what his take is on it because I don’t want to sound like a dodo!”), the Ranch star can still laugh over Alex’s Halloween costume in the season 2 episode “Spooky Endings.” In this particular year, a sick yet determined Alex dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for a bash. A potential suitor and partygoer mistakenly thought she was a man because of her raspy voice.
“Fred SavageThis episode was directed by her. Our Halloween episodes were always outrageous. They were always a major event for us,” she recalled. “So Fred and I kind of just went, ‘Am I gonna do the voice real? And then we’re gonna mess with it in post later? Or can you really do a deep raspy voice?’ And I kind of just did what I did. I gave him what I had and he went, ‘No, let’s do that. Let’s just use you rasping away.’”
Cuthbert has been on TV for many years and now plays the role of matriarch. The CellarAfter her daughter mysteriously disappears in their basement, she desperately tries to find it.
“I think there’s a consistency to TV that feels very comforting that you’re in it for the long haul and in that you get to build and build onto a character, whereas a film can kind of be quick and fast and you can get it done, start to finish, and go back to your life,” she explained. “But you really have to know what you’re tackling when you’re doing the movie as far as character goes. There’s really no room to start going, ‘Hmm. I wonder if she has a long lost sister?’ On TV, you can find out that you have four children the next episode and do a real quick pivot.”
Cuthbert has shown more confidence in comedy over the years thanks to Happy endingsThis has allowed her to be more open-minded about what roles she takes on.
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“I think I always go with my gut. You know, what I’m better at doing is getting rid of the fear of not being able to maybe do something. I have been fortunate enough to be able to do what I wanted in my career and earlier life. I was on 24 and working and doing things, but scripts would come in and I’d go, ‘I don’t know if I can do that.’ I think I got in my own way. And now I find when I read things that kind of scare me and think I shouldn’t do it are probably things I should,” she explained to Us. “I remember being sort of asked about doing sitcoms in front of an audience. I went, ‘There’s no way. I’m not comedic enough. I can’t do that. I can’t perform in front of — I’m not a theater actress.’ And then cut to many years later on The RanchEvery night, I perform comedy in front of a live studio audience. Every week. It was one of my best experiences in my career. So I’m really finding ways to go, don’t get in front of yourself and block yourself from trying things that scare you because really there’s some magic there.”