Interview with Eliza Coupe and Elisha Cuthbert of "Happy Endings" on ABC - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite
 

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By Suzanne

Eliza Coupe and Elisha Cuthbert

Interview with Eliza Coupe and Elisha Cuthbert of "Happy Endings" on ABC 3/25/13

SONY PICTURES
Moderator: Gina Lang
April 15, 2013
12:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by and welcome to the Eliza Coupe and Elisha Cuthbert In Support of Happy Endings conference call.

During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards we'll conduct a question-and-answer session. At that time if you have a question, you can press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator, press star 0.

As a reminder this call is being recorded Monday April 15, 2013.

I would now like to turn the call over to Miss Gina Lang. Please go right ahead ma'am.

Gina Lang: Hi I just want to thank everyone for participating today. Per usual we will have a transcript of the call available afterwards that we will send out and of course if you have any questions, feel free to call or e-mail me. But we'll get started with Elisha and Eliza and thank you everyone.

Operator: Thank you very much and ladies and gentlemen once again if you'd like to ask any questions or comments it is the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-toned prompt to acknowledge your request.

If you question has been answered to withdraw your registration it's the 1 followed by the 3.

If you're using a speakerphone, please lift your handset before entering your request.

Once again it's the 1 followed by the 4 to register a question.

And our first question comes from the line of Matt Newlin with the California Literary Review. Please go right ahead.

Matt Newlin: Hi thank you guys so much for doing this call today.

Elisha Cuthbert: Thank you.

Eliza Coupe: You're welcome.

Matt Newlin: I'm a huge, huge fan of the show and I wanted to find out it's such a manic energy that comes across, I want to know what's the biggest challenge for each of you for playing your characters and keeping them fresh and energetic?

Elisha Cuthbert: Eliza do you want to start?

Eliza Coupe: Yes sure. I just always every episode it's like there's always some random thing that Jane's obsessed with so I just kind of like go for it even if it's the dumbest little thing. That kind of keeps it fresh because it's like the first obsession she's ever said. Like every single one is like the biggest obsession so I just make it that that's her number one thing and then until the next episode when it's something totally different.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes I think my character's kind of similar in the sense that maybe not obsessed but I think it's really - I think Alex tends to get really, really overly excited about the things that she's involved with so it's similar. And I think when we're all in a group and working together, our energy seems to always be up.

I mean Eliza and I spoke about this on set kind of towards the end of wrapping up season three where it was like it's not that difficult to find the energy when we're all together for some reason. I think we just kind of draw off each other and it keeps things definitely high energy.

Eliza Coupe: Yes I agree with that completely. It's actually pretty easy to keep things fresh because we're always having fun. I mean we're genuinely having a good time with each other. So it's pretty easy actually.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes.

Matt Newlin: Great thank you both so much.

Elisha Cuthbert: Thank you.

Eliza Coupe: You're welcome.

Operator: Thank you very much. And ladies and gentlemen once again as a reminder if you'd like to ask a question through the phones, it is the 1, 4 on your telephone keypad to register a question.

And once again ladies and gentlemen as a reminder to ask any questions, it's 1, 4 to register and you'll hear a three-toned prompt to acknowledge your request.

And Miss Lang we seem to have no other questions. Oh I do apologize, a question just queued up right now.

One moment.

Gina Lang: Yes we do because someone's emailing that they're trying to push. The button's not working. I've got a few emails so one sec.

Elisha Cuthbert: I was getting worried that no one really wanted to ask anything.

((Crosstalk))

Operator: We do have a few questions that just came up and we'll proceed to our next question.

Elisha Cuthbert: I was sweating Eliza, I was sweating a little bit.

Eliza Coupe: No I know, I was too actually. I started to have a major full-tilt meltdown over here.

Operator: No problem so we'll go with our next question so a question has come in. Once again it is 1, 4 on your telephone to ask a question.

Our next question's from the line of Lee Allport from My Sentiment ExactLee. Go right ahead with your question.

Lee Allport: Hi ladies. I'm looking at the log lines over the next couple episodes that are coming up and for this season's finale it looks like you're going to be working with the very talented Stephanie March who's going to be playing your alpha sister and she's getting married. You want to tell us a little about that?

Eliza Coupe: Sure Elisha you can take that first.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes there was a lot of talk of bringing in a third Kerkovich sister through the course of the whole third season and it really wasn't until the last minute that we realized Stephanie March was coming in and we were all so excited. Then it was kind of a question of was she going to be more Alex or more Jane and I think people are going to see that she's definitely Jane to the max. So it's kind of fun to see them together and kind of getting competitive and it was a lot of fun to have her and it was a great time.

Eliza Coupe: I completely agree. Yes she was fantastic. It was so fun and she was perfect for it.

Lee Allport: Thank you so much.

Eliza Coupe: You're welcome.

Operator: Thank you very much. We'll go to our next question and it from the line of (Casey Luben). Go right ahead with your question. Miss (Luben) your line is open for your question. Please make sure your mute button's not turned on.

(Casey Luben): Hello.

Operator: Yes go right ahead.

(Casey Luben): All right hi ladies. I want to know what you guys think we are going to see from Penny's love life coming up?

Eliza Coupe: Something with Penny's love life.

Elisha Cuthbert: Oh boy.

Eliza Coupe: Yes so I don't remember. What did she do?

Elisha Cuthbert: I don't know. That's the funny thing, I was just thinking the same thing. I was like I feel like I only know what happens in my character's life.

Eliza Coupe: Same here, same here.

Elisha Cuthbert: I think - yes right? I think it's probably just the same old Penny stuff. I mean she's always got a new guy and things are always going crazy and obviously with last week's breakup with Pete which is pretty devastating she'll be kind of back at her old self and out on the prowl as Penny does.

Eliza Coupe: Yes that is what happens, yes.

(Casey Luben): All right great thank you.

Eliza Coupe: Yes.

Operator: Thank you very much. And ladies and gentlemen once again if you would like to ask any question or even any follow-up questions, press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone keypad.

And Miss Lang we seem to have no further questions queued up on the phones. Oh I apologize we do have another one. It is a follow-up question from Miss Lee Allport from My Sentiments ExactLee. Go right ahead.

Lee Allport: Well I'm just going to ask another question if no one else has any.

Elisha Cuthbert: Great, happy to take it.

Lee Allport: Eliza I'm a big fan. I'm a big fan Eliza and in a recent episode your character's very I think very relatable especially for married people and you made the comment - your character makes the comment of I'm not controlling, I'm aggressively helpful. How much in real life are you like your character and Elisha can follow up with this as well because I'm sure people that are huge fan's of hers that think oh I'm so much like her on that show, how much am I like her real life. People love to read about stuff like that. So how much are you like your characters?

Eliza Coupe: I'm definitely like Jane in a lot of ways just kind of Iím definitely a perfectionist. My Janeisms are wrapped in a little bit of a different package. I mean Jane is always so perfectly put together and the clothes are so tight and so fitted and I'm just not that person. I mean seriously I've put on Jane's clothes and I've said this before in interviews, it's like putting on a back brace, like I feel I am just very upright and very like ready to go.

But I'm definitely - I'm not as controlling as she is. I'm more I mean - and I don't try to fix other people's lives like she does. I'm just like all about like making sure that I'm perfect in real life. So yes there's not enough therapy in the world for Eliza but Jane I think she'll probably get better in time.

Lee Allport: And Elisha?

Elisha Cuthbert: My character...You know it's funny I base a lot of my character off my sister.

Lee Allport: Does she know that?

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes she does. I've already said it a few times and I think she's actually now enjoying it because I think her friends are also going, "Oh my God it's so true" so she's coming to the realization that it's definitely her.

Alex definitely dresses better than I do. That helps when you have a costume designer dressing you ever single day. But there's definitely more of my sister in there than of my actual true self and also a little bit of Joey from Friends.

Lee Allport: And a little bit of Joey from Friends okay. I like that; I can use that in an article. Thank you.

Eliza Coupe: I love that. That's funny.

Operator: Thank you very much. So we'll go with our next question. It is from the Jill Slattery from Zimbio.com. Go right ahead.

Jill Slattery: Hi ladies, thanks so much for chatting with me -- or us, excuse me. Elisha I see coming up that Max is going to enter this Mr. Gay Gay Chicago pageant and Alex and Dave are going to be his coaches. What can you preview for us? Are they good coaches, bad coaches, what's that going to be like?

Elisha Cuthbert: I think we're definitely Dave and I are going to have different takes on how we want to coach so that's obviously going to pose for some conflict. But I think what you should be more excited about is the fact that Max dresses up in the most insane outfits you've ever seen and it's going to be pretty incredible what he puts together and what he ends up wearing.

I remember being on set going this is not happening, he definitely not wearing this outfit and he was. So you're going to see Max in some pretty crazy clown costumes.

Jill Slattery: I'm excited, thank you so much.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes.

Operator: Thank you. Once again ladies and gentlemen as a reminder to ask a question, it is the 1, 4 on your telephone to register a question.

And we do have another follow-up question from the line of Matt Newlin with the California Literary Review. Go right ahead.

Matt Newlin: Thank you. I wanted to see if either of you were able to speak to sort of the future of the show? I know there's been a lot of talk from ABC about there's a save Happy Endings campaign going on on Twitter and things like that and the possibility is sort of in flux or the future is sort of in flux. Can you speak to that, kind of give us an idea of where it's at?

Elisha Cuthbert: I'm glad that we're consistently on and really I mean I think the fans have done everything they could to keep watching and following us. I think it's up to ABC now to decide where they want to put us and if they still want us around. I mean that's the problem. We don't really have control over those things and don't always have knowledge of what they're doing or what they're planning until obviously when they make their decision.

But I feel like the last three years we have been moved around but I think the studio has to do what it has to do and we're still here so to me I feel like that is a testament to ABC wanting us to work and wanting to give us our own night. So I don't know. I mean it's just one of those things we just have no control over and we hope for the best and we want to keep doing it that's for sure.

Eliza Coupe: Yes. I completely agree with that. Well put Elisha.

Matt Newlin: Great thanks.

Elisha Cuthbert: You know it's funny Eliza how many times have we had these conversations over the course of like the whole three years that we've been on. I think every show sits there and wonders whether it's after 13 and hoping for a back 9 or having a full season and hoping for a second. I mean every show talks about it and every show wants to be on as long as possible and we're no different.

Eliza Coupe: Yes absolutely and I think it's like we can speculate and we can - I mean I can definitely like talk myself in circles about well if they did this and they did that and it's just like you know what, it's not up to us. We just keep doing our work and that's our job. Like we can only do our job and then they do theirs and I think that I can't - I'm not going to try to micromanage and be like oh my God, okay this is what we should do. It's just you know what, we do our job, we have fun doing, we really hope that we can continue because it's just a really great show and it's a really fun time - I mean selfishly I just want to do it because it's fun. And I think that hopefully everyone agrees.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes.

Matt Newlin: Great thank you.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes.

Eliza Coupe: You're welcome.

Operator: Thank you very much. And as a final reminder to ask a question or any comments on the phone, it is the 1, 4 on your telephone keypad.

And Miss Lang we seem to have no further questions at this time. I'll turn the call back to you.

Gina Lang: Hi I'm going to actually ask - there was someone having technical difficulties so they just e-mailed me the question so I'm just going to go ahead and ask Elisha and Eliza and then that way it will just be on the transcript.

Elisha Cuthbert: Great.

Gina Lang: Yes sorry some people seemed to have trouble being able to get through to ask the question.

Eliza in an upcoming episode we see that you actually get to - that Max enlists your help in sort of a life makeover of sorts. What sort of help does Jane give and what can we expect to see?

Eliza Coupe: Yes it's...

Elisha Cuthbert: You killed it. He looked so good.

Eliza Coupe: Yes he did. I definitely cleaned him up meaning the wardrobe and hair and makeup team cleaned him up but then I took credit it for as the character of Jane.

But Jane doesn't do anything just kind of halfway. She doesn't like - she's like oh we're going to do a makeover, she doesn't just kind of do a makeover. She has like an entire like - like when you play football like they have the whole like plan mapped out and she's got the whole thing mapped out, like she's got all the play-by-play mapped out and she does a complete overhaul of Max and it was quite fun shooting that actually because there's like this whole little montage of the makeover. And it's not your typical makeover. There's a hose involved, there's a lot, a lot going on there.

Elisha Cuthbert: It's so funny.

Eliza Coupe: It was ridiculous yes.

Gina Lang: And then second follow-up question -- let me just pull this up -- oh with regards to Rob Corddry's return. So what is like working with Rob Corddry and can we expect to see Jane continue to work with him and what's up next for them?

Eliza Coupe: Well Eliza hopes that Jane continues working with him because I think that he's amazing, like I have like such a comedy crush on him. I mean he so talented and he's just the nicest guy, like he's such a great guy. He's so easy to work with.

Elisha Cuthbert: So nice.

Eliza Coupe: Yes like so fun and just really like also just like super professional, like incredibly prepared and just like a really great actor.

And he's also just like such a fun character. The Car Czar is such a weird like character that came in and the dynamic of Jane and The Car Czar I think is really fun and he comes back in in full force and does some pretty interesting things with Penny. So that will be fun to watch for everyone. I got to see it firsthand so let's see what you guys think.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes I can't wait.

Gina Lang: Okay and then I have one third one from (Mike Rowe) with Cox Media. During the first season I was told the cast got to improv. How much improv-ing did you guys get to do this season?

Elisha Cuthbert: I think we do the same as we did in the beginning. It's just a matter of whether or not when the creators of the show get into the editing room if it makes sense for and fits in with what we're doing. I mean there's already so many jokes that the writers write for us and then it's just these little like fun inside things that we kind of throw in there.

I mean for example Eliza put a spin recently on when Max and myself are trying to sell new products and you came into that scene and added an Irish accent or Scottish accent and, you know, it just was so great. And they kept it because it worked. I think that's sort of like a testament to taking what's on the page and then kind of adding more to it and these actors are so good at doing that.

So there's definitely still improv in there, it's just more of a matter of them realizing if it works and makes sense and adds to the show or if it's too much because we definitely sometimes go too much too.

Eliza Coupe: Yes I totally agree and thank you. That was so fun to do that scene and it's like I feel like now we definitely do the same amount of improv but now I feel like we're just like - I feel like I -- and I can only speak for myself -- but I've just gotten so much more - like it's just more sharp when I do it now like I kind of like what Elisha just said like we go - sometimes we go too far and I feel like now it's like we know how long the days can get on set especially when we're like all improv-ing.

I mean it's so fun but like we just like are okay I try to be a little bit more exact with what I'm doing but also improv-ing off of like my storyline or just the story in general is going to get in way more than just like making some random off the cuff thing that they can cut because it's not going to add to, you know, it's a 22 minute show so if it's not going to move the story along, it's probably not going to stay in but sometimes it does.

Sometimes I mean like the accent I did like it kind of fit because I was doing - I was trying to be overly - I was overly exaggerating like what the effects of the hair products would be so that's why it worked because it was part of the story.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes and I think that scene too was like I had improv gosh darn it, what the heck. You did the Scottish accent and Max did the spraying of the lensless glasses and it was like that's a case when all three improv and it works and then there's' cases where we'll do it and it never ends up on screen.

Eliza Coupe: Right. No you're right and that's a really good point. That's a really good point because we all - it was such a ridiculous storyline to begin with and in order to sell it, it had to be even more ridiculous and I think by all three of us, one after the other kind of adding a little bit more ridiculousness made it even - you can stretch the audience's imagination and their reality of that story to actually go okay this is ridiculous okay but I'm just going to like buy into it because they've now gone so far that you can't help but not buy into it.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes, yes no that's good. It's fun and it's kind of magical when it works and then - because obviously the writers write so well and everything is already there and when you can actually contribute and it works, it's kind of an amazing feeling.

Eliza Coupe: Totally, I agree.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes.

Eliza Coupe: Yes.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes.

Eliza Coupe: (Unintelligible). What other questions do we got?

((Crosstalk))

Operator: We do have a question that's queued up on the phones.

Elisha Cuthbert: Oh good.

Operator: We do have a question on the phones. We'll hear from the line of (Casey Cappuccuio) from Freelance. Go right ahead.

(Casey Cappuccuio): Hi are there any funny stories from your real life that made its way into the characters' lives on the show?

Eliza Coupe: Oh I don't know.

Elisha Cuthbert: No I don't think so. And even if there was I don't know if we would tell.

Eliza Coupe: Yes I know exactly. I know I was like well the Gallagher thing when I dressed up as Gallagher and smashed the watermelons, it went straight from my real life.

Elisha Cuthbert: Oh my God that is so funny. No not for me particularly no. I know some actors have had but not myself unless I don't know about it.

Eliza Coupe: I know right? I sometimes think, I have random thoughts sometimes like when something does kind of like hit really close to home, I'm like wait that just happened to me or that's very similar to my relationship with so and so. I'm like is my trailer bugged? Are they bugging my trailer because the writers are like let's just get into it. Let's just find out what makes them tick.

Elisha Cuthbert: Did they find me secret stash of ribs in my trailer, what is happening right now?

Eliza Coupe: Oh that's really funny.

Gina Lang: I have one really quick and then if you want to go back to yours. Elisha and Eliza what was each of your favorite episodes to shoot this season and why?

Elisha Cuthbert: If we can remember, oh my God.

Eliza Coupe: I know God. I don't know.

Elisha Cuthbert: I find it's so funny how they kind of all meld together when you're going that quickly and you're doing one episode a week and it's like which one are we on now and then it starts becoming all one episode.

You know what, when I got smart there for a minute...

Eliza Coupe: Oh yes that was really fun.

((Crosstalk))

Eliza Coupe: ...that I love. Yes that scene in (Emma)'s was really fun when you're just like basically like schooling me to the waitress. That was really fun.

Elisha Cuthbert: Which is so weird because it's so against both of our characters that it was almost like we had swapped characters for that moment but we had fun working together.

I think the finale was a lot of fun too because you know you're in the last one in the season and you're enjoying it and taking it all in and that's a lot of fun. And I think the prankster one was probably one of our best episodes.

Eliza Coupe: Oh yes.

Elisha Cuthbert: There's a lot. I feel like they're all fun really.

Eliza Coupe: They are because the thing is that like every episode there's just these - there's scenes that like we all get to have these great like even if it's not like we're not in the main storyline, I mean everyone kind of is in their own main storyline, but like there's always that one scene that we get to like kind of do something crazy or something like we wear a crazy costume. I always get put in these insane costumes. Some are flattering, some are hideous but that's still fun either way. So I think like every episode is actually my favorite because there's always a scene in each episode where I get to do something incredibly fun.

Elisha Cuthbert: Yes.

Operator: Thank you very much. Once again on the phones if you have any other questions you'd like to ask, it is the 1, 4 on your telephone.

And Miss Lang we have no further questions queued up on the phones.

Gina Lang: All right I think we're good. I think of all the ones that were e-mailed in I think those were answered. So I think we're good.

Thank you everyone for participating. I apologize for the technical issues. Let me know if there's any other questions and Elisha and Eliza thank you very much.

Eliza Coupe: Thank you very much.

Elisha Cuthbert: Thank you guys and thank you everyone for calling in. Nice to talk to you Eliza. I'll call you.

Eliza Coupe: Yes you too. All right please. Bye Elisha.

Elisha Cuthbert: Bye guys.

Operator: Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen this will conclude the call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines. Have a good day everyone.

END

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