Every week, the cast and crew of NBC’s megastore-comedy, Superstore, are taking EW readers behind the scenes of each episode. This week, star America Ferrera shares what really went down in the season premiere, “Strike.”
On her favorite scene from the episode
I loved the pink suit negotiation. That was really, really fun. I love anything where Amy and Dina are going at it. It’s just a fun dynamic for our characters to play because they’re so different from each other and neither one of them are really breakable. So I loved being in that scene and particularly the ad lib when she says that my pink suit is the terrorist. [Laughs.] I also love telling Ben to take off his stupid fedora. It’s such hypocrisy when Amy’s so mad at Jonah for wearing that stupid fedora and then you cut to the next day and she’s wearing a fedora. [Laughs.]
On ad libbing
Ben and I did a really funny take — I don’t know that it will ever see the light of day — we were walking into the negotiation and ad libbed the whole thing. I was wearing a very Ugly Betty outfit and he was wearing a very Mad Men outfit, and we did a super super meta take where he was like, “I’m not saying you look like an ugly Betty. I’m just saying it’s very pink.” And I’m like, “And I’m not saying you look like an idiot, but we’re not on Mad Men.” [It was a] very meta take that only our fans of our previous shows would appreciate.
We are improving all the time. We love our writers and have so much respect for them. What’s on the page is always hilarious — we usually do that, get it down, but they’re always so gracious; they just ask us to play and they say, ‘Do what you want.’ And then [show creator] Justin [Spitzer] decides ultimately what percentage of our ad libbing actually makes it in. I’m sure a lot more doesn’t make it than does, but every now and then there’s a lot of gems that come out of the ad libbing.
On shooting group scenes
They’re naturally really fun because we all love being together. Whenever we shoot any scene when we’re all together, we’re having fun and usually break out into song. Colton [Dunn] is our resident DJ, so he’s constantly playing music on his iPhone right up until the moment someone says, “Action.” The only way to shut us up is to actually say, “Action.” We have a lot of fun shooting the group scenes, but they do take longer to shoot.
I don’t know that you can tell by watching the episode, but that whole week that we shot the strike, outside the front of the store, it was the hottest week of the summer. It literally got up to like 105 degrees, so we were all just trying not to pass out. I think we all got sick after that week, purely from the heat. It was just a really intense shoot because we were outside. We were dying of the heat.
On Amy and Jonah in season 2
From the very beginning, Justin and I always talked about this relationship and where we were going with it, and it truly, truly has always been — and still is! — a will-they-won’t-they, because we don’t know. Honestly, we don’t know. We’re exploring what’s fun about their dynamic, even when it’s not romantic. Clearly there’s chemistry there for Amy and Jonah, and that’s really really fun to play with. I think in this season in particular, we had a lot of fun with Amy and Jonah. We kind of put them on the same team and have them work together a lot. You don’t lose the essence of their relationship, which is that they’re sort of like oil and water. It’s what’s fun about them, but we do get to see them enjoy each other a little bit more and not necessarily in a romantic way, just in a fun way, which immediately makes anybody watching think that it’s romantic. [Laughs.]
Superstore airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
—As told to Samantha Highfill