It might seem like playing a Siri-like android on televison would be a pretty simple role — there are limited emotions and few facial expressions to nail — but D’arcy Carden, who plays an afterlife robot on The Good Place, is here to tell you that’s exactly what makes it so difficult.
During EW PopFest in Los Angeles on Sunday, some of the funniest stars of television took part in the Comedy Improv All-Stars Showcase. After entertaining the crowd with a hilarious improv skit, D’arcy Carden (The Good Place), Matt Walsh (Veep), Kate Lambert (Teachers), and Colton Dunn (Superstore) headed backstage to chat with EW Radio’s Kyle Anderson about the joys of unscripted comedy — they all agreed alcohol helps, and the Britney Spears-esque microphones are fun.
After the gang had a laugh throwing Adam Pally (Making History) under the bus, Carden talked about her role on NBC’s heavenly sitcom The Good Place, opening up on the difficulties of playing a non-human character. (Maybe she can join a support group with the Westworld gang?)
“It was hard in the beginning because she’s very non-judgmental and she doesn’t have emotions; she’s mimicking what a human would do, so there was a lot of pulling back on my part,” she explained of her character, Janet. “I was talking to Matt Schur (the show’s creator) like, ‘I don’t know if I’m getting this, I don’t know if I’m being the robot that you envisioned.’” It wasn’t long before Carden got the hang of things. “She gets to have a lot of fun and I felt like I found it at some point, but it was hard in the beginning.” She then added, dramatically, “Being an actor is so hard!”
The Good Place airs on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Watch the video of the Carden’s interview above and then check out Brian Huskey (Another Period) and Jason Mantzoukas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) talk improv and more below:
For more EW PopFest interviews, click here and listen to EW Radio on SiriusXM (ch. 105) all week long.