The Good Place's D'Arcy Carden on that Janet twist
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of The Good Place. Read at your own risk!
Oh, Eleanor, what have you done?!
After Michael (Ted Danson) took the blame for all the problems that have been happening, he planned to move on during Thursday’s episode of The Good Place. But when Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and Chidi (William Jackson Harper) found out that retirement is basically the equivalent of going to hell, the duo sought out to kill Janet (D’Arcy Carden) in order to prevent Michael from leaving. Alas, Janet’s offing was quickly made public, a new Janet appeared — though one without all the knowledge of the universe just yet — and Eleanor ended up revealing that she’s not actually meant to be in the Good Place. What’s next?! EW talked to Carden about that Janet twist.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about the death of Janet. What was the most fun part of getting to play this new version of Janet who doesn’t know anything?
D’ARCY CARDEN: It was such fun after living for weeks with this brilliant computer-brain Janet to get to try something new and play this little puppy dog-like baby Janet, who is just learning everything as it’s in front of her. It was just so fun and innocent and such a fun character to explore, I could have lived in baby Janet for a long, long time. Truly, not to sound artsy fartsy, but as an actor to get to play all those different characters in one character was like a gift from the damn Ted Danson god. This is what I need. It felt like such an amazing gift to be trusted with, that you get to play all of these different sides of the same character. I think it was fun for the crew; they’ve seen me play the same thing for weeks and weeks and weeks and then it was fun to switch it up. We had a fun time onset trying to be as dumb as possible.
Once Janet finishes downloading everything, is there any difference to her after this?
There is, but it would be a spoiler to you. How do I gently say this? I don’t think that Janet had ever been murdered before like the way Eleanor took it into her own hands. It was, like, on purpose. She was murdered. I think there will be a small difference. Janet has learned something new that she didn’t know before.
How do you feel like the second half changes from the first half of the season?
The reason we’ve kept this show so secretive, like so annoyingly secretive, is for the second half. Because the first half is amazing and it has all the twists and turns every episode and all the cliffhangers, but the second half goes off the rails in a way that I literally couldn’t guess if I was given a thousand guesses. Knowing everything I know about the first half, I still couldn’t guess the second half. The cast knew that the second half was gonna go off the rails, but we didn’t know in what way. When Mike Schur sat us down to tell us, Kristen Bell, who already knew, sat on the other side of the table and filmed us. She took her phone out and filmed us, because she knew the second half and what a big reaction we were going to give Mike when he told us, because it was going to blow our minds.
The thing about Drew Goddard and Mike Schur is that they are legit geniuses and they love storytelling. They love creating worlds, love messing with the audience, they love doing things that we don’t expect. To get to be a part of that is too good to be true. I’m, like, giddy about it. I’m giddy watching it and watching people watch the show. I love everybody’s reaction to it, because I was a part of that, meaning that the experience I had finding out episode-by-episode how this world is going to unfold, it’s fun to now watch people get to do the same thing.
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.