Each week on Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, the titular character (played by Jason Ritter) learns from past mistakes how to be a better person in order to help others and thereby save the world. In turn we get to piece together more and more about his past and who he is as a person so we can root for this unlikely, yet endearing hero. But Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory), the celestial being guiding him on his path to righteousness (and the force responsible for most of his redeeming action) is still quite the enigma.
But that “Ah-ha!” moment, when the clouds part and the light from above (where Yvette’s from??) comes shining through, might just be getting closer in this week’s episode of Kevin (Probably) when we glean a little more about Yvette’s mysterious origins. Ahead of episode 7, entitled “Dave,” we chatted with Gregory about getting to know Yvette a little better, improvising with Ritter, and how to save the actual world. (Plus, watch an exclusive sneak peek of the hour above!)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There have been hints here and there about Yvette’s beginnings and we know that she’s given up eternal peace to come and help Kevin (probably) save the world. When you first read the part, were you given any more background information on the character?
KIMBERLY HEBERT GREGORY: When I read the script, the thing that really intrigued me about the role and the show was the initial conversation we had about sacrificing for a greater good. What type of being will sacrifice something as large as eternal joy and a utopian existence to come and save something as frail as humanity? Then we started to talk a little bit more about Yvette because I wanted to make sure she’s not just there as a helper, but that the character has some kind of meat and bones to make her exciting within the duration of the story; there has to be a storyline for her by herself. The show plays with the notion of someone or thing that seems to have a grasp on humanity as a general conceit but does not know what it means to be human, and that is a big part of her terrestrial journey. How does she deal with the choosing to be human on some levels?
In this week’s episode, we meet another celestial being, Dave played by Will Sasso. Do we learn more about Yvette and where she came from through him?
Yes, we get these glimpses into her because of the other celestial beings. Dave is really exciting because he’s a problematic one for her. First of all, Will is such a comedic force and he brings this subtly in his level of persistent annoyance — it’s like a low back pain that won’t go away. His presence is really important though, because Yvette needs someone who can reveal more about her. Kevin as a character doesn’t know enough about who she was or what she is, he just knows as much as Yvette is telling him. Dave provides another level and a little bit of tension. Kevin and Dave are having a little bit of a boys moment and I think Yvette’s like, “Hmm, I wasn’t expecting you to be here, but also, I have created a system here and you’re mucking it up.” The writers did a really great job of revealing what it feels like to have a handle on something as the spearhead of an idea, and then have someone come in and take the award.
And through those interactions, we get more of an idea about who Yvette is?
Let’s just say it’s a satisfying episode that also reveals a little bit about Yvette. I love that this person that we all think should be really, really perfect and have it together, just doesn’t and she’s so, so emotionally flawed.
She’s also hilarious though.
We have a lot of fun with it. In this preview clip, there’s probably a good two minutes of the two of us (she and Ritter) just going back and forth ad-libbing. Jason’s just so good at it and there’s so many moments of that. I’m always happy to see if they keep a little bit of our banter in.
Is Jason a delight to work with?
He is. He’s so generous and giving; I can’t think of a moment when he hasn’t gone so completely full out just to get the best. It not only raises our game creatively, but he is the consummate star: He’s easy going and there’s no stress. He’s there to do the work and to be of service to the work. We had a scene for an upcoming episode and he was just so wonderfully honest and tender and I just grabbed his hand after and I was just like “Jason Ritter!!” It is truly a joy to work with him.
A couple of episodes back, it seemed like Yvette was becoming more human. She took a nap when she’s never needed sleep before and then was feeling overwhelmed by her emotions. The more time she spends on Earth, the more human she becomes, but does that mean she’ll lose some of her powers as a result?
All I can say is that she begins to experience being more human. The fun thing is, is that through Yvette the show gets to play with the idea of what it is to be human. We know we get hungry, but does Yvette? We know we need to sleep, but does Yvette? Does she know what it is to be upset? The longer she stays the more like you she becomes, but does that mean she’s unable to be of service? I don’t know if that’s the case, but she definitely becomes more susceptible to the Earthly journey. I think it’s such a fascinating thought to try and figure out someone’s transition into humanness.
It’s cool just to consider being human from an alien being’s perspective.
Right? And that brings up all these questions about the human journey. In this moment, with so many things that just speak to a loss of humanity and care for others’ wellbeing, the show allows us to plug into how we can do better. Because we can do better. We don’t have to make excuses about why we aren’t doing better, we just need to know that we can and should do better. Kevin is a great mascot for how to do better; he’s cheering us on individually to make the most of this time in a positive way. He might just save the world.
Can you guys see about saving the actual world as well while you’re at it?
I think Jason and I would be a dynamic duo. We would be such a great world-saving team. We really can do better on so many levels.
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.