One Big Happy Sitcom
by Landyn Gerace
Elisha Cuthbert’s acting career has swerved from horror films (such as Captivity and House of Wax) to movie comedies (such as Old School and Love Actually) to TV dramas (such as 24 and The Forgotten). Now, the Canadian actress has now taken on one of television’s hottest new comedies – NBC’s One Big Happy, produced by Ellen DeGeneres and Liz Feldman – in the lead role of Lizzy.
In the show, Cushbert’s character decides to have a baby with her longtime best friend, Luke (Nick Zano). Shortly before learning of their pregnancy, Luke falls in love with a woman named Prudence (Kelly Brook) and decides to get married after knowing each other five days. The three are now in a whole new family dynamic as they prepare to bring a baby into the world.
Shooting before a live studio audience for the first time in her career, Cuthbert says it was very interesting.
“It’s funny when you shoot in front of a live studio audience. It’s all very thrilling to be honest,” she added.
Not only did she have the pleasure of shooting a live show, Cuthbert along with the other cast and crew members filmed One Big Happy in the Warner Brother Studios, in close proximity to the taping of Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talk show. As a producer of One Big Happy, DeGeneres was able to make visits to the set and see what the cast and crew were working on.
“Any time Ellen is around it causes quite a frenzy, rightfully so…. It was amazing, she was really supportive,” says Cuthbert.
Alongside Ellen DeGeneres is Feldman, another well-known producer of the NBC comedy. Cuthbert spent a good amount of time getting to know Liz Feldman prior to filming. From dinners to going out with friends, the two had plenty of time to discuss ideas for Lizzy’s disposition. Both Cuthbert and Feldman agreed on giving the character a quirkiness to her serious personality.
“We hit it off pretty quickly…. Sometimes type A characters are written so uptight that they’re not loose enough to have fun. I didn’t want to go down that path with the character and Liz didn’t either,” says Cuthbert.
Lizzy has the Type A personality but can be goofy at the same time, making it more fun for Cuthbert to portray.
One of the easiest parts of working on the show for Cuthbert has been working with her friend of many years, Nick Zano. Zano plays best friend Luke, and also played a part in Cuthbert landing the role. Like mentioned before, this is her first time working in front of a live studio audience and at first, Cuthbert was very skeptical.
“He was really the one that gave me confidence to do it. He’s so easy to work with. He’s so collaborative and supportive,” she said on her costar.
After working together on Happy Endings and having the same manager, Zano thought his close friend in real life would be a perfect fit for his close friend on screen.
Although the chemistry between Cuthbert and Zano is clear on screen, Cuthbert’s character Lizzy doesn’t have as easy of a relationship with the love of Luke’s life, Prudence, played by Kelly Brook. Being from England, Lizzy believes Prudence only agreed to marry Luke to stay in the country and has a hard time adjusting to her free-spirit ways. The two are often seen arguing over who can take better care of Luke and Prudence’s role in the baby’s life is questioned.
Cuthbert says, “I think she cares about Prudence, but I still think there’s a lot of that – how much does she trust her?”
After the completion of the first season, Cuthbert looks forward to see how Lizzy handles her pregnancy in possible future episodes and how Luke and Prudence will cater to the soon-to-be mom. While the cast and crew waits to hear about whether the series will be renewed, Cuthbert is feeling positive. She also knows that with time, the fear of shooting in front of the live audience has gone away, but the nerves still remain.
“The nerves do not go away, which is why it makes it so special and why the energy is so unique in front of an audience,” Cuthbert says. “I feel like the episodes that we put out were strong. We’ve got nothing but really great responses in a short period of time.”
Copyright ©2015 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: April 26, 2015.
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