Q&A Interview with actress Christa Miller, “Cougar Town” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
October 10, 2011 by Dennis Amith
With the third season of “Cougar Town” airing on ABC and with the recent release of “Cougar Town – The Complete Second Series” on DVD, J!-ENT will be featuring Q&A media interviews with a few cast members from the series.
For many who have watched hit comedy sitcoms in the last two decades, Christa Miller is an actress that many will recognize.
From playing Kate O’Brien in the popular comedy sitcom “The Drew Carey Show”, followed by playing Jordan Sullivan” on another top rated comedy series “Scrubs”. Christa is one of the cast members of “Cougar Town”, a series created by her husband Bill Lawrence (who created “Scrubs” and “Spin City”, but also was a writer for “Friends”, “The Nanny” and “Boy Meets World”).
On “Cougar Town”, Christa plays the role of Ellie Torres, the next door neighbor of Jules Cobb (played by Courteney Cox). Ellie is married to Andy and both have a son named Stan. Ellie is very sarcastic, blunt and jealous of Jules ditzy young assistant, Laurie.
But because of her friendship with Jules, who is trying to start a new life as a single mother in her 40s, Ellie goes with the flow and eventually together with her friends and her husband, start the Cul-de-Sac crew which include the three women, Jules boyfriend Grayson Ellis (played by Josh Hopkins), Jules’ son Travis (played by Dan Byrd) and Jules ex-husband Bobby Cobb (played by Brian Van Holt).
To promote the new season and also the recently released second season DVD, Christa Miller reflects on the second season of “Cougar Town”.
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that your husband Bill Lawrence – the creator of Cougar Town – has a habit of writing storylines based on your personal life. Does he continue to take references from your home and put them in Season Two?
CHRISTA: Yes, he does. Bill always takes conversations and experiences from our personal life and puts them in the show. He remembers every conversation we have. In fact, it’s like he has a photographic memory.
How close are you to Courteney Cox?
CHRISTA: We were friends before Cougar Town, and we are definitely kindred spirits. Courteney really makes me laugh and we have the same sense of humor, but she’s also very thoughtful. We have developed a really strong friendship and that makes it very fun to go to work when you have someone there who’s a best girlfriend. She and I are exactly the same age. We were born three weeks apart, and I was extremely surprised that she wanted the other Executive Producer’s wife to play a part on the show. I took a step back at the start because it could have been dicey to work on a show where my husband also works, but Courteney was all for it. It’s been great.
How does Courtney being a producer on the show translate on a daily basis on set? Is she one of your bosses?
CHRISTA: She has created a great balance between her work as a producer and her work as an actress on the set. When we’re shooting episodes, she’s definitely on set as an actor. However, she is heavily involved with everything else on the show. Bill and Courteney have production meetings all the time where they go over how everything is going to move forward and how everything is going to look. She’s definitely involved with the big picture of the show. She loves Cougar Town, just like we all do, and she wants it to be the best it can be.
What’s been your highlight to Season Two of Cougar Town?
CHRISTA: It’s hard to choose just one thing. I think the show has been getting funnier and funnier, and also more meaningful and poignant. Every week I look forward to getting the script because there are so many things in it, and I feel really grateful to be able to be here with all my friends every week. It’s a very special feeling to be working here. I love it. I love playing Ellie.
The men on the show all seem very comfortable with embracing their feminine side, by showing lots of affection and hugging each other…
CHRISTA: What’s funny about that is that my husband does not like to be hugged. He is not physical at all. Well, only with me and his kids. Other than that, he doesn’t want to be hugged. And, of course, they try to hug him all the time, which he hates. It’s hysterical.
What guest stars would you like to see on the show?
CHRISTA: Bill doesn’t tell me anything about the guest stars on the show, but we are trying to get my friend [Law And Order: SVU star] Mariska Hargitay to come on. She’s always very busy doing her own show, but we’re working on it. I’m also trying to get my friend Alexandra Wentworth on, but it’s hard to work out with everybody’s schedules.
In Season One, your character’s role in the show was to be the support system for [Courteney Cox’s character] Jules. Now that Jules has got a stable relationship with Grayson, do you think Ellie might feel left out?
CHRISTA: Jules is still crazy on the show, so I’m still her support system. I don’t know if I will ever run out of support for her because she’s always making mistakes. She’s always calling Ellie for help and advice.
Do you think your home life benefits from working with your husband?
CHRISTA: I love working with my husband. I would never get to see him if we didn’t work together because he’s not always on set. It’s really fun when he directs an episode because then I get to see him a lot, maybe even a little too much.
“Cougar Town – The Complete Second Season” is now available on DVD
Images courtesy of ABC
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