GO ON: Suzy Nakamura Talks About Her New Series

September 4, 2012 by  

By now, you’ve had plenty of chances to see the first episode of NBC’s GO ON (if you still haven’t seen it either on television or online, go watch it now!), and hopefully you’re as utterly charmed by it as I am.

To get a little more scoop on the NBC comedy, I spoke with GO ON star Suzy Nakamura (Yolanda) about what issues we’ll be diving into for her character, what her favorite scene was to shoot of the pilot, and more…

What can you say about what attracted you to the show?
Suzy Nakamura: Yolanda was written as this kind of kiss-ass annoying teacher’s pet, and I wanted to play a character that comes off that way, but is genuinely just really wants to help. Because I know people like that.

When I read the script, I saw each character so clearly. Before it was cast or anything like that. I immediately saw them sitting in this room and I saw each different person and how they related to each other, and how different they looked in my mind and how much they had in common. That appealed to me so much that I wanted to be a part of it.

One of my favorite parts of the pilot was the “March Sadness” tournament, but from a technical standpoint, I can imagine that being difficult to get through. How was it on your end of things?
SN: It was hard, because it was written how you saw it — in quick cuts. So we were shooting these little competitions knowing it was going to be cut together. But it was kind of difficult, because we have a kind of big cast, we were sitting in a circle for a lot of it, but for the competition, we were all sitting in the staging area, and it was a long day, but it was fun because we all knew…when it was put together, it was going to come out well and funny.

Todd Holland, who directed the pilot, made sure we had this picture in our head when we shot all the little stuff to put together.

What was your favorite scene to shoot in the pilot?
SN: It was probably the competition. It was the first time we meet this Ryan character and it’s the first time the characters are introduced to the audience, but we also have this triumphant moment at the end, which was a very bonding experience. That was very fun.

Looking forward, what can you tease about what’s coming up?
SN: My character, Yolanda, has some home issues. Some family issues. It’s probably the reason she’s so drawn to the group and her leader in Lauren.

How much will we actually see of her home life?
SN: I don’t know. That’s up to the writers. But in an episode we shot, they’ve already gone on their first field trip. They’ve left the community center.

That could be a little alarming since the last time they left, they ran after a Google Earth cam…
SN: [Laughs] They’re more responsible this time.

So no costumes?
SN: We don’t want people scared that we’re out on the streets!

That’s fair. Since the cast is so big, is there anyone you’re really hoping to work with more in the upcoming episodes?
SN: I think we’re all intrigued by Brett Gelman’s Mr. K. And I’m more and more intrigued by him as we go along. And I think what is intriguing about him is that he’s such a wild card, but I’m not afraid of him. I think he’s harmless. So I just want to know more about him — where he lives, where he works, how he makes money, you know? He’s got an amazing collection of sweater vests, so he has to get money from *somewhere*.

What is your biggest question about your character so far?
SN: My biggest question? My biggest question is I wonder if she will ever be ready to quote-unquote graduate. Or is anyone really ready to graduate therapy?

But you might not really want her to graduate, because that could make it harder for them to keep you on the show…
SN: That’s right. She needs a lot of help. For a really long time. She would probably fall into abandonment issues or rejection.

She’d fall into those if she tried to leave?
SN: Yeah. She just wants to be loved.

Given how talked about this series is, have you been paying attention to the buzz on the show?
SN: Most of the people — well, all of the people, but they’re talking to me, so what are they going to say? — the feedback has been really positive. I think a network audience is ready to watch a show like this. I think it’s smart, I think it’s sweet, I think it’s so, so funny. And I honestly don’t know of another show like this. I’m excited.

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GO ON has its regular season debut Tuesday, September 11 at 9 PM on NBC.

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