BAD TEACHER: Ari Graynor on Her New CBS Series - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

BAD TEACHER: Ari Graynor on Her New CBS Series

April 24, 2014 by  

BAD TEACHER, the new CBS comedy loosely adapted from the 2011 Cameron Diaz film, is premiering tonight, and for series star Ari Graynor (Meredith), it’s not a moment too soon.

“I [originally] met with the creative team on Valentine’s Day in 2013,” Graynor said. “So it’s been over a year [of waiting]. And you make network television for the most number of people to see, and now, a year and two months later, people are just starting to see it. But the good and bad thing about being on CBS is that they’re doing so well, there’s little real estate on their schedule. But to be at Thursday night at 9:30 [on CBS] is a crazy dream.”

However, Graynor acknowledged that she didn’t exactly set out to do television.

“For many years, I had said I didn’t want to do TV,” Graynor admitted. “I wasn’t ready yet, I wasn’t ready for the commitment, I was scared of the unknown. And then last year, I said to my agent, ‘I’m not saying I want to do TV, but I’m open to seeing what’s out there.’ And I have to say, when I heard about [BAD TEACHER], I thought, ‘I don’t want to do a TV show based on a movie.’ I come from independent films. And then I read it, and it was one of the funniest, smartest, most special scripts I’ve read with a central female character. Which in and of itself is a rarity. And to have that character have so many dimensions, I just thought, how can I not do this?”

And once she decided to move forward with the role, Graynor consciously opted to avoid the film version in order to not let the other version of the tale influence her.

“When this come up, I consciously didn’t see it, because this is very much its own thing,” she said. “We share a title, we share an inspiration, and we share the idea of a woman who has no intention whatsoever of being a teacher ending up being a teacher…but in some ways, that’s about all it shares. We have different [character] names, and have different histories.”

Graynor credits BAD TEACHER showrunner Hilary Winston for guiding the series in way that is keeping everyone — including Graynor herself — on their toes.

“She really understands all of these characters on a very deep level, and what they’re feeling underneath it, and that’s something I really responded to,” Graynor said. “For me, the best comedy comes from a place of pathos, and a place of reality…what makes me laugh is humanity, and whatever that dynamic is. And I think — without ever making it after school special, here’s the lesson of the episode — there really is a way in almost every story, that Meredith either has a reaction to something, or thinks she’s going to go down one path, and then she goes down another. And I have to say there were more episodes than not that I read where I was surprised by where she went. ”

BAD TEACHER premieres tonight at 9:30 PM on CBS.

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