BENCHED: Eliza Coupe on Getting to Play Her 'Dream Role' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

BENCHED: Eliza Coupe on Getting to Play Her ‘Dream Role’

October 28, 2014 by  


USA Network debuts it’s latest comedy tonight, BENCHED, about a high-powered corporate lawyer’s fall from grace after an at-work meltdown after she found out her ex-fiancé has gotten engaged, and that she won’t be making partner at her firm. In an attempt to start over, Nina (played by former HAPPY ENDINGS star Eliza Coupe) takes a job as a public defender.

For Coupe, getting to play a character like Nina is a dream come true.

“I read the first two pages, and I was like, ‘What? How? Me? Really? They want me? Okay, done and done,'” she shared with reporters on the show’s set earlier this year. “The writing is so good. And I’m a huge fan of [BENCHED co-creator] Michaela [Watkins’], and knowing she was behind it…I had never worked with her, I was just always a fan of everything she did. What’s funny is right before this, she and I had done a table read together, because we’re both with the same agency, so we went to CAA and did a table read, and she was playing a bunch of different parts, and I was blown away — she was amazing. It was really just I read the first few pages, and I was like, this is a dream role. Are you kidding me? And the fact that they want me — is this a typo? Did someone get it wrong?”

And while Coupe has mainly been in ensembles pre-BENCHED — you may have seen her on SCRUBS and HAPPY ENDINGS — she’s relishing the chance to take the lead this time around.

“I always wanted to be an only child,” she laughed. “I don’t hate it…it’s a lot of work, which on HAPPY ENDINGS, we worked our butts off, but it wasn’t first up and last out every single day. I knew that conceptually, I could understand that, but when you’re doing it, I just feel like I should sleep at my dressing room, I’m here so often. But it’s so worth it. Our cast is so fun. There’s not a bad moment on set. I’ve never had such an amazing experience in a work environment. It’s unbelievable. From everyone, to the actors, the producers, to the crew. It’s an amazing crew. But being the lead of the show, there’s a certain responsibility you have. And it’s fun. I like it.”

As for Nina, Coupe is relishing playing the contradictions — and slightly familiar characteristics — in her new role.

“She is all over the place, yet she’s very focused,” Coupe laughed. “Which sounds like a very ridiculous answer, but that’s how she is. She was once a big high-powered attorney, and she had to fall, and fall hard. She’s kind of caught between those two worlds. She can’t make a right move, and yet in the end, she always makes the right move. And there’s a lot of — she’s not the most coordinated human being, so there’s a lot of physical comedy. She gets herself into a lot of compromising situations, like jail, and things like that. She puts her foot in her mouth a lot. She thinks she’s funny when she’s not. Basically, she’s me. She’s very similar to me.”

One thing that’s not wholly similar? Nina’s living arrangement. As Nina goes through this transition in her life, she’s, naturally, have to change her living environment to be a little bit more practical…but Coupe pointed out that it’s still better than she’s had it in the past.

“We have Nina’s apartment…[and] we’re seeing she’s had to downsize from her luxurious condo to this tiny apartment, which is hilarious, because they showed me the set, and I’m like, this is way bigger than what I lived in in New York,” Coupe shared. “This is slumming it? So it made me laugh, because I lived in, like, a closet in Queens. And then a slightly bigger closet in Brooklyn. So we see that. [And] we see her date a little bit, we see her try to entertain at her tiny apartment. And it’s nice. It’s nice to see all of that.”

BENCHED premieres tonight at 10:30 PM on USA Network.

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Filed under #1 featured, Benched


6 Responses to “BENCHED: Eliza Coupe on Getting to Play Her ‘Dream Role’”

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    I liked the pilot and I am excited for more. I love Jay Harrington too!

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