FROM THE SET: INTERVIEW: Joanna Garcia (Mia), Jake Lacy (Casey) and Reba McEntyre from Better With You
November 17th, 2010 by thetvchick
In a pack of weak freshman shows, “Better With You” stood out to me. The show centers around 3 couples — a married one, one who has been together a long time but has made a “valid life choice” not to be married, and a new couple who got engaged very fast. And of course, they are all related. Vicky and Joel are the parents of Mia and Maddie. Mia is newly pregnant and engaged to her not so long-term boyfriend Casey. And Maddie has been with Ben for nine years but they are choosing not to get married. The creator of the show is Shana Goldberg-Meehan, one of the Executive Producers of “Friends,” and this show is definitely reminiscent of one of my favorites. I recently had the chance to visit the set of Better With You, and chat with all the cast. Reba McEntire guest stars in this particular episode as Lorraine Ashley, a sassy wedding planner. Joanna Garcia (Mia), Jake Lacy (Casey) and Reba McEntire discuss the episode as well as the holiday episodes coming up and whether we might see the baby delivered this season.
How has it been coming on Better With You?
Reba McEntire: It’s been wonderful. I’ve been having a blast. I haven’t gotten do a sitcom since Jo[anna Garcia] and I were together on the “Reba” show about four years ago next month. So, I was very nervous. I didn’t know how my memory chop was going to be. Although I’m singing every night with close to 20 songs a night, it still is a muscle. And you’ve got to keep that thing in shape. And they’re great writers. And when you have great writers, it’s much easier to memorize. And so I’ve been having a wonderful time and falling back into it fairly well.
How has it been having Reba on set?
Joanna Garcia: Well for me, it’s awesome. One word. Awesome.
Jake Lacy: It’s incredible. It’s just amazing. I mean, it’s Reba McEntire!
Reba McEntire: They’ve been like my family since the very beginning. They accepted me. I just couldn’t ask for a greater welcoming. It’s so much fun.
We have the baby coming up. We’re progressing in real time because we’re celebrating the holidays. Have they discussed how far they are going to take the pregnancy?
JG: We’re taking it all the way baby! (laughs)
Will we see the delivery this season?
JG: I think so. You know, they teased me the other day. Greg Malins [Executive Producer] walked up to me and was like “I have an idea for the delivery, and the wedding. Talk to you later.” I was like “What do you mean?” Is it going to be on a trapeze or something, I don’t know! But whatever which way, this will be the second time that I’ve given birth on television. People are always like “God! Pregnant again!” And I’m like “Yeah, I thought about it. Trust me.” It wasn’t like “Oh I’ll just do it again.” No I thought about it a lot. But it’s fun.
How are we going to see Mia and Casey’s relationship continue to develop — there will be a wedding I assume. How will we see them continue to get closer?
JL: A week or two weeks ago, they move in together in the episode. So that’s the first time that you see them go from staying at each other’s places, or Casey kind of sleeping at your pad.
Finding out what’s behind the curtain…
JL: The curtain, right, where all of a sudden there’s a half dozen things where you’re like “You do that when you’re alone?” And I think there’s more of that but there’s also a sense of — to me, you look at Kurt and Debra Jo — Vicky and Joel’s relationship — they’re comfortable to the point where either they have this short hand or they don’t need to sugar coat everything to where they don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings. So the difference between saying “Oh could you please not do that?” and “Knock it off!” You don’t have to worry that you’ve offended the other person by saying “Knock it off!” because you’re like “Get your finger out of your nose. No one wants to see that at dinner.”
JG: Mia and Casey have the conversation of “Maybe, if you want to pick your nose in the bathroom, or pick your nose when I’m not around…”
JL: I am the nose picker?! I guess we know where this came from…(laughs)
JG: He’s definitely the nose picker. I don’t do anything gross. Ever.
JL: (laughs) I don’t know. I think that’s how they progress. We come in Monday and do a table read and Sunday evening we do a script. So you’re sort of waiting all weekend long to find out what the next installment is. And you read it and you’re like “Oh! That’s how we wound up here!” That’s the background, or they learn this about each other and it sets this off and they come together. So it’s really a learning process for us as well. It’s not like we have a bunch of stuff hidden that we’re waiting to pull out.
JG: I think a lot of it has to do with — I always say, the beginning of the show, it’s the writers and their stories. So for instance, naked fighting. We were like “Who fights naked? Which one of you fights naked?” And then as the season goes on, this happened on “Reba” a lot towards the end, it’s like any skeleton in your closet will be revealed and exploited. For instance, I had to sing karaoke, which is horrifying. But it was sort of like what I do…terribly. So keep your cards close with these guys, because they’re good and they pick up on everything. Everything. And I learned the hard way from that.
JL: You’re like “Where’d you get that photo of me in Tijuana?” Wait a minute…
JG: I had shoes on the other day and my feet are really small, and they were all like “Your feet are really small.” And I was like “My brother said it was a birth defect.” And they’re are like [writing it down]…So it’s coming up soon.
Reba, did you know what the role was when you took the part? And that she wasn’t so nice?
RM: No, at the very beginning, I was going to be Casey’s ex-girlfriend. And then I told Jo, don’t they know how old I am? I’m going to be a cougar! I don’t know how I feel about that. And I got the script and ended up being the wedding planner and I was kind of like “Oh okay, that’s probably going to be better.”
JG: Greg Malins was in my dressing room and he was like: “Picture this: Reba with a fan in her hair. And a really sexy outfit.” I swear to God, I’m not lying. He’s like, “Soft lighting, music playing in the background, we’re going to make her look like a rock star.” And I was like, “Okay, now I’m starting to see where this is headed. You’re going to exploit her.”
RM: Let me tell you how good Jake is. I say hi to him at the table read. First time I get to meet him. And he says “So, you’re my ex-girlfriend…”
JL: I’ve read the script by the way.
RM: And I said “No, I’m the wedding planner…” “Okay, okay, that’s good enough.” And I thought this guy was going to be like [a co-worker on Reba who didn't know the script]
JL: I was like, “Did they bring her and she’s just hanging out now? Oh, she just came to see the read, that’s sweet!”
JG: So you didn’t know she was playing the wedding planner?
JL: I didn’t know she was playing the wedding planner! I’m like, “I guess you’re my girlfriend.” She’s like, “No.” I’m like, “I guess you’re not up on the latest.”
The run-through seemed to go so well. It seems like they could easily bring Reba back.
JG: I have ideas. We have pitches.
RM: I would love it.
What are your pitches?
JG: I just think maybe Mia becomes a wedding planner, maybe working for Lorraine or something like that. Instead of having an adversarial thing, kind of like teaming up and moving forward.
RM: Or, I do so bad at my job, I get fired and I become your nanny!
JG: I like it.
RM: I like that one.
JL: We can work the ex-girlfriend thing in. Season 2 that will come out.
JG: We’re going to try and keep her on as long we can.
JL: Maybe not tell people that it’s you, have disguises. Who’s working in the restaurant? Well it’s not Reba.
JG: It’s not her. She’s busy.
JL: That girl has a mustache. Big funny glasses. Obviously not Reba.
(Laughs) Can you tease a little of what’s coming up. There’s a Thanksgiving and a Christmas episode…
JG: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas — we did it all this year.
JL: Multiples of some in a way. We do Christmas cards before Christmas.
JG: We like the holidays on Better With You. So we’ll celebrate Easter, President’s Day…Ramadan, Valentine’s Day
JG: Arbor Day! Why not! Who doesn’t like trees?! We’re going to celebrate a lot here!
Better With You with guest star Reba McEntire airs tonight at 8:30 PM on ABC. Be sure to tune in! It’s a good one!Tweet