The NBC comedy series Community is finally returning with new episodes for the remainder of its third season on March 15th, much to the happiness of its devoted fans. Telling the story of a tight-knit Greendale Community College study group, that includes actress Alison Brie as high-strung perfectionist Annie, the show is always smart, always clever and always funny.
During this recent interview to promote the return of the show, Alison Brie talked about how it feel to finally be back on the air with new episodes, what the outpour of love and support from the fans has meant to them, what’s new for her character’s romantic life, her favorite scene in the series, her favorite upcoming episode, and the prop that she stole from the set to play with for a day. She also talked about her return to Mad Men this coming season, and the best and worst things that could happen to her characters on both that show and Community. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
ALISON BRIE: We’ve always had such a great love for the show. The show is our baby. Seeing the fan reaction and this outpour of love and support, and the outrage that the show wasn’t going to be on the air, made us feel like the show was the most important thing that’s ever been on television. It’s this amazing thing that happened with the hiatus, where you’d expect for it to be a time where you feel really down and question the show that you’re doing. Instead, it was totally the opposite, like, “What we’re doing here is the most incredible thing ever! People love it!” It was so nice to have that support, and that really kept us going.
Now that the show is coming back on the air, we’re all just ecstatic. It’s just such a good feeling. It’s so nice to feel like the fans are getting the show back because they’re the ones that have been fighting for it to come back. It feels like, “Here, we’ve been working on all these great episodes for you guys!” It’s so nice to finally share it. We’ve always had a strong relationship with the fans through Twitter, and stuff like that. Usually, it’s great because it’s while the show is airing, so fans are seeing the episodes and we’re getting immediate feedback about how they’re feeling about those episodes, and then we’re working other stuff in that they say the want to see. So, we haven’t had the interaction, and that’s been a bit of a bummer, but it’s also going to be great that we have so much now to show them.
Are you guys going to do anything specific on Twitter to make sure people watch the show live?
BRIE: We’re just gonna keep saying it. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the show. We’re back on the air. They’re definitely gonna air these last 12 episodes, hopefully no matter what. I hope people watch it live, but I don’t know what there is to do. It’s not what it used to be. Appointment television doesn’t really exist these days, with DVRs and stuff like that. I’m not home at 8 to watch the show, so it’s hard to get people to do it.
What famous people have told you guys that they love your show?
BRIE: Our fans are so great. Gosh, I don’t know. I’m working on a film with Anna Kendrick (called Get a Job). I just met her and she was like, “I am such a fan! I love the show!” That’s a cool thing because I’m such a fan of hers. She’s obviously so great at what she does.
What is going on with Annie’s romantic life, in the remaining episodes?
BRIE: In the second half of the season, it’s not so romantic for Annie. It’s more friendship-based. I also think she returns to her initial values – her core values of school and her education. It’s a good thing for Annie to reel it in and not be such a slut, all the time. She gets more focused on school and her friends. There’s a great episode with Annie and Abed (Danny Pudi) that takes place entirely in the Dreamatorium, and I think it’s going to be really awesome, but I’m not sure. I have yet to see it. It’s so out there, but it might be my favorite episode of the season. It was so fun to shoot with Danny. It’s a great episode where you’re looking at these two characters, re-evaluating why they’re friends and why they love each other, as friends and roommates, and how they actually have a lot of similarities. Maybe that’s why they butt heads on certain issues. They just gain a deeper understanding of one another.
Do you have a favorite scene that you’ve done in the series?
BRIE: That whole episode is my favorite. It was fun to play with Danny. And, because we were in the Dreamatorium, we did get to take on different roles, almost like we’re being different people.
Do you have a favorite episode coming up, in the new episodes?
BRIE: The Law & Order episode is a really great one because Jeff (Joel McHale) and Annie get to team up and be lawyers together, and it was fun to play that drama on the set of Community.
BRIE: No, I was not familiar with the Channel 101 stuff, and I didn’t even learn about it until probably half way through the first season. That, coincidentally, is when things started to get a little bit weirder on our show. I feel like we got through the first six episodes, being a pretty straight-forward show, although that’s not totally true. By our second episode, I was suddenly Pocahontas, crying with Joel’s butt in my face. But, I went back and watched some of his videos, and it helped us to have a greater understanding of Dan and everything that he was capable of.
With you guys all being friends, what is the mood like on set?
BRIE: I think the heart has always been a big part of our show, with the characters connecting on that deeper level. It’s not just about joke, joke, joke, even though our writers are incredible and the comedy is there. On set, it’s the same. We’re so close. If the show were to go away and not come back, I think the greatest gift I’ve gotten from the show are some of the best friends of my life, aside from the fact that we have so much fun together on set and are constantly joking and laughing and cracking each other up. These people have grown to be a great support system for me, and I hope that I do the same for them. It’s these people that you check in with, every day, and tell every detail of your life to. You’re there weighing out some of the most important decisions of your life with them because you see them for hours, every day, and yet we still want to spend time together, when we’re not on set.
BRIE: Oh, gosh, I don’t know. I like to leave those decisions up to Dan Harmon and our incredible writers. I’m still pushing for an underwater episode. I don’t know why they haven’t taken that into consideration. I look really good in a scuba suit. I think it would be great if the show got a fourth season, to wrap things up even more and cap off their collegiate experience at Greendale. I’d love to see Annie continue living with Abed.
What are your three favorite TV shows?
BRIE: I love Children’s Hospital because they’re so irreverent and great and funny. That’s so my type of humor. I laugh constantly when I watch that. There’s such an air of, “We don’t give a fuck! We’re just gonna do a bunch of weird, funny stuff.” I love that show. 30 Rock is probably one of my favorite shows. It’s just joke after joke after joke. It’s so funny, and it’s meta. I feel like you can draw so many comparisons between Community and 30 Rock. And I loved Bored To Death, but I’m so sad that it’s gone. All of those guys are so charming. I just was constantly charmed by the show. Ted Danson is amazing. He’s incredible. I love that show so much! All those boys are so great.
BRIE: I’ve always loved film and wanted to work in film. I just love working and creating new characters, and trying different genres and different things. For me, I just love to work and I love movies. That had always been a goal of mine. That was probably part of the master plan, all along.
Will you be back on Mad Men this season?
BRIE: I will.
Can you tease anything?
BRIE: I cannot.
What is the best and worst thing that could happen to your Community character, Annie, and your Mad Men character, Trudy?
BRIE: Oh, my god. Well, the worst thing that could happen to Annie would probably be failing out of school. The best thing would probably be marrying Jeff Winger (Joel McHale). The worst thing that could happen to Trudy would be divorce because she takes such pride in her marriage, and in everybody thinking that their marriage is perfect. Even if they didn’t get divorced, I think the most devastating thing would be for someone to see through the cracks. As far as the best thing, I don’t know. Her materialism knows no bounds. Probably keeping that life going and having a few more kids would probably be the best thing.
BRIE: I have a weird relationship with the props on our show because Danny [Pudi] and I always get in trouble for playing with them and breaking them, so I’m like, “No, I obviously wouldn’t take any of the props. I wouldn’t even touch them!” But, my favorite one that we stole and played with for a day, and got in trouble for, was this mechanical cat’s paw, that I think was made from a real cat’s paw. It looked just like a cat’s paw and arm, and had this weird cord. You can set it somewhere and squeeze the cord, and the wrist flicks. It’s a little morbid, but it’s super-fun to surprise people with.
Community airs on Thursday nights on NBC and returns on March 15th.