Comedy sets sound like they can be a whole lot of fun according to Briga Heelan and Nicole Richie.
Primetime news channels don’t seem like they are much fun. They report on the dreary, the somber and quite frankly, the depressing. Whether reporting on a local murder or horrific car accident, the news can sure be a downer. The seriousness of it all makes you wonder how these news anchors and reporters can put up with it day-after-day. It seems that NBC’s Great News has found the answer–nonstop hijinks.
Created by Tina Fey–who executive produces alongside regular partner Robert Carlock–protégé Tracey Wigfield, Great News takes a look into the inner workings of a news studio, including all the eccentric characters and gut-busting activities they do behind (and sometimes in front of) the camera. With a wonderfully talented cast that includes Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, Adam Campbell, Nicole Richie, Horatio Sanz and John Michael Higgins, Great News is a well-crafted sitcom that relies on its delectable cast and sharp writing for the nonstop laughs. The Knockturnal had the opportunity to talk to stars Briga Heelan and Nicole Richie about their time on the show, preparing for it and what they do in the off-season. Check out what they had to say below.
Could you tell me a little bit about your role on Great News?
Briga Heelan: Well, her name is Katie Wendelson and she’s about 30-year-old. She works in news she’s a segment producer but she really is hoping to climb the ladder to earn the respect that she thinks she deserves. But, she’s a little bit of an adult-child because of her incredibly close relationship with her mother–she’s super overbearing. I love the role though because as the season went on we find out more specific things about her. She really lacks confidence but really wants to pretend that she doesn’t. It’s fun, we’re starting to find a lot of the quirks about the character. And so I’m excited for season two to kind of go more in that direction.
Speak about working with the ensemble. It just seems like such a great cast.
Briga: It’s the best. It’s honestly the easiest because it’s as fun when we’re not working as when we’re working. It’s just around the clock fun and everybody brings something so different but so important to that particular group of people. And I think everybody really cares about one another. I think that reads.
Speak about immersing yourself in the news world. What did you do?
Briga: People have asked me that and honestly, I didn’t go imbed myself, none of that. The set that they build and the environment that everyone created was amazing. It was so easy for me to just use my imagination in that environment because they gave us all the specifics to play with the space. The energy of the set lends itself very well to be able to kind of jump in and have that role.
What was the highlight so far of filming?
Briga: I just think the absolute joy and high that we all get when we’re just barely clinging on from completely laughing, breaking and ruining something and then getting through it. It was the most fun thing and everyone was just teetering on the edge together? Those moments are my absolute favorite.
Looking ahead, what are you most excited for?
Briga: You know, I don’t know. I’m super excited about who’s going to be in season two. You know, what guest stars we’ll have popping in and out and now that all the characters are much more specific and really solid in who they are and where they’re going. I’m really excited to watch it only become more and more exaggerated and ridiculous.
Can you speak a little about your passion for acting and how you got your start?
Briga Heelan: I started in musical theater when I was really little. And I always figured that I would do that. And then, somewhere along the way it switched. I really started loving improvisation. And then, I got to do just a couple of things behind the camera in New York and it just seemed to be what people were responding to. I was getting a lot of positive feedback. I felt the most myself doing that. I felt ownership of myself when I did that. And so, you go where it’s warm. So I kept doing that and that’s how it worked out.
What are you looking forward to in season two?
Nicole Richie: I mean we haven’t started shooting season two yet. We start shooting again in August. I’m so excited to come back and really dive into this character even more. I want to dive into the show and the whole story and to be reunited with the cast. It’s just a dream come true. We love being together. For me it’s so inspiring to be around such an eclectic and diverse group of actors. To show up and get to learn from them and watch the way they work every day is such an amazing experience for me. I never take one moment of it for granted. I’m like, “Oh my God, this is incredible.”
Are you in awe of the fact that you’re in a major network television show right now?
Nicole: Yes, yes. I still am.
In terms of summer, anything you’re looking forward to before you start shooting again?
Nicole: I mean we have a month until we go back in. I’m just going hang with my family and be a mom.
That’s awesome. Do you hope to do movies?
Nicole: I’m focused on the present right now. Like, I’m really enjoying that’s happening right now. You honestly never know where life is going take you, clearly, especially for me. So we’ll see.
Season two of Great News is set to premiere Thursday, September 28 at 9:30/8:30c