KAT DENNINGS x NYLON
our cover girl talks about her new tv show!
This Fall, Kat Dennings returns to TV in the Michael Patrick King comedy, Two Broke Girls. Read her interview here, then check out more quotes and photos in the September issue of NYLON, on stands now.
Your show takes place in Brooklyn, but you film in LA. What's that like? The studio we were filming at has “fake New York” sets, and they look so real. It's really creepy. When you watch it, it really feels like they're in New York… And that's actually a Michael Patrick King thing. He can really infuse [the show] with New York spirit. And this is a very different New York than Sex and the City.
Yeah. Not as glamorous
No. This is Brooklyn… I'm familiar with the whole Williamsburg scene, and I think it's depicted pretty well… But Zach's Diner looks so much like the Double R Diner from Twin Peaks.
Oh my god! I just started watching that. It's so good!.. Season 2 starts to wane for me a bit, because I can feel Lynch stepping away. I can feel him being like ‘fuck it'. Because Season One is all Lynch, then Season Two is a little bit of Lynch. It feels different. But it was too much for me, because I had a viewing marathon. I spent like three days just [watching] Twin Peaks. I saw no one, did nothing except watch Twin Peaks. I slept on my couch because I was too scared. It was insane.
Tell us about your new show, Two Broke Girls. They hired one of my friends, Molly McAleer, to be a writer, and I am so excited. Do you know her blog, Mollshewrote? She's fucking brilliant! I've been a fan of hers, and then we found each other on Twitter, because she's friends with my brother's best friend from Brown. It's a whole thing…. And she told me that they were hiring writers... I called [the producers] and I was like “Hire Molls McAleer. TRUST ME!” and they did! Because she's brilliant.
How would you describe your character? She's very tough and very Brooklyn. She's been broke her whole life basically, so she's a really hard worker. She's really committed and she's very smart, and very sharp. Her whole life revolves around paying her rent, but she has this sort of secret joy she gets from making cupcakes, and she sells them at the diner and makes a little bit of side money through that. So she's a very complicated girl.
Do you think being broke makes her bitter? Maybe, but it's funny because when she meets Caroline, played by Beth, she's bitter toward her because she's rich and whatever, but she's broke now. And that kind of evens the playing field. and then she sort of opens up and realizes that.
Have you ever been like that? I mean, I always sort of resented people who just got handed stuff. You know what I mean? I can't even name any names, but there's no one in my family who has anything to do with acting. There's no one in the business. I ice-picked my way up. I had no connections; no nothing. So I can relate to that with Max, because we didn't have a lot of money we didn't have any “ins” with anything, so it's just pure luck and tenacity that I got anywhere, and that's kind of where Max is coming from. So I can really relate to that, and I'm an East Coast girl so I can relate to that. I love diners. I've never been a waitress… But I've done some pretty ghetto acting jobs in my life.
So how did you ice-pick your way into the business? My brother's friend growing up, his friend from karate class - for real - sometimes had a guest spot on Nickelodeon shows like Pete and Pete. So I was like, “How do I do this?” And he introduced me to his manager, who's in Philly, and she signed me, and I started going off to auditions in New York, and I just started getting stuff, like commercials. I was just the funny-looking kid in Philly, outgoing and whatever. And then I just kind of kept getting stuff. I didn't really realize that was unusual. I got, like, two commercials in a month or something. But I was in New York almost every day. It was real a financial commitment for my parents, and a real time commitment for me and my parents, because they completely supported me, which was amazing. And then weirdly, Michael Patrick King hired me to be in an episode of Sex and the City when I was like, 13.
Tell us about that. It's called "Hot Child in the City." I played a Bat Mitzvah girl who hires Samantha to be my publicist… But isn't that weird? [Michael Patrick King] kind of gave me my first big job and now he's kind of giving me another gig.
Why did you decide to do a TV show? It's more like a film with the relationships. Because I was like, “If I'm doing this, it has to have some kind of truth to it.” Otherwise I'm just selling out, you know? So that's what people can expect, more real investment in the people, which I think doesn't happen that much [on TV].
Do you watch a lot of TV? Actually, I definitely watch Cupcake Wars… and I watch shows that are already on DVD. The Nanny is my favorite. Golden Girls… we're talking about classics right now… Twin Peaks obviously, and My So Called Life is my number one… God my first boyfriend looked just like [Jordan Catalano].
Really? Lucky you! Yeah. He was so beautiful… I saw [Jared Leto] at a NYLON party… He looks like he's 20 years old!... Not a wrinkle on his skin. It's crazy. [I think] he's drinking virgin blood from Transylvania…. I met him. I think he's really nice!