EXCLUSIVE: Gillian Jacobs Enjoys Acting Out in a Post-'Community' World
By Stacy Lambe
If there was a ranking of Community's graduating class, Gillian Jacobs, who played Britta Perry for six seasons, would be pulling ahead thanks to the critically acclaimed, Netflix comedy, Love, which is the first major series starring a Scarsdale Community College alum.
"It was all the things I was looking to do in a post-Community world," Jacobs tells ET during a break from production on season two. "I mean, I had no idea what it was going feel like post-Community and this sort of fell into my lap so quickly after we were canceled by NBC that I actually hadn't had a lot of time to formulate a specific plan. But when it presented itself, it felt like a really good fortune."
That fortune is a Judd Apatow-produced series starring Paul Rust and Jacobs as Gus and Mickey, a would-be couple living in Los Angeles, California. The show's tempered approach to dating is more in the vein of Apatow's Funny People than it is Knocked Up and it is a nice follow-up to Jacobs' recent non-Community work on Girls as Mimi-Rose and opposite Leighton Meester in Life Partners.
As Mickey, Jacobs revels in getting to play the f**ked-up girl who has no boundaries or, at times, consideration for others with her unassuming roommate, Bertie (Claudia O’Doherty), bearing the brunt of Mickey’s bad behavior. "I adore Claudia O'Doherty as a person, so it always felt terrible to be bad to her," Jacobs says. "But it's fun because I try to be really well-behaved in real life, so I really got to act out through this character."
"It's pretty fun to yell, 'We're not dead yet, f**kers,' and jump off a roof," Jacobs says, clarifying that she didn't actually get to jump off a roof. "Sometimes the things I have to do are slightly embarrassing to shoot but it's fun to have no filter and do things without consequence in your real life."
The largest departure for the 33-year-old actress is all the improvising during filming. "We have more time per episode, so there's a little bit more faith for people to have room to do that," Jacobs says, embracing a world in which she has no formal training, but has no trouble keeping up. "I feel like it's becoming more of my life, but in a roundabout way."
One of the most notable scenes, where Jacobs gets to act out and test the limits of her improv skills, is the series-ending argument that Mickey and Gus get into on a studio lot, where Gus is a private tutor for young stars. "I would say 20 percent of that is improv. I think that's the fun thing about working with Paul, he's so great at improvising and you can really fly free once you've [filmed] the script as written," Jacobs says. "So, I just get all my aggression, all my pent-up rage and I just let it go."
"I love Community. I think it'll probably be one the best things I'll be a part of but it's fun to do something tonally different," Jacobs says, and with that she's off the phone again to jump back into shooting Love season two.