Ground Floor's Briga Heelan: 8 Things to Know About the TBS Comedy's Pretty 'Revelation'
Tonight at 10/9c, TBS invites you to get in on the Ground Floor with its new comedy about a money manager named Brody (played by Pitch Perfect‘s Skylar Astin) who one night hooks up with — and then remains hooked on — Jenny, who works wayyy downstairs in his office building’s maintenance office.
As such, in addition to being what Astin has dubbed a “sitcom, office-place version of Downton Abbey,” the Bill Lawrence-produced newbie is also in a way the anti-Cheers, in that its two leads come together as one from the get-go.
“It’s definitely different in that way — and I love that it’s different in that way,” says Cougar Town alum Briga Heelan, who plays Jenny. “You usually see two people deciding if they’re going to try to make it work, but here we jump right into it, solving problems and seeing the nuances of each character come out.”
But before you get to know Jenny, TVLine invites you to get to know Heelan….
SHE’S A REVELATION IN THIS ROLE | At least to hear one peer and I tell it. “Revelation is a big, big word,” Heelan says when looped on in the Twitter exchange. “I’d be cool with ‘great,’ or ‘nice and funny.’”
SHE’S IN DEMAND | Previously hailed as a “Cougar Town scene stealer” (playing Grayson’s baby mama), Heelan this summer found herself cast in not one but two new Bill Lawrence shows, including the midseason NBC comedy Undateable. And ultimately, somehow, she managed to do both. “It’s just the most incredible thing,” she avows. “So few people get to experience one of those things, and I get to fully experience and do a good job at two. Unbelievable.”
HER FIRST NAME ISN’T THAT HARD TO SPELL (WE’RE LOOKING AT YOU, MR. BARISTA) | As evidenced on her Twitter feed, “I like to take pictures of my Starbucks cups, because while I don’t think my name is that difficult, apparently it is!” The latest example shows her coffee addressed to ERIGA — “but not only that,” the actress says, “it was written as though a caveman scratched it on a wall with a stick.”
SHE KNOWS SHE’S IN PITCH PERFECT COMPANY | In addition to Astin, Ground Floor costars Pitch Perfect‘s Alexis Knapp as Jenny’s morally casual colleague Tori. Plus, Anna Camp is set to guest-star in an episode. “That’s a high percentage [of our actors] — and it’s awesome,” Heelan notes. Having first met Astin a musical theater convention, she was “psyched” to get him as a leading man. “It’s very clear that he is phenomenally talented, and in Pitch Perfect he was effortlessly charming,” she raves. “He has so much heart and warmth, and that’s whats this show has to have.”
HEY, SHE’S PITCH PERFECT, TOO | While Astin has opportunity to belt out some Billy Joel in the premiere, Heegan in a later episode serves up a few impeccable bars of her own. Back in college, she recalls, “I thought I was going to be in musical theater all the way, from beginning to end, and then it started not to feel right after my first year at conservatory. It was like, ‘I think there’s another route for me,’ and then comedy just happened — and I’m so happy that it did!”
SHE’S NOT AFRAID OF JOHN C. MCGINLEY | Even though the Scrubs favorite plays Brody’s boss as a class-conscious blowhard, Mr. Mansfield won’t look down too harshly on his ace employee’s choice in mate. “I really love the direction that we take that relationship,” Heelan says. “I think he actually knows that Jenny’s a great girl, so [any opinions he expresses are] about the job, it’s not personal — and that’s very human.”
THE UNIVERSE OWES HER A PRANK | Having heard Astin grumble about having to move the parking cone that “saves” his space at the studio lot, Heelan one day had the idea to block his car in with all the cones. Alas, costar Rory Scovel (Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous) — sensing something was amiss — removed the cones before her prank was pulled. Even worse? “The unpranked Skylar then put all of them on my car,” Heelan sighs. “I was like, ‘Well, this bit me in the ass!’”
SHE GUARANTEES THAT GROUND FLOOR WILL MAKE YOU LOL | When given the floor to sell our readers on the TBS comedy, Heelan thinks for a moment and then commences her spiel. “I can promise them out-loud laughs — I’m committing to that. In addition, I can promise that feeling of comfort you get when watching a group of people that actually love one another go and play.”