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Gillian Jacobs and Jim Rash – Community Theater with a Surreal Bent

COMMUNITY — “Regional Holiday Music” Episode 311 — Pictured: (l-r) Jim Rash as Dean Pelton, Gillian Jacobs as Britta — Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC

Gillian Jacobs and Jim Rash

Community Theater with a Surreal Bent

by Jay S. Jacobs

They call Community “the little show that could,” so it comes as little surprise that the cult-favorite series was renewed by NBC for at least 13 episodes in a fourth season.

The wonderfully surreal situation comedy – which has made something of a specialty of “theme” episodes which parody things such as Law & Order, 80s video games, Dungeons and Dragons and adventure films – has been a tough contender on NBC’s must-see Thursdays, sparking fan adoration which sadly outranks the show’s Nielsen ratings.

Starring Talk Soup star Joel McHale as a hipster former lawyer forced to return to college, Community has one of the quirkiest ensembles on TV: Chevy Chase as crotchety old man Pierce, Gillian Jacobs as neurotic perfectionist Britta, Donald Glover and Danny Pudi as nerdy man-boys Troy and Abed, Alison Brie as perky trainwreck Annie, Yvonne Nicole Brown as aging born-again student Shirley, Ken Jeong as power-mad security chief Chang and Jim Rash as the sexually ambiguous Dean Pelton.

Beyond his work on the show, Rash recently won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for co-writing the George Clooney film The Descendents.

We recently joined in a conference call with several websites to speak with Jacobs and Rash about the season finale, the future of Community, Rash’s Oscar win and Jacobs’ early typecasting as strippers, drug addicts and runaways.

COMMUNITY — Season:3 — Pictured: Jim Rash as Dean Pelton — Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Congratulations to Jim on your Oscar.

Gillian Jacobs: Yeah!

Jim Rash: Oh, thank you very much. Yeah.

Is there any costume though that we won’t ever see the Dean showing up in?

Jim Rash: Never? I don’t know if there’s a never, because I’ve already worn flesh-colored panties, so unless they remove those flesh-colored panties that would probably be the only costume left. (Jim & Gillian laugh)  I don’t think the Dean would ever have any editing when it came to what he wanted to or what I as an actor was asked to wear.

Gillian Jacobs: It’s his art.

Jim Rash: I don’t draw lines.

COMMUNITY — “Origins of Vampire Mythology” Episode 315 — Pictured: Gillian Jacobs as Britta — Photo by: Michael Desmond/NBC

Gillian, for next season is there an interest in having Britta maybe mature a bit, or do you see her as is always in her head…  I don’t know exactly how to describe her. I mean she’s…

Gillian Jacobs: The worst?  Well, let’s see. I would say even though everyone makes fun of her she did make some valid points in her therapy sessions. I think she actually wasn’t too far off with some of Jeff Winger’s daddy issues, and she was maybe accidentally able to help some people. I think you’re going to see a little bit more of that in Thursday night’s episode. But, I don’t think that we ever want these characters to figure it all out, because then it would be a very boring show. So, I hope she continues to make a lot of mistakes.

Jim Rash: Yeah, if I may, I think one of the things that’s great about what they’ve been doing with Britta and Gillian’s performance of it is all these characters sort of evolve and sort of started one way. It’s not like they completely changed, but they’re true selves start to shine through. I think Britta had up a wall and she was supposed to be the smartest person in the room, or at least she thought herself that way. I thought what’s so great is that, you know the small things that came out of breaking that down and seeing this insecurity inside, which I think is played very well by Gillian?

Gillian Jacobs: Thank you, Jim.

Jim Rash: You’re welcome.

I love that answer.

Gillian Jacobs: It’s better than mine. I’m adopting that. Can I get a transcript of this call so I can use Jim’s answer verbatim in this future, please? (they laugh)

Jim, is there a chance maybe you could convince Clooney to co-star in Community?

Jim Rash: That’s going to be such an easy phone call. I imagine he can sense as I dial that I’m going to ask him that, and I’m sure he’ll pick up instantly. And I’m not surprised if the whole Ocean’s 11 gang has to be on it. (they laugh) And I’m not surprised if I’m not in Italy right after we wrap. All those things are possible.

COMIC-CON — Pictured: (L-R Front Row) Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Joel McHale, Jim Rash, Chevy Chase — Photo by: Phil McCarten/NBC

There’s a seat with your name engraved in it in Lake Como.

Jim Rash: Yes. Oh, yes, George.

Gillian Jacobs: He’s so over it. It’s so tiresome, Italy, isn’t it?

Jim Rash: Yes. Our friendship is so tiring.

Gillian, how does it feel to kind of be treading on Pierce ground, as far as being considered the worst out of the group?

Gillian Jacobs: Well, every group needs the worst, and so I’m happy to provide that service. (laughs) I think that it’s like that family dynamic where everybody picks on one member of the family, but at the end of the day they’re essential and everybody does love them deep down. I think Britta is a loud mouth a lot of the times, so she draws attention to herself. But, she’s very stubborn and she has a surprisingly thick skin, so she may get hurt, but she doesn’t really seem to be deterred by their scorn. I kind of admire that about her. I’m far more sensitive. She’s got a thick skin.

Awesome. And for Jim, it seems like Chang has kind of taken over Greendale…

Jim Rash: Yes.

…and since you’re always trying to get in with the group, is this your chance to finally like get on Jeff’s good side? Is he going to come rescue you and save the school?

Jim Rash: Well, you’ll definitely see on Thursday. Obviously the result of the Dean making another horrible decision to sign over his security detail to Chang, so he has only himself to blame for the chaos that ensued. I do think this is – as you will see this Thursday – it’s sort of nice to see as the Dean gets involved with the study group as we try to reclaim Greendale. At least this is the closest he has, or least hoped to become one of the group, but you’ll just have to wait and see.

COMMUNITY — “Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts” Episode 312 — Pictured: (l-r) Gillian Jacobs as Britta, Charles Walker as Minister, Joel McHale as Jeff — Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Congrats on the announcement of season four. How are you guys feeling about the schedule and moving to Fridays?

Jim Rash: Well, first and foremost we have to celebrate what has been a long, hopeful journey to get to a season four, so I think with the help of the fans we’ll start there and be grateful for the fact that we get to say that sentence, “We’re having a season four.” Then, there’s always something exciting about some small change. Obviously, we’ve survived little changes and moves and our fans seem to follow us, so that’s how we’re going to [proceed]. Just hope they find us again and I’m sure they will. They’re a very tenacious group.

Gillian Jacobs: Yes, I think that we have to be so grateful for all the hard work that they did to make sure that we came back from hiatus and got this fourth season. We’re just excited to get to tell 13 more stories and hopefully more down in the future. We’re the little show that could. You can’t ever really count us out, so God only knows what will happen.

Jim, when it comes to the finale do you think there’s a certain part of the Dean that’s going to be very happy in the sense that this is really the first time the Greendale Six will really need him when he’s constantly the one trying to get all over them?

Jim Rash: Well, yes. Yes, get all over them, absolutely.

Gillian Jacobs: I enjoy your word choice.

Jim Rash: Yes, he definitely wants to get all over them. Some maybe not as much as others…

Gillian Jacobs: Not Britta.

Jim Rash: … Yes, maybe not Britta. He still hates the fact that she was in that Christmas show. (they laugh) It’s funny, the theme of the allure of this study group and obviously it was played upon in last week’s episode, a clip show, and them sort of coming to realize that. What really is a funny device, in the sense that I, as the Dean, always seem to tell them only about the huge things happening at this school. Partly to set up a story…

Gillian Jacobs: Fires.

Jim Rash: Exactly, and now fires, it just played on that idea. I think that what will happen or what you will see in the finale is sort of the closest that Dean has come to be included in a study group plan to win back their school. Of course, he was the reason that they have to, (laughs) but hopefully they won’t remember that.

COMMUNITY — “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux” Episode 308 — Pictured: (l-r) Gillian Jacobs as Britta, Donald Glover as Troy — Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Gillian, what has it been like this whole second half of the season working with Donald Glover and doing the Troy/Britta stuff that’s going on?

Gillian Jacobs: I love it. We have the sweetest hugs on TV. We’ve really cornered the market on longing looks and really sweet hugs. (laughs) He’s obviously an incredible performer and we’ve so enjoyed getting to have these scenes together. There’s not a bad… what is it, bad apple? Yes, that’s the phrase. There’s not a bad apple in this group, so I’m really lucky to get to work with this cast and it’s been really fun to get to have all these scenes with Donald.

Jim Rash: Yes, and often between takes they would be rehearsing their hugs.

Gillian Jacobs: Oh, yes. Those – I mean, come on.

Jim Rash: More often than not. (laughs)

Gillian Jacobs: Extensive rehearsal. (laughs, too)

Looking forward to season four is there anything you’d like to see both Dean and Britta do more of?

Jim Rash: Gillian, do you want to start?

Gillian Jacobs: Yes, sure. I think Britta should probably sing some more. That’s really where the gold is. (they laugh) Let’s see, maybe I’d like to meet Britta’s family. I think that would probably be pretty fun and give some more insight into how Britta ended up the way she is. I always think it’s fun when we get to see glimpses of the characters’ families and we got to meet Pierce’s dad this season, and we’ve met Chang’s brother. I’d really love to meet Britta’s family.

COMMUNITY — “The First Chang Dynasty” Episode 320 — Pictured: (l-r) Joel McHale as Jeff, Chevy Chase as Pierce, Jim Rash as Dean Pelton — (Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC)

Jim Rash: Yes, it would be nice to see – and some of it started this season – where they explored pairing off certain characters and mining what happens when those two, whether Jeff and Shirley, and with Britta and Troy, [have] a possible relationship. I would love to see more of that because it always evolves and changes and finds new things for these characters. As far as the Dean, I mean how can I not want [to be] forced on Jeff’s character again, or to see his living arrangements. I’d love to see…

Gillian Jacobs: Oh, yes.

Jim Rash: …where the Dean lives and how seedy it might be. (laughs) Maybe it’s an apartment just above Greendale.

What has been your absolute favorite costume to wear?

Jim Rash: Oh, that’s tough, if I were to go all the way back, I thought probably the Gaga outfit from Halloween back then was fantastic and hard to top, because that jacket they had made for it.

Gillian Jacobs: Your Tina Turner was also pretty spectacular.

Jim Rash: Yes, Tina Turner was good as well. That skirt was just one squat away from revealing everything. (Gillian laughs) It was very short. I really can’t complain. All of the costumes are too enjoyable to put on.

With two showrunners leaving [Garrett Donovan and Neil Goldman left to take over new FOX show Ben & Kate] and [creator] Dan Harmon’s fate uncertain [he was fired soon after the interview], what do you expect we’re going to see next season?

Jim Rash: Well, who knows?  Obviously, we love Neil and Garrett and spent three great years with them. The natural evolution of these things is that people move on to the next chapter for them. But, what’s wonderful is that Community has always had its voice, has always had its vision and that started in the very beginning. We want to just continue that, you know? We want the show that we started, the show to continue, and close out whatever chapter, whenever that may be. Everyone comes in and understands this vision and these characters and these voices and this cast, and that’s how a show is evolved.

Gillian Jacobs: Yes, nothing ultimately has been decided at this point, and I think we’re all just very hopeful. We’re really grateful for everyone that’s worked on the show, and we’ve been really blessed with incredible writers and producers and such insanely talented people.

COMMUNITY — “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux” Episode 308 — Pictured: (l-r) Jim Rash as Dean Pelton, Alison Brie as Annie — Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

How much of Community, in your guys’ opinion, is Dan Harmon’s voice and his vision for the show, and how much of it, like Jim was mentioning, is something that has evolved?

Jim Rash: Well, this nugget started in his brain… you know, the pilot? All these characters have evolved from that nugget, so obviously that’s where it started and it evolved over a lot of different attributes, which is both his vision, the writers, they pull from us as actors and what we’ve brought to it and the quirks that evolved, and the evolution of those characters from both sides, so it all began there.

Jim, for you again, sorry for all the costume questions, but it’s what we love. What do you think Dean Pelton would have worn to the Oscars?

Jim Rash: Oh, wow. Somehow I feel like he might have like followed the idea maybe he should just paint himself in gold, and then a gown of gold and gold gloves; just really celebrate an on-the-nose interpretation of the statue. That’s what would I imagine.

Britta has traveled a long way from the stereotypical love interest in season one to the sanest group member through her insanity today. Both Dan Harmon and Joel McHale praised your comedic abilities on the last conference call. Could you speak even further to Britta’s development and growth this season?

Gillian Jacobs: I just feel really blessed with some really great material that I was given in season three that allowed Britta to further develop and need to unleash my awkward dancing on the world. I have really enjoyed her growth and evolution and development and I think that this show is not conventional by any stretch of the imagination, and therefore the role of traditional love interest really has no place on this show. So of course, we have to subvert it and change it and she has to be awkward and silly and strident at times and deeply flawed. It’s really great to play a multi-dimensional character with shortcomings as strengths, and I’m really grateful that I don’t just pine after Jeff Winger. (chuckles)

We all are. It’s awesome. There has been a big push for six seasons and a movie on the fan community, but my biggest fear is that we might just have four seasons and a Webisode.

Gillian Jacobs: We’ve already done Webisodes. (laughs)

Jim Rash: We’ll continue the Webisodes, yes.

All right, an epic Webisode. But are you currently…

Gillian Jacobs: Oh, an epic Webisode…

COMMUNITY — “Football, Feminism, and You” Episode 103 — Pictured: (l-r) Jim Rash as Dean Pelton, Danny Pudi as Abed, Gillian Jacobs as Britta, Joel McHale as Jeff, Chevy Chase as Pierce — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

Ongoing, every full day, you’re just filming. But, are you currently looking at the fourth season as a last season? Are you preparing yourselves just in case it isn’t renewed for the fifth? As you said, it is the little show that could, but just in case it doesn’t puff one more puff?

Gillian Jacobs: Well, I think that nothing about this journey has been average or predictable. It’s like the show itself, the journey for us as actors on the show. You have to maintain this balance between optimism and realism. It’s already so far exceeded my expectations of what this experience would be like that who am I to predict what’s going to happen this fall and beyond? I’m just really grateful that I’ve gotten a chance to work with the writers, the directors, and the other actors that are a part of this show. I’ve learned so much from them and I’ve made some really great friends, and I feel like I’ve come out on the other end a stronger performer. I feel like I went to graduate school for comedy. Regardless of whatever happens, I’m just really grateful for the time that I got to spend with these people.

Jim Rash: Yes… I can’t say it better than that. Yes.

Gillian Jacobs: Jim didn’t need to learn anything. Jim came in a comedic genius.

Jim Rash: I wasn’t…

Gillian Jacobs: I needed this show to figure some things out.

Jim Rash: …I refuse to learn.

Gillian Jacobs: He’s a teacher, did you know that? He teaches at Groundlings.

Oh, well, I’ll just have to sign up.

Gillian Jacobs: Yes.

Jim Rash: Yes, please. That’s what this call is now turning into. Now, I’m going to sell you on some classes.

Gillian Jacobs: I’m shilling for Jim’s classes at Groundlings.

COMMUNITY — “The Politics of Human Sexuality” Episode 110 — Pictured: (l-r) Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley, Gillian Jacobs as Britta, Alison Brie as Annie, Jim Rash as Dean Pelton — NBC Photo: Trae Patton

We all know Community is notorious for its rabid fan base and the Internet presence, is there any type of fan response that stands out to you that you’ve especially appreciated or, maybe even been a little bit taken aback by recently?

Jim Rash: Well, I think just in that time that we were off the air for a while, I think any and all of that, from the flash mobs to the goatee and all that stuff, it really can’t compare to the outpouring of fans in that capacity to almost protest for you to come back. It was because of a lot of that stuff, and then our nice return. It showed that their voice was heard, you know?

Gillian Jacobs: Yes, and there’s an upcoming gallery show in Los Angeles of all…

Jim Rash: Oh, that’s right, yes.

Gillian Jacobs: …fan art of our show called Six Seasons and Movie that starts on June 23rd. This is totally fan-initiated, fan-driven, and fan-created. To see them continue to organize in this way, and they’re all so talented. From out of their love of the show, in their free time and their talent they’ve created all this incredible art of us. We’ve always felt so flattered and surprised and delighted by what they’ve created, you know? We’ve developed friendships by the Internet with some of these artists, so it’s really exciting that they’re going to get a whole gallery show of their work.

Random question, what’s it like to see yourself drawn as a cartoon character? You guys have had a few episodes of different ways that you’re animated. I just can’t imagine what it would be like to see yourself in all of these different variations. How does that feel?

Jim Rash: Well, I think there’s different levels. Going to the fan art there was someone who did us as X-Men and I looked pretty bad ass, you know, a bald… I think it was Storm, I don’t remember what it was but… Then we had the Webisodes and then where I had more of a flatter ass.

Gillian Jacobs: You judge it by how much of a bubble butt you have?  (They both laugh)

Jim Rash: Yes, yes. Exactly! So yes…

Gillian Jacobs: I would say when some of us went to the studios where they were animating the Stop Motion Christmas Episode, that was a pretty surreal moment. To see those figurines of all of us – I’d never seen the process of making a stop-motion animated episode and it was pretty incredible. That was surreal and sort of a realization of a childhood dream that I didn’t even dare to have. Then to see the fan art is a whole different other kind of shock and delight because they’re not being paid to do that and they haven’t been asked to do it by NBC or Sony or the writers, they’re doing it just out of their love of the show. I’ve never been a part of something before that had this kind of devoted fan base. I feel like we’re almost like a sci-fi show. We have the level of devotion that you would stereotypically associate with like a sci-fi show. That’s been really remarkable to see it develop because I don’t know how many actors on sitcoms get to experience this. And I highly recommend it! All you actors out there, get on a show with a rabid fan-base; that’s my recommendation.

COMMUNITY — “Curriculum Unavailable” Episode 319 — Pictured: (l-r) Danny Pudi as Abed, Gillian Jacobs as Britta — (Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC)

Gillian, I interviewed you in New York a few years ago for Gardens of the Night so it’s good to talk to you again.

Gillian Jacobs: Holy moly! Very different kind of a project.

Well that was sort of what I was going to ask you. When I had interviewed you that was the only thing I had seen you in and I saw you in Community a little while later and I was going, wow, that’s a very different side of her! Was it cool to go and do something so completely different and at this point do you enjoy doing comedy or drama more or do you enjoy the mix?

Gillian Jacobs: Well, I had done a string of films that were similar in tone and content to Gardens of the Night, meaning I had played a lot of prostitutes, strippers, homeless runaway teens, drug addicts and rape victims, so I would say that Community

Jim Rash: That’s your wheelhouse, that is your wheelhouse…

Gillian Jacobs: …was a welcome change of pace for me. What?

Jim Rash: That’s your wheelhouse.

Gillian Jacobs: (laughs) That’s my former wheelhouse. So I was really excited to get this job and get to do something different. My hope is that I get to continue to do more serious material and also continue to do comedy in the future. I don’t want to choose I just want to get to do everything all the time. But, yes, (laughs again) that’s certainly a very different kind of role that you saw me in.

COMMUNITY — “Introduction to Finality” Episode 321 — Pictured: (l-r) Alison Brie as Annie, Jim Rash as Dean Pelton, Joel McHale as Jeff — (Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC)

Yes, it definitely was. Now, some of the funniest episodes are the theme episodes like recently you had the Law and Order show. Do you guys have any fantasy themes that you’d love to have them do in future years?

Gillian Jacobs: Daytime soap.

Jim Rash: (laughs) Daytime soap, yes, that would be good.

Gillian Jacobs: I think daytime soap would be really good.

Jim Rush: I think it would be good with just full on organ music the whole time.

Gillian Jacobs: And of course our show would whip pan to the organ player.

Jim Rush: Yes, and most likely the dean would insist that somehow in that soap version he and Jeffrey fought in a water fountain.

Gillian Jacobs: Somebody would have to play twins, right? Themselves and their own twin.

Jim Rash: This is writing itself.

Gillian Jacobs: I know, its rich.

Yes, I think really very good. You’ll have to go talk to the writers room.

Gillian Jacobs: Well, if nothing else maybe some fan fiction or fan animated soap opera.

COMMUNITY — “The First Chang Dynasty” Episode 320 — Pictured: (l-r) Joel McHale as Jeff, Jim Rash as Dean Pelton — (Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC)

Exactly. And Jim, do you ever bring the Oscar down on set to make sure that you get the proper respect? No, seriously, what was it like to win the Oscar?

Jim Rash: What have I just said, (makes funny noise) “wa-wa…” (laughs) You know, no big deal! It is a cliché to say but it’s also a very true cliché in that it’s very surreal. If there was ever a time that you just feel into the moment of something that you can’t quite comprehend until after it, that’s what it felt like. It feels like it’s just something that’s happening and everything’s going into this weird vacuum of silence as you’re looking and walking your way towards the stage. Seeing so many friends that you just happen to be on this weird journey at a similar time and it’s hard to say that it was anything less than incredible. You know?

Looking back on this season, what would you guys say has been your most memorable or your favorite moment on the show?

Jim Rash: Gillian?

Gillian Jacobs: All right, let me think. Hamster in wheel in brain, activate…Well, I guess it’s kind of a cliché at this point but my appearance in the Christmas pageant definitely springs to mind when I think of this season. Dancing around in a skin-tight brown unitard, that’s pretty memorable. I felt like Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo up there. So the combination of embarrassment and adrenaline made it pretty memorable.

Jim Rash: Yes, it’s hard. For me I guess – memorable only because we did it over and over and over again and it might have been because they were just sort of punishing me – but I guess I’m going to call it Dean’s spastic orgasm at seeing Jeffrey back from break and tan with his aviators on.

Gillian Jacobs: Wearing his sunglasses.

Jim Rash: Yes, and falling to the ground because we did that over and over again. It really wasn’t even different coverage it just seemed like I was being asked to keep going. Basically having my full release moment I’ll call it on the floor – that was memorable to shoot because they would keep rolling and I just kept going. So, that was fun.

COMMUNITY — “Curriculum Unavailable” Episode 319 — Pictured: (l-r) John Hodgman as Dr. David Heidi, Gillian Jacobs as Britta — Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

This has kind of been touched on a little bit already but looking to this upcoming fourth season, what are the both of you looking forward to?

Gillian Jacobs: I’d say getting back to work first and foremost.

Jim Rash: Yes. I think I think…Sorry!

Gillian Jacobs: Oh, no go ahead Jim.

Jim Rash: No, I was just going to say that the first thing is to be back. The second thing is this is the fourth year and whatever happens whether it becomes true that we’re six seasons and a movie or we have this chapter, it’s so nice to go into this with this idea that it really is the fourth chapter of these people’s lives. Following the third which turned into a darker exploration of each character and them figuring out what it is that they want. Then to see the end result coming up this Thursday and where that could take us into the fourth season is the most exciting thing for me, just continuing their chapter.

Gillian Jacobs: I also think we’re all so grateful, because probably on any other network we might have been canceled first season. We might have never made it to a full first season, might never have made it to a second season. The fact that we’ve been given this opportunity to grow and develop this show into the truly singular television experience that it is has really been such a blessing. I think we as actors when we signed on for this pilot really didn’t know the scope and depth and creativity and originality that this show was going to have. It’s been a surprise to us as much as it has been to the viewers. I think we all just have to have these feelings of, what’s the word that I’m looking for Jim…

Jim Rash: Let me get inside your brain.

Gillian Jacobs: Okay, in. And…

Jim Rash: (laughs) I don’t know, what word are you looking for?

Gillian Jacobs: Gratuity – not gratuity because that’s what you put on a tab at a bill…

Jim Rash: (laughs again) Gratuitous?

Gillian Jacobs: … but grateful, some form of the word grateful. We’re grateful! What I want to say is that we’re grateful. How often are you surprised in a positive way by the job that you have as an actor? It’s really just been incredible to see Community become the now sort of iconic TV show that it is.

COMMUNITY — “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps!” Episode 305 — Pictured: (l-r) Joel McHale as Jeff, Gillian Jacobs as Britta — Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Would you guys that you are happy with where your characters are and the development that you guys have made throughout the past three seasons?

Gillian Jacobs: Yes.

Jim Rash: Yes, absolutely. Yes, yes! Absolutely, because it goes to what Gillian was just saying, I started in the pilot just as this very top of the show just doing this what was supposed to be a guest star [role] at the time. That turned into recurring and then by season three [I] was added to the cast. As far as the character and watching this evolution, even this year getting to do the documentary episode, it’s like every now and then you get to watch and learn something new about these characters. If there’s anything that I can’t do it’s complain that I had this great ride and even in small doses you learn something new about the Dean.

Gillian Jacobs: And I think it’s really a testament to Jim’s talent that he has become such an invaluable part of this show in that I cannot imagine the show without him. We as fellow cast mates are so blown away by his talent and his humor and also his grace in handling the whole award season and his humility. It was such a pleasurable experience to watch your friend win an Oscar. I can’t tell you. I started crying so hard that the people around me thought that I had emotional problems. But, it was…

Jim Rash: I set her up for this speech. Good work!

Gillian Jacobs: (laughs) I expect the $10.00 in the mail later. But, no, truly, it’s been so amazing to watch Jim develop as the Dean on the show and also as a screenwriter, his other life, and now a director so we’re so proud of him.

Jim Rash: Aww, thank you.

As actors you come into a new role, you may or may not know some of your cast members. Either you know them just by name or you may have worked with them before and some you may not have worked with. Would you like to possibly do more projects with them outside of Community later on, let’s just say, just in case six seasons aren’t happening. Who do you see yourself working with more in the future or who would you like to work with more in the future?

Jim Rash: Well, first we’re going to start with each other.

Gillian Jacobs: Oh yes, oh yes.

Jim Rash: She can’t get rid of me. No matter what happens, she will not get rid of me. (Gillian laughs) I’m going to stand near her house. I’m going to watch and see where she goes. Not in a stalking way, in a friendship way. The type of friend that just watches what you do. That’s a very natural friendship. It is not lost on me on how much I have enjoyed these past three years and look forward to this coming year because of this cast. It’s not everyday that you get a job where you genuinely enjoy the company you’re working with but that is the case here. So no matter what happens I couldn’t name one person, I just name “all” as people that I would hope that our paths continue to cross in every capacity. Not just obviously as friends but in working, because these are people you trust and these are people that you admire. So that’s the best qualifications for someone you want to work with.

Gillian Jacobs: Yes, I see us in the same vein as Arrested Development or Freaks and Geeks where you see a group of people continue to work together long after the TV show that brought them together goes away. Everyone is so incredibly talented and versatile on this show. That’s the thing that I’ve been impressed with continuously over the last three years that so many different genres and plots and styles have been thrown at us and you just watch everybody rise to the occasion. You just get more and more glimpses of what people can do and what they’re capable of. So, I would work with all of them and be delighted to do so. It’s so exciting to be on a job where you’re learning from your co-workers, which has really, truly been my experience on this show.

COMMUNITY — “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux” Episode 308 — Pictured: (l-r) Luis Guzman as Luis Guzman, Jim Rash as Dean Pelton — Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Okay, so what you’re saying is should we expect to see Dean Pelton and Britta featured on a Childish Gambino [co-star Donald Glover’s rap alter-ego] album?

Gillian Jacobs: I don’t think we should punish Donald in that way. You know what, Jim is a better rapper than I am. Jim has some rhymes to lay down. I would be there maybe more as the hype women where I get on the mic and I get the crowd going but you don’t actually hear me rap or sing. I’m kind of there to bring the energy, the fire, the excitement and just really the sizzling skillet-like fire.

Jim Rash: What a wordsmith. And real quickly, Donald will be too humble to admit this so don’t verify this with him but he would insist that I join him on stage I just know it. Don’t check it though. Don’t confirm it.

Gillian Jacobs: Jim has a song called “Party is Party.”

Jim Rash: I have a song called “Party is Party” and he is insistent that we lay these tracks. Now, don’t ask him, don’t confirm it because he will be too humble to admit. But, anyway, so yes, it should happen.

Jim, in an interview a while back you mentioned that if they ever asked you to write for Community you would be “panicked.” Now, since then you’ve won an Oscar of course so if that changed do you think they might actually ask you to contribute as a writer?

Jim Rash: (laughs) No! I can’t. I would probably still say panicked only because I think that what they do and where their brains go and what they do. I don’t know necessarily if I would feel like, man, that would be too much pressure to come aboard and even attempt what they have been able to do and the places that they’ve been able to go. I feel it’s easier for me just to get to act on the show. So, I don’t know if they’ll really need me. Now, I will pitch some horrible story. I’m still panicked.

Have you given your Oscar statuette a name and if so what?

Jim Rash: Oh, it’s Gillian. Sweet, sweet Gillian. We’re hugging right now. I’m physically hugging her. I have not, I’ll go with that. I haven’t bothered to name, but that seems like an appropriate name to me.

I agree. We’ve talked about the seriously loyal fan following this show has and the desire for six seasons and a movie. Is there anything that you can recommend that fans could do to help build that following and obviously tell their friends? Tweet? Facebook? Do you have any more suggestions? I know fans have been doing a lot already.

Gillian Jacobs: Somebody suggested buying the episodes on iTunes if you have extra cash which everyone does. Just has piles of extra money. But, I think continuing to buy the DVD’s, buy the episodes on iTunes, buy the merchandise and show NBC and Sony that you’re willing to spend money on the show. If you are going to DVR it, I hate to say this, but don’t fast forward through the ads because it sort of disqualifies your viewing on DVR. So please don’t fast forward the ads and then I think your viewing will count. That’s something I learned recently.

Jim Rash: Wow, I didn’t know that at all!

Gillian Jacobs: Yes. So sit through the ads, buy merch. I’ve been told that our Troy and Abed in the Morning mugs are incredibly popular at the NBC store in New York and they almost can’t keep them in stock. So keep buying them!

Jim Rash: Yes.

Thanks, that sounds like great advice.

Gillian Jacobs: Yeah, that’s me, great-advice-giver Jacobs!Photo Credits:#1 © 2011 Jordin Althaus. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#2 © 2011 Mitchell Haaseth. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#3 © 2012 Michael Desmond. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#4 © 2011 Phil McCarten. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#5 © 2012 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#6 © 2011 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#7 © 2012 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#8 © 2011 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#9 © 2009 Chris Hasten. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#10 © 2009 Trae Patton. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#11 © 2012 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#12 © 2012 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#13 © 2012 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#14 © 2012 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#15 © 2011 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.#16 © 2011 Lewis Jacobs. Courtesy of NBC. All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved. Posted: March 4, 2012.  

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