Kristen Johnston stars in the TV Land comedy The Exes, where she plays divorce attorney Holly Franklin, and she is joined in her antics by her sunny assistant (Kelly Stables) and the three recently divorced roommates (Donald Faison, Wayne Knight and David Alan Basche) who live across the hall from her.
The show is currently in its 4th Season and Johnston loves that this season, TV Land has paired her show with another of its hit comedies, Hot in Cleveland. “At TV Land, they love comedy,” she says. “For those of us in the world who make our bread and butter through sitcoms, we’re very grateful to them.” Because, as she points out, comedies are all about having fun and The Exes as fun for her to make as it is to watch. “It’s not brain surgery — we’re not changing the world,” she laughs. “But it is, in my humble opinion, 22 minutes of seriously funny acting and it’s just a joyful way to spend 22 minutes.”
I asked Kristen our 7 Questions and she answered in her hilarious no-nonsense style…
1. You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Wow, let me think … I would read Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, and Dwell.
2. If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?
Well, duh, it would have to be TV Land. And HGTV — I’m obviously a décor freak — and Animal Planet.
3. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Milk for coffee, dog food for my dog Pinky, and weirdly — ketchup. I’m a fan of ketchup.
4. What has been your strangest fan encounter?
I have some weird ones. Here’s one … I live in New York usually, and it was the gay pride parade, I live in the Village — lots of gay people — and a bunch of women who were hugging each other, were like, “Ohhhh, we looooove you.” And I was like, “Oh, thank you!” and I was embarrassed.
And they asked for a picture and I was happy to oblige. And then one of them said, “We love you on Cheers!” And I was like, I’m not Kirstie Alley,” and they were like “Whoops!” … So that was one of the oddest.
5. Tell us about a time you were starstruck.
When Elvis Costello came to the very last taping of 3rd Rock from The Sun and sang Fly Me To The Moon, I was out of my mind. He’s Elvis Costello!
Another time I was really starstruck … There was this show on Animal Planet, called Animal Cops, about the ASPCA in New York. I watched it all of the time. When I rescued my dog Pinky, the doctor (who is the greatest vet) was there and I literally became a little school girl. I was like, “Aaaaahhhhh!” It’s usually kind of weird off-the-beaten-track people. I never get star struck by actors; I could care less about them.
6. What’s a movie you can watch over and over again?
Singin’ in the Rain, Wizard of Oz, Napoleon Dynamite and The Philadelphia Story.
7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would de-asshole people. I really would. More specifically I would de-ego people. Let’s just get a little more humility and perspective on what’s important. I work with all of them. It’s such a sad state when as an actress, when I’m nice to people, they’re shocked.
Why are people so snotty? What makes me any better than anybody else? I just memorize lines and say them funny. I don’t think I’m all that. I think I’m good at my job; I’m proud of it, but I don’t think I need to be a bitch.
The Exes > TV Land > Wednesdays at 10:30pm ET