Getting the chance to talk to Danny Pudi and Alison Brie is an experience that makes you appreciate friendship. Yup, get ready. Things might need to get sentimental before we break out the silly string.
Abed and Annie Discuss the Community Playground
This pair has the kind of friendship most of us leave behind with colorful braided BFF bracelets and flashlight tag. And admit it, most of your favorite and easiest friendships happened in that twilight of youth. And that’s how I make my segue! Neither of these actors from the NBC hit series Community compromise themselves as they dare each other to be as silly and wild as they want to be. In other words: they have an inherent freedom to be themselves. And truly, isn’t that what friendship is supposed to be? (Unless your “bestie” has a pool and you lack AC…)
I spoke to Pudi and Brie about next week’s episode of Community, which features their respective characters of Abed and Annie. “Introduction to Political Science” will feature Dean Pelton quickly trying to put together a student government for the arrival of Vice President Joe Biden. Annie wants to win, naturally. Brie says that Annie will have some competition in the form of Jeff Winger. And Abed? He befriends the secret service. He also gets to play as a news anchor and broadcast the results live. (Brie noted that Pudi is great as playing a news anchor.) Look forward to political satire and some great (NEW and classic) Greendale candidates vying for a place at the podium.
As for the pop culture references that run rampant throughout the course of a Community episode, sometimes the duo are both stumped. Pudi talked of a recent memory where Brie turned to him for clarification after a whispered please for help and he had to say, “No idea. Never had an idea.” Luckily, in this case, Gillian Jacobs knew. The only rule they don’t break? Revealing to showrunner Dan Harmon that none of them get a certain reference.
Asking if Pudi and Brie get along is like asking if The Pope wears a giant white robe thing. I mean, it’s so obvious in their energy the question is redundant. “We have a game called I’m good. I’m better,” Pudi said.
The rules of I’m Good / I’m Better? They’re easy. You just have to say that phrase before the other person. And then you get an hour before the other person can try again. And try they DO – they will leave it written on coffee cups they deliver to each other, text it, you name it (give them access to a skywriter!). And while the rest of the Community cast thinks their game is a bit odd, they say it’s a game that feels great to win. (During the course of this interview, they play this game and Pudi won.)
Since next week’s episode is about politics, the interview veers towards that dreaded topic. The motto for Greendale? Brie offered, “Vote seldom.” Pudi suggested, “Vote (and then a) question mark.”
When I asked for an for an “explainabrag” about their work in filming “Intro to Political Science” they paused so Brie could remind Pudi what it is. Then Pudi makes Brie answer first. Probably not prepared to be asked such a random question (but also a pro at improv), Brie thought for a moment before delivering this (in a mock-serious voice): “The, you know, this episode was really challenging to shoot…because we had to learn a lot of lines, like they would bring them to us right when we were onset. o like my performance just, I just had to go, you know, I just had to perform every line perfectly like the first time I got them it was really a difficult thing. And it’s a good thing I did!” she finished. “That makes it more of a brag.”
“That was really good,” Pudi stated, still not sure what to say for his epic explainabrag. But, with his best foot forward (and also an awesome improv dude) he said, “Yes. This was a really challenging performance for me to channel my character because we were exploring some deep political issues. And, you know, up until this point you’ve seen a pretty neutral Abed in terms of politics trying not to engage one way or the other. And I really tried as Danny and to really find that within Abed. But each time I’d be going and balancing Danny’s political views and then Abed’s political views and… ” Brie interrupted him with laughter in her voice. “Danny you have to brag! You know, you’re just talking about it.” At this point, it was hard to contain my own laughter. Pudi justified himself and said, “I’m talking about this episode was really awesome for me. I got a lot of great lines.” But Brie then pointed out, “Okay you only do one or the other at a time.” Ah! Though he tried to forge on, there were other questions to get to so I told Pudi he’d done his due diligence on the question. Clearly appeasing him I said, “That was perfect anyway.”
That’s how Alison and Danny are. They may be oddballs with games that not everyone will want to play, but they’re perfect anyway.
Jessica Rae: I love you guys. I almost love you guys together more than apart. Do – is that okay?
Alison Brie: Oh Gosh!
Danny Pudi: Is that like…
Alison Brie: Greater than the sum of our parts!?
Danny Pudi: Yes so we’re like the – a two-piece Voltron.
Jessica Rae: Yes, Okay. I will Google that.
Danny Pudi: Thank you!
by: Jessica Rae @ThisJessicaRae
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