The actress tells TheWrap that the changes made for Season 3 were unexpectedly beneficial for the ABC comedy
When ABC’s critically acclaimed fish-out-of-water comedy, “Suburgatory,” returns for its third season, two major players will be missing from Chatswin.
As part of its deal, show producers, Warner Bros. Television, had to let go of series regulars Alan Tudyk, who played Noah Werner, George Altman’s (Jeremy Sisto) best friend; and Rex Lee, who played the Chatswin High School’s guidance counselor, Mr. Wolf, among other cost cuts.
But, star Jane Levy, who plays Tessa Altman, said that the changes were actually good for the show.
“We, of course, miss the presence of Rex and Alan all the time,” Levy told TheWrap. “But, I think actually it strengthened our show in that all of our storylines had to be condensed and that’s the price of less people.”
“I think that the stories became stronger, the script became stronger, and I don’t think that anyone was really expecting that,” she continued. “Now that there are seven characters I think that’s been a surprise that we’ve noticed, less storyline so more time to exist in them and experience them and I think that’s a good thing.”
Levy did tell us that Tudyk appears on at least three episodes this season.
In addition to Tudyk and Lee, Parker Young, who played Ryan Shay, didn’t return to the show this season. Not only did his character leave for college, but Young found a new gig. He’s currently starring on new military comedy, “Enlisted,” on Fox.
What does that mean for Tessa and Ryan’s off-and-on romance?
“I think there is a big part of her that regrets not giving it more of a fight when they broke up, not trying harder for them to be together,” Levy said.
The good news is that Tessa may get a second chance. Young does come back for a few episodes this season.
“Suburgatory” returns Wednesday 8:30/7:30c on ABC. Visit ABC.com for more on the show.
Touted as one of the most promising up-and-coming actresses of recent years, Suburgatory’s Jane Levy is winning the hearts of TV and movie audiences alike. At age 24, Levy already has shown impressive range in movies such as Fun Size and Evil Dead. We recently caught up with Jane and she gave us the scoop on the upcoming season premiere of Suburgatory, what fans can expect, behind-the-scenes tidbits, and what she thinks of social media.
– The season premiere of Suburgatory is gearing up. What can viewers expect as the new season starts? Is there any surprises and developments with Tessa that you can share?
At the end of the last season, Tessa was living with her mom, Alex, and now she’s back home and has a new view of her dad, more of a gratefulness that wasn’t there as much before. Alex is accused of a mental breakdown and Tessa is happy to be back in Chatswin. Tessa and her boyfriend just broke up too, Ryan Shay, and as the 3rd season starts, she’s regretting that choice.
– A lot of fans have commented on how well you and Jeremy Sisto work together. Did this come naturally or did it take a lot of practice and preparation for you two to give such great performances?
Jeremy already had a 2-year old daughter when the show started, and he had a baby boy a few years later I think? It was recent, but he already had the paternal thing going in and that just continued into the show, and it’s easy to work with with him in the father/daughter relationship. People remember Jeremy as a heartthrob, but he’s almost 40-years-old with a family of his own so he plays the father role really well and it just happened naturally. We connected on that level and we’re also good friends.
– Social networking is exploding these days and this seems to be a popular topic among your fans. Where can people find you on social media?
Oh, I have no social media. I have a few Vines, does that count (laughs)? But yeah, other than that I am not on social media at all, no Twitter, no Facebook.
-Thanks so much, Jane. I appreciate your time! We look forward to one of the most anticipated show premieres of the winter season.
Thanks, and you’re very welcome.
Suburgatory’s third season premieres Wednesday, January 27, at 8:30/7:30c on ABC. For more information, including clips, character info., and to catch up on Season 2, don’t forget to visit the official ABC Suburgatory page.
Want to hear more from Jane? Do you want to see more of her on social media? If so, she’d love to hear from fans. You can reach her publicist, Tra-Mi Callahan, at Tra-Mi.Callahan@abc.com.
Described in years past as a “breakout star” and “one to watch,” the exceptionally talented actress Jane Levy finds herself today starring in a network sitcom, working on films, and always looking for more challenging projects. Having dabbled in sport and dance in high school, and spent her time in college studying liberal arts and pursuing acting on the stage and screen, it’s evident and almost assured that Levy has a bright future and much to offer.
Her modest credits already show an impressive array: she earned an arc on Showtime’s ‘Shameless’ just weeks after moving to Los Angeles a few years ago, found roles in the Lena Dunham-written ‘Nobody Walks’ as well as the teen romp ‘Fun Size’ in 2012. Last year, she nabbed her first honors as a scream queen, netting the coveted role of Mia in the remake of ‘Evil Dead.’
This Wednesday, however, she makes her return to the small screen in the Season 3 premiere of ABC’s sitcom ‘Suburgatory.’ Levy plays Tessa, a girl taken away from the big city from her protective father and forced to live out her teenage years in the artificial and drama-filled world of the suburban living (the fictional Chatswin). This season she continues to deal with the estrangement of her mother, a rocky relationship with her father, and the fallout that comes with an ex-boyfriend.
Ahead of the premiere, Levy chatted on the phone from warm and sunny Los Angeles about how similar her upbringing was, what’s on tap for the forthcoming season, and what’s next for the 24-year-old.
TVRage: You grew up in California, is that right? And then moved back from New York City to L.A.?
Jane Levy: I was in New York and then when I moved here and got off the plane, I actually felt like I was in the tropics (laughs).
Actually, I grew up in Northern California in the Bay Area, Marin County. It’s pretty different than Chatswin. Marin County is more about the most expensive, organic stuff you can buy, the perfect redwood outdoors. Nothing plastic, it’s the complete opposite. It’s about recycling, and having a hot tub, living the good life, but it’s not like Chatswin where everyone drives SUVs. Everyone has a Prius where I’m from.
So it’s different in a way, but at the same time, when I go to Marin, everyone is so entitled. Everyone cuts me off in their car, and they screw you in the health food store.
But I love the suburbs. I hang out for the day and I’m always so exhausted. I live in Los Angeles, and it’s pretty much a big suburb, you know?
TVRage: I understand it took you a while to get settled into Los Angeles when you first moved. Do you enjoy it there now, or do you pine for the suburbs?
Levy: Well, I’m not here all the time. I’ve lived here for four years almost, maybe three and a half, and when I’m not shooting ‘Suburgatory,’ I don’t really stay here. I guess I’ve settled in, though. I know it well, I have my favorite restaurant, I have it pretty together (laughs). But I feel like I sort of live all over the place.
TVRage: Is Tessa then, this girl thrust into suburbia, a character that was always familiar, or is she a departure for you?
Levy: She is different than me, yes, but she is an easy character to step into. It’s quite seamless. I didn’t have to do a lot of character work, I really just follow the writing — we have great writing.
TVRage: So looking ahead, what can you tell us about what to expect in Season 3?
Levy: Well, a lot happens in the half season – its 13 episodes. Tessa moves back into with her dad quickly in the first episode, she spends a lot of time this season thinking about her (ex-) boyfriend; they broke up last year.
I think she feels a little uncertain about a lot of things. You break up with someone, you are alone again, and she’s more and more into that idea. She feels alone because everyone else has boyfriends. She tries a knitting circle, saying basically, “If I’m going to be an old lady, I might as well be an old lady, and hang out with 80-years-old and knit.”
TVRage: Is there anything that compares to the epic fight scene we saw towards the end of last year between Tessa and Dalia?
Levy: Nothing compares to that actually (laughs).
TVRage: What would you say is your favorite moment from Season 3?
Levy: Malik and Lisa, their relationship is really fun to watch. They become much closer, and their love is a big storyline.
I also know Dallas (Cheryl Hines) visits her family, and she is something that has always been mysterious on the show, the fact that she has a southern accent and that’s never actually explained. So there is an episode where Dallas’ mother passes away, and she goes to the funeral and forces Dalia to go with her. We’re introduced to her outrageous southern family, and that was pretty funny. I always love working with Cheryl, and the women we had playing her sisters were so good.
TVRage: You’ve been tapped as a “breakout” actress by many, and you have this lead role and you’ve been doing films. What’s next for you?
Levy: I’m making a musical next month in Toronto by a filmmaker named Jeffery St. Jules. He’s a Canadian director, and he is known for making short films, but this is like a work- fairy tale-nightmare musical where I play a version of Ann Margret (titled, ‘Bang Bang Baby’).
And then I’m trying to find out other projects. I did movies last year that have yet to be seen. One of them is playing in the Tribeca Film Festival this year.
I’m trying to do all sorts of stuff, and I’m trying to be specific in what I do.
TVRage: Specific in what way? Do you mean diverse?
Levy: Diverse, yes. I mean, I want to do what I would enjoy. In order to be good at something, you have to be very interested in something, I think. So I’m trying to find the next job where I’m really interested in it, and they are really interested in me. So to find that combination is not easy, but that’s what you want.
Season 3 of ‘Suburgatory’ airs on ABC Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 8:30/7:30c.