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Kathleen Rose Perkins On 'Episodes' And The Struggles Of Poor Carol

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KATHLEEN ROSE PERKINS
Kathleen Rose Perkins from 'Episodes.' | Getty Images

The much-anticipated return of "Episodes" is finally upon us, and it's been interesting to theorize what has happened to our beloved characters since we last saw them. Were Beverly and Sean able to get past that Matt LeBlanc-shaped stumbling block, or is their marriage doomed? Will "Pucks" still continue to suck? (HuffPost even got its own shout-out in the premiere, where Sean and Beverly go through a rundown of reviews for the fictional show.)

HuffPost TV spoke with Kathleen Rose Perkins over the phone and got some answers. Not only did we gush about our mutual love for the show, but the actress also reveals that the must-see relationship of season two belongs to Carol and Beverly.

I loved the reviews for "Pucks" in the first episode, they were hilarious. "Episodes" is one of the few shows that gets me literally laughing out loud, so much so that I have to rewind parts because my laughing drowned them out. But you gave me my first laugh-out-loud moment in the premiere, when you talk about Merc's wife's new ring, and Carol says, "The woman is blind, how will she know? Give her one of her old ones." I just about fell over.
[Laughs] Isn't that great? The writers, David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, are so good at telling a story driven through characters. That's, of course, what Carol would say, but it's also a really funny punchline.

At the same time, I'm sure many people think the same thing. They just won't admit it like Carol would.
Right! And she never means to be malicious, she always means well. She's blind. How on Earth will she know if it looks good? So what?

Buy Carol an effing ring! Hulllo!
Yeah! That scene totally sets up the entire tone for her for the rest of the season, for their relationship.

What's it like working with John Pankow?
You know what, it's real easy, which is really nice because we have some kind of uncomfortable scenes.

Your legs were really high in the air in the return. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Um, yeah. It was uh ... yeah. All of those. In episode five, he's on the toilet and I have to control him. There's lots of really uncomfortable positions we find ourselves in. He's a total professional and from the first season into the second season, every scene we go into, he goes, "You ready, Perkins?" And I'm like, "Yeah, Pankow, let's do this." And we just get it done. He's delightful to work with. Real easy and me, I'm a pretty anxious person so for my character to be in an uncomfortable position, I need to be comfortable. Everybody on the set, especially John, has always made me feel real comfortable.

Should we root for Merc and Carol? Probably not, but I don't know. I want her to be happy but she clearly deserves better.
That was probably one of the biggest challenges that I had over the second season. I became a real big fan of Carol and I really root for her. I think she's really good at her job and it's just so sad to me that she's the exact opposite in her personal life. She's so self-destructive and awkward and pathetic, in ways, and I had a real hard time. She can do so much better.

You just want to shake her.
Yeah! Just slap her around a little. But I get it. It makes her more endearing and I love that she really is truly in love with him. And it makes it more sad, when you think about it. In that way, it's kind of delicious to play. But it was a little hard because I had to find a way because he's just awful. He's an awful person. I think ultimately you probably don't want them to be together because it's probably pretty toxic for both of them. But I'm glad to hear that it's hard to know whether the audience should want them together.

Well, it's more about her. It really has nothing to do with him.
Yeah, she's so into him and he would be fine without her. But, man, you kind of want a happy ending for Carol. I did. I think ultimately, in the end, she does get one.

Does Jamie know about Merc and Carol?
That's a good question. It will be slightly answered in the second season, whether she's aware or not. I don't know what I can say about that. It's just really interesting. She takes an interesting path in this second season. I think people should tune in just for that, to see what Merc's blind wife does in retaliation to piss off Merc. Because he's not a very good husband, regardless of whether she knows he's having an affair too.

It's not even that he's a bad husband, he's a bad guy all together.
It's not even intentional. He's just an incredibly self-involved person. It's always about "me, me, me" with him, so I think he'd open up to other people's problems if he saw that there were other people in the world. But there aren't, in his mind.

You and Tamsin (Greig, Beverly) are fantastic together.
Oh, thank you. She's one of my favorite all-time actresses I've ever had the privilege to work with. My God, she's great.

I loved in the first season when Carol and Beverly first bonded by completely s--t-faced together.
There's more of that to come!

I know, that was a huge ... thing ... you lit up [in the first episode]! [Laughs]
[Laughs] Isn't that funny? I don't have a lot of experience when it comes to marijuana. And when they gave me this thing, I did think for a second, "Boy, that's big. Oh, well, maybe it's just for the camera." Then when I watched it back, I was like, "What the...?"

But I love that they're closer because they both clearly need real friends.
I don't think either one of them has any friends, any girlfriends, so they form a relationship out of desperation, but it's also a relationship that works, really well. Beverly calls Carol on all of her crap, and vice versa. They just can't get away with anything, but they're also really sweet to each other, and very kind. Those are probably my favorite scenes to play because I've always wanted to do a tag-team duo thing with another really funny woman. In general, they're really fun to watch, for me. It's a real self-fulfilling goal for me. But I just love watching it, I love doing it. We also go hiking in the Griffith Park mountains this season and that was my favorite day of shooting. It was just so much fun. I'm a big hiker myself, so just to be outside, saying great lines to a really great actress and being filmed -- the best thing in the world.

Oh, I'm so excited. The best part about them is they don't seem forced. I truly buy their friendship.
I think the writers are incredibly good at earning every moment. They really take their time to set up all of the ... they're not even jokes.

They're not! They're just realistic conversations between two people.
Yeah. And there's never been a time when I thought, "Oh, I have to say this line? I just don't think Carol would ever say this." And that happens a lot in comedy where they compromise the character to get a good joke in, but they never do that. It's all character-driven, which is such a relief, it's such an easy thing to play. You know everything you're going to say is exactly what the character would say, you know where the motivation comes from, it just makes the job so much easier. You would be surprised how lovely are rare that is.

The relationships have been established, and they've been affected, and some of them have been ruined, and now we get into developing and mending and facing a lot of our issues as characters and there's really sweet, lovely moments that I cried during a few scenes. Especially revolving around Beverly and Sean. And then all of a sudden, somebody would come in with a great laugh line and it would pull you straight out and you start laughing while tears are running down your face. I think that's genius.

The Season 2 premiere of "Episodes" airs on Monday, July 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The Movie Network.

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