Young & Hungry Series Premiere Preview [VIDEO and PHOTOS + Aimee Carrero INTERVIEW]
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
I’m such a sucker for a coming of age story and the name of the series says it all. We all know what it’s like to be young and hungry (literally, figuratively, metaphorically).Â We’ve got a woman in her early 20s who is passionately pursuing her dream in the big city – in this case, San Francisco. Her best friend and roommate is very pragmatic, but encourages her to go after what she wants.Â She’ll face challenges, but in the end she’ll learn something about herself before going on to become wildly successful. Or, at least, I hope that’s the way it will go in the end. Add in a big helping of humor and laugh-out-loud funny moments and you’ve got something special.
Pilot Synopsis, From ABC Family:
Gabi (Emily Osment), a feisty, young chef, has just landed an interview for her dream job â€“ personal chef to tech millionaire Josh (Jonathan Sadowski).Â Joshâ€™s right hand man, Elliott (Rex Lee), is not impressed with Gabi, but Josh is won over by Gabiâ€™s ability to know exactly what he wants to eat. When the romantic dinner Gabi planned to help Josh propose to his girlfriend takes a very unexpected turn, Gabi fears she may have lost the best job she ever had. Kym Whitley and Aimee Carrero also star. The premiere episode features a special appearance by Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio.
Last week TV Goodness spoke exclusively with series star Aimee Carrero about the allure of doing comedy, what’s coming up for her character on the show and how she got Young & Hungry and The Americans on the same day.
TV GOODNESS: How did you hear about this project and what made you want to be involved?
Aimee Carrero: “Well, thatâ€™s actually a pretty interesting story. I auditioned forÂ Young & HungryÂ in the very early stages and sometimes what they do in the biz, I suppose, is they’ll just have everybody audition for one character and then weed out people that way. So I actually auditioned for the Gabi role, which is the lead role that Emily Osment plays and I didnâ€™t get a callback, which happens all the time. So I didnâ€™t get any further. Then I happened to have just done a guest star role onÂ Baby Daddy, which is also on ABC Family and through that I had a meeting with one of the big executives there. They asked me, â€˜We donâ€™t really know what we have for you. We’d love to cast you in something else. Actually, have you auditioned forÂ Young & Hungry?â€™ And I lied and said I hadnâ€™t since I didnâ€™t get a call back. Theyâ€™re like, â€˜Great. Weâ€™ll set you up with a meeting with the producers. Itâ€™ll be wonderful.â€™ I was like, â€˜Sweet. Done.â€™ So I waked in with different sides – Â sides being a part of the script for a different character – and whatâ€™s interesting is usually after your first callback you meet the director and blah blah blah and after that you have whatâ€™s called the screen test. They called me a few days later and said, â€˜Hey we donâ€™t even need you to screen test. You just have the job.â€™ And I was thrilled. If it hadnâ€™t been for that lie I wouldâ€™ve never been on the show.”
TV GOODNESS: For people who havenâ€™t seen Young & Hungry yet, whatâ€™s the show about and tell us more about your character.
Aimee: “The show is about a girl whoâ€™s in her early 20s and she is very passionate and whimsical and not great at the common sense stuff, but really warm and loving and caring, just a wonderful person to be around. She gets a chance to work for a Mark Zuckerberg type guy, who is very high up in the San Francisco tech world and itâ€™s about her adjustmentÂ into that very elite world. Sheâ€™s broke and I play her roommate. Sofia is a very Type A, ambitious girl who Gabi lives with and sort of keeps her on the straight and narrow. Sheâ€™s a Ricky Ricardo to the Lucy, maybe a mix of Ricky and Ethel because she has a little fun with her terrible plans. Sheâ€™s always getting herself in trouble, the Emily character is, and I’m having to bail her out and give her not so sage or sage advice when the time comes. I think itâ€™s a fun show and we donâ€™t see a lot of sitcoms anymore. Itâ€™s a great thing.”
TV GOODNESS: What can we look forward to with your character? Youâ€™re an assistant at a law firm, right?
Aimee: “Well, I donâ€™t know if thatâ€™s been fleshed out yet. Weâ€™re between either a law firm or some sort of money/accounting or money/wealth management situation. I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s been defined. Thatâ€™s been the running joke on the set. Weâ€™re not really sure what Sofia does, but she does something in business. She goes to an office every day.”
TV GOODNESS: What does Sofia have coming up?
Aimee: “I have some really great stuff as far as my relationship with Gabi. In a recent episode she starts dating a guy, the Gabi character does, that Josh, played by Jonathan Sadowski, does not approve of. And, of course, he doesnâ€™t approve of him because secretly thereâ€™s a little romance budding between Gabi and Josh. So the guy she starts dating secretly is an employee of Joshâ€™s. She doesnâ€™t want to get caught and she thinks she gets caught so she comes up with this plan that Iâ€™m secretly dating this guy. So we have to go on a double date and itâ€™s really awkward because he thinks Iâ€™m dating him and everything goes awry. Really that story is just testing their friendship. You know when you live with someone itâ€™s little things that bug you about that person and eventually they come to a head, but in the end it strengthens their friendship, of course. Yeah, thereâ€™s some great stuff. Sofia goes on a few not-so-great dates, but what I love about the show too is that itâ€™s not just about these girls meeting guys. I know the two storylines I told you are about guys. Maybe itâ€™s why this is relevant â€“ women that are in their early 20s and theyâ€™re figuring it out. Itâ€™s timely in that I have friends that are in the same boat as these girls, they have trouble getting jobs because of the financial atmosphere that weâ€™re in right now in this country. So itâ€™s about that, itâ€™s about the struggle, about not knowing every single thing, of not knowing about life and managing to make your way through that. So thatâ€™s what I really like about the show. Itâ€™s doesnâ€™t sugarcoat things. I mean, it does. Itâ€™s a comedy. But it doesnâ€™t shy away from, â€˜This sucks. Weâ€™re in our 20s. We donâ€™t know what weâ€™re doing and we have trouble getting through.â€™ So thatâ€™s what the stories are about.”
TV GOODNESS: I think itâ€™s great to see the humor in situations weâ€™ve all been in. Maybe weâ€™ve struggled. Maybe we got that dream job we wanted, maybe we didnâ€™t. Iâ€™m enjoying that aspect of the show as well.
Aimee: “Yeah. And the show has only gotten stronger. That happens in comedy. I think we have a really strong pilot, but as the writers get to know your voice and start to flesh out the characters and find out how we all communicate, I think the show has just gotten better and better as those episodes have gone on. But I look forward to seeing that too, seeing how the characters grow and how people respond to the show.”
TV GOODNESS: This cast is great. You talked a little bit about working with Jonathan. Have you had the chance to work with anyone else?
Aimee: “Oh, yes absolutely. The writers have had their work cut out for them with Sofia because everybody else in the cast works together in thatÂ world and Iâ€™m her link to her past, or link to the reality of the situation. So theyâ€™ve done a wonderful job to get me out of the apartment. In the pilot you see me in that way and slowly but surely, and I think in a very organic way, they introduce me into that world so Iâ€™m not just bookending the episodes â€“ with starting in the apartment, ending in the apartment. Iâ€™ve actually had the opportunity to work with everybody and everybodyâ€™s just so great and theyâ€™re all these pros. Emilyâ€™s been working since she was five or something ridiculous, but she just knows exactly how the sitcom world works and Kym is a legend. Sheâ€™s unbelievable and adds so much warmth to the set. Sheâ€™s a mom and sheâ€™s been around and sheâ€™s so funny. And Rex Iâ€™ve been watching since Entourage. When I was living in Miami, going to college, never couldâ€™ve dreamed to moving to Los Angeles, I would watch Entourage to learn about the business so Rex and I, weâ€™ve had a one-sided relationship for a very long time and now itâ€™s two-sided so itâ€™s really, really great. Everyoneâ€™s been a joy.”
TV GOODNESS: Looking at your bio, itâ€™s seems like youâ€™ve done a good mix of comedy and drama. What is it about comedy that appeals to or challenges you?
Aimee: “Comedy is hard. Everybody says that. Thereâ€™s this old saying, â€˜Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.â€™ And itâ€™s true. As far as having a mix of both, thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m going for. I hope that continues to be the case in my career because I love both of them equally. One of them beats the crap out of you â€“ well, they both do in different ways. I was onÂ The AmericansÂ and that was another level of anxiety and panic right before the cameras role. But itâ€™s funny because I was never the most clever of my friends growing up. I was never the funny one. Iâ€™m not a comedian. I think Iâ€™m an actor that can deliver a funny line and I can understand comedy, but if we go to dinner Iâ€™m not gonna do a standup show. I might try, but you might think itâ€™s horrible. [Laughs.]What I love about comedy is that itâ€™s almost musical. Itâ€™s very in your body and a lot of it is very sensual. Thereâ€™s a part of me that gravitates towards that because I tend to overthink everything, so in comedy itâ€™s either you get it or you donâ€™t get it. You can actually work on it and improve but itâ€™s almost like youâ€™ve got to trust your body, that itâ€™ll know what to do, you have to trust the cadence, you have to trust the beat and thatâ€™s what keeps it so challenging. With sitcoms itâ€™s very challenging because we do this multi-cam thing and I donâ€™t know how familiar the TV Goodness readers are with the differences between multi-cam and single-cam, but when youâ€™re doing a single-cam show you shoot every day and itâ€™s a 12 hour day just like anything else and you go home and you learn your lines for the next day. With a sitcom itâ€™s like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Monday you do a table read, the script changes. Tuesday you have some rehearsal, then you do a run through. You do the whole show beginning to end for the writers and then the script changes. Wednesday, and by the way you donâ€™t get the script until 6 am the next morning. You have from 6 am to when rehearsals start at 9 am to learn all of it and so on and so forth so youâ€™re constantly being evaluated by the writers, by the network. Is this working? Is this joke not working? And even when youâ€™re shooting they rewrite the lines if they donâ€™t have the [audience] response that they want. Or they think they can do better with an alternate line, theyâ€™ll give you a new line right then and there. So I think thereâ€™s a pressure that’s not unlike theater. When I was on stage in New York a couple of years ago some nights Iâ€™d go home and you just replay it in your head. Youâ€™re like, â€˜God if I had just done la la la,â€™ you know? Whereas a single-cam, youâ€™re exhausted all of the time because youâ€™re working 14 hours but when you go home you leave it because itâ€™s so piecemeal and you donâ€™t really see the arc every single day you just live in those moments. It’s hard to judge yourself minute to minute when you’re doing a single-cam show, but when you’re doing a sitcomÂ itâ€™s that kind of pressure.
TV GOODNESS: It sounds like a challenge. I love that you mentioned The Americans because thatâ€™s where I know you from. Itâ€™s one of my favorite shows.
Aimee: “Oh God. I loved it.”
TV GOODNESS: How did that come about?
Aimee: “Young & Hungry and The Americans are kind of tied together because you know how I said I lied about not going to the audition? They brought me straight in to a callback and our creator David HoldenÂ -Â I promise thisâ€™ll pay off in a second – was working on another show and he was only available to see actors and actresses at 8 pm on a Tuesday night. So we were all sitting there waiting for this guy to show up. At 8:30 I get an email from my agent saying, â€˜Hey can you put yourself on tape forÂ The Americans? Itâ€™s eleven pages and you have to translate the last scene into Spanish and do that too.â€™ And Iâ€™m thinking, â€˜Iâ€™m at a callback. I feel like thereâ€™s no way, I canâ€™t get it done.â€™ And they said, â€˜It has to be in at 6 am LA time, 9 am New York time. They need to cast somebody right away.â€™ And Iâ€™m like, â€˜Oh my gosh. This is impossible. Thereâ€™s no way I can do it.â€™ There was something nagging, â€˜Just do it Aimee. So what? Youâ€™ll lose a little sleep. No big deal. Just do it.â€™ So I begged my friend, who I had done a play with and she went to Yale and is a Tony-nominated actress, and is just amazing. And I begged her, like I usually do, to help me with auditions, â€˜Please. Iâ€™ll drive you home. Iâ€™ll buy you dinner.â€™ So by the time we were done itâ€™s 2 in the morning. I sent it out and the next day I was driving to Palm Springs with some girlfriends for a birthday party or something. I got to Palm Springs and I got a call saying, â€˜Hey you have to come back to LA. They want to see you at Universal for a subscribed callback for The Americans. So I was like, â€˜Ok. Oh my gosh.â€™ This was the day after Young & Hungry so I came all the way back â€“ itâ€™s not that bad, itâ€™s like a 2 hour drive â€“ but I had just gotten there and swallowed a martini and thought, â€˜Well, ok. I have to sit here for an hour at least so I can sober up and go back to LA.â€™ [Laughs.] So I went back and it was all a blur and it was new lines too, so of course they get you in that way. So I get to Universal and I go through four different security checkpoints and then they put me in this office and thereâ€™s all these Oscars and Iâ€™m like, â€˜Where am I?â€™ Iâ€™m looking and I realize Iâ€™m at Amblin. I donâ€™t know what that is so I start reading and I see itâ€™s owned by Steven Spielberg. Perfect. I have this sex scene audition that I just got in the car in front of one of the co-chairmen of Amblin Entertainment so Iâ€™m slowly dying inside. But you know what? I had a nice conference call with the creators ofÂ The AmericansÂ Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields and what I love aboutÂ The AmericansÂ is theyâ€™re so committed to making it right. Thereâ€™s no laziness there. There’s no, â€˜Well, the audience wonâ€™t know the difference.â€™ Theyâ€™re very committed to making the show as authentic as possible and still tell a great story. I had a great conversation with them and was I actually strangely prepared for this job because I studied International Relations in college and one of the countries I visited randomly, like six years before, was Nicaragua. I had met women who had been Luciaâ€™s age in 1982 and I felt like a lot of the research portion, that was cut down, thank God, because I didnâ€™t really have a lot of time to work on it. But I knew the story in my bones because I had met these people who had terrifying, terrifying pasts and just really tragic things happen to them in their families. So I went home and I went right to sleep after that because of all the adrenaline and because I had gotten no sleep the night before. I got a phone call and I thought it was from The Americans saying, â€˜You were horrible. We hated you. Youâ€™ll never work in this town again.â€™ And it was the call from Young & Hungry, which I was not expecting. And so I got them on the same day, which is the best day ever.Â It was wonderful.”
TV GOODNESS: Do you have anything else coming up? I know you like doing theater and guest-staring roles. What else besides Young & Hungry is on your plate?
Aimee: ” Iâ€™d love to do more theater. Iâ€™m always trying to do more theater, but itâ€™s hard with the TV schedule. Weâ€™ll see, but things happen and you canâ€™t worry about it. I know another opportunity will come. They always do. Right now itâ€™s just Young & Hungry and I feel really confident that the show will do well so we all feel real confident that weâ€™ll be back soon.”
TV GOODNESS: How many episodes have you filmed so far? Are you already done for the season?
Aimee: “Weâ€™re on a hiatus this week, but weâ€™ve got three more to go and then we air while shooting, which is great because a lot of cable shows shoot so far in advance.”
TV GOODNESS: The show has great potential. Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing how audiences respond.
Aimee: “Yeah. I agree. Totally. And itâ€™s a little older for ABC Family too.”
TV GOODNESS: Which is great.
Aimee: “Itâ€™s a little older than what theyâ€™re used to. So thatâ€™s good.”
Edited for space and content.
Young & Hungry premieres tonighyÂ at 8/7c on ABC Family.
All photos credited to ABC FAMILY/Bob D’Amico andÂ ABC FAMILY/Eric McCandless.
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