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Young & Hungry Series Premiere Preview [VIDEO and PHOTOS + Aimee Carrero INTERVIEW] 

Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Bob D'Amico
Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Bob D’Amico

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). 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. 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 – personal chef to tech millionaire Josh (Jonathan Sadowski). Josh’s right hand man, Elliott (Rex Lee), is not impressed with Gabi, but Josh is won over by Gabi’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.

Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Bob D'Amico
Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Bob D’Amico


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, that’s actually a pretty interesting story. I auditioned for Young & Hungry 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 didn’t get a callback, which happens all the time. So I didn’t get any further. Then I happened to have just done a guest star role on 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, ‘We don’t really know what we have for you. We’d love to cast you in something else. Actually, have you auditioned for Young & Hungry?’ And I lied and said I hadn’t since I didn’t get a call back. They’re like, ‘Great. We’ll set you up with a meeting with the producers. It’ll be wonderful.’ I was like, ‘Sweet. Done.’ So I waked in with different sides –  sides being a part of the script for a different character – and what’s interesting is usually after your first callback you meet the director and blah blah blah and after that you have what’s called the screen test. They called me a few days later and said, ‘Hey we don’t even need you to screen test. You just have the job.’ And I was thrilled. If it hadn’t been for that lie I would’ve never been on the show.”

TV GOODNESS: For people who haven’t seen Young & Hungry yet, what’s the show about and tell us more about your character.

Aimee: “The show is about a girl who’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 it’s about her adjustment into that very elite world. She’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. She’s a Ricky Ricardo to the Lucy, maybe a mix of Ricky and Ethel because she has a little fun with her terrible plans. She’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 it’s a fun show and we don’t see a lot of sitcoms anymore. It’s a great thing.”

TV GOODNESS: What can we look forward to with your character? You’re an assistant at a law firm, right?

Aimee: “Well, I don’t know if that’s been fleshed out yet. We’re between either a law firm or some sort of money/accounting or money/wealth management situation. I don’t think that’s been defined. That’s been the running joke on the set. We’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 doesn’t approve of him because secretly there’s a little romance budding between Gabi and Josh. So the guy she starts dating secretly is an employee of Josh’s. She doesn’t want to get caught and she thinks she gets caught so she comes up with this plan that I’m secretly dating this guy. So we have to go on a double date and it’s really awkward because he thinks I’m dating him and everything goes awry. Really that story is just testing their friendship. You know when you live with someone it’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, there’s some great stuff. Sofia goes on a few not-so-great dates, but what I love about the show too is that it’s not just about these girls meeting guys. I know the two storylines I told you are about guys. Maybe it’s why this is relevant – women that are in their early 20s and they’re figuring it out. It’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 we’re in right now in this country. So it’s about that, it’s about the struggle, about not knowing every single thing, of not knowing about life and managing to make your way through that. So that’s what I really like about the show. It’s doesn’t sugarcoat things. I mean, it does. It’s a comedy. But it doesn’t shy away from, ‘This sucks. We’re in our 20s. We don’t know what we’re doing and we have trouble getting through.’ So that’s what the stories are about.”

TV GOODNESS: I think it’s great to see the humor in situations we’ve all been in. Maybe we’ve struggled. Maybe we got that dream job we wanted, maybe we didn’t. I’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 that world and I’m her link to her past, or link to the reality of the situation. So they’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 I’m not just bookending the episodes – with starting in the apartment, ending in the apartment. I’ve actually had the opportunity to work with everybody and everybody’s just so great and they’re all these pros. Emily’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. She’s unbelievable and adds so much warmth to the set. She’s a mom and she’s been around and she’s so funny. And Rex I’ve been watching since Entourage. When I was living in Miami, going to college, never could’ve dreamed to moving to Los Angeles, I would watch Entourage to learn about the business so Rex and I, we’ve had a one-sided relationship for a very long time and now it’s two-sided so it’s really, really great. Everyone’s been a joy.”

TV GOODNESS: Looking at your bio, it’s seems like you’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. There’s this old saying, ‘Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.’ And it’s true. As far as having a mix of both, that’s what I’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 – well, they both do in different ways. I was on The Americans and that was another level of anxiety and panic right before the cameras role. But it’s funny because I was never the most clever of my friends growing up. I was never the funny one. I’m not a comedian. I think I’m an actor that can deliver a funny line and I can understand comedy, but if we go to dinner I’m not gonna do a standup show. I might try, but you might think it’s horrible. [Laughs.]What I love about comedy is that it’s almost musical. It’s very in your body and a lot of it is very sensual. There’s a part of me that gravitates towards that because I tend to overthink everything, so in comedy it’s either you get it or you don’t get it. You can actually work on it and improve but it’s almost like you’ve got to trust your body, that it’ll know what to do, you have to trust the cadence, you have to trust the beat and that’s what keeps it so challenging. With sitcoms it’s very challenging because we do this multi-cam thing and I don’t know how familiar the TV Goodness readers are with the differences between multi-cam and single-cam, but when you’re doing a single-cam show you shoot every day and it’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 it’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 don’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 you’re constantly being evaluated by the writers, by the network. Is this working? Is this joke not working? And even when you’re shooting they rewrite the lines if they don’t have the [audience] response that they want. Or they think they can do better with an alternate line, they’ll give you a new line right then and there. So I think there’s a pressure that’s not unlike theater. When I was on stage in New York a couple of years ago some nights I’d go home and you just replay it in your head. You’re like, ‘God if I had just done la la la,’ you know? Whereas a single-cam, you’re exhausted all of the time because you’re working 14 hours but when you go home you leave it because it’s so piecemeal and you don’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 sitcom it’s that kind of pressure.

TV GOODNESS: It sounds like a challenge. I love that you mentioned The Americans because that’s where I know you from. It’s one of my favorite shows.

Aimee: “Oh God. I loved it.”

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/FX
Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/FX

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 Holden - I promise this’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, ‘Hey can you put yourself on tape for The Americans? It’s eleven pages and you have to translate the last scene into Spanish and do that too.’ And I’m thinking, ‘I’m at a callback. I feel like there’s no way, I can’t get it done.’ And they said, ‘It has to be in at 6 am LA time, 9 am New York time. They need to cast somebody right away.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is impossible. There’s no way I can do it.’ There was something nagging, ‘Just do it Aimee. So what? You’ll lose a little sleep. No big deal. Just do it.’ 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, ‘Please. I’ll drive you home. I’ll buy you dinner.’ So by the time we were done it’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, ‘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, ‘Ok. Oh my gosh.’ This was the day after Young & Hungry so I came all the way back – it’s not that bad, it’s like a 2 hour drive – but I had just gotten there and swallowed a martini and thought, ‘Well, ok. I have to sit here for an hour at least so I can sober up and go back to LA.’ [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 there’s all these Oscars and I’m like, ‘Where am I?’ I’m looking and I realize I’m at Amblin. I don’t know what that is so I start reading and I see it’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 I’m slowly dying inside. But you know what? I had a nice conference call with the creators of The Americans Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields and what I love about The Americans is they’re so committed to making it right. There’s no laziness there. There’s no, ‘Well, the audience won’t know the difference.’ They’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 Lucia’s age in 1982 and I felt like a lot of the research portion, that was cut down, thank God, because I didn’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, ‘You were horrible. We hated you. You’ll never work in this town again.’ 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. 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: ” I’d love to do more theater. I’m always trying to do more theater, but it’s hard with the TV schedule. We’ll see, but things happen and you can’t worry about it. I know another opportunity will come. They always do. Right now it’s just Young & Hungry and I feel really confident that the show will do well so we all feel real confident that we’ll be back soon.”

TV GOODNESS: How many episodes have you filmed so far? Are you already done for the season?

Aimee: “We’re on a hiatus this week, but we’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. I’m looking forward to seeing how audiences respond.

Aimee: “Yeah. I agree. Totally. And it’s a little older for ABC Family too.”

TV GOODNESS: Which is great.

Aimee: “It’s a little older than what they’re used to. So that’s good.”

Edited for space and content.

Young & Hungry premieres tonighy at 8/7c on ABC Family.



All photos credited to ABC FAMILY/Bob D’Amico and ABC FAMILY/Eric McCandless.


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