INTERVIEW: Christa Miller Breaks Down Comedy and ‘Shrinking’
Shrinking is a show that is such an easy watch that makes you care about its characters almost instantly. Created by Bill Lawrence, Brett Goldstein, and Jason Segel, the series focuses on Segel’s character Jimmy as he’s overcoming grief with the passing of his wife. But he’s not exactly present in the life of his daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell) and that’s where his neighbor Liz stepped in.
Played by Christa Miller, the character is a woman who is struggling with her kids moving out and what her life looks without work and being a mother in it. And that manifests in Liz taking over for Jimmy as a parent to Alice. But when he starts to figure out his own life, Liz is left without her purpose anymore and we get to see how she handles it.
For Miller though, joining the series was a must. And part of it was because the story was inspired by her own life. “Well, actually when it first came about, it’s inspired by my real psychiatrist and Brett Goldstein and Bill thought it was very interesting because he’s a character and very funny and Bill was doing a bunch of different projects,” she said. “He was like, ‘well what about this one? And maybe you should do a drama.’ And I was like, I wanna do Shrinking. I wanna do this. He’s like, ‘we haven’t even pitched yet.’ I’m like, ‘it’s gonna hit, everyone’s gonna wanna do it. I wanna do this show.’ And then, I mean, the fact that Bill got this cast together and Harrison, I mean Harrison is the funniest, best guy ever that hangs with all of us. It’s crazy. We’re working with Harrison Ford.”
The series itself is all about a community coming together. And in order to make that work in the series, we have to see people who know and love each other come to life. So I asked about building those relationships. “We were lucky because the first two weeks that we were shooting are sets were being built. And so we were in houses in Pasadena and where we were shooting was far from base camp where the trailers were,” Miller said. “So we all just stayed there and it was also rainy so we would have rain delays and we just hung out with Bill, Neil, and Brett and the cast and the series director. And it was like being in theater camp, you know, everyone was kind of able to break it down and a lot of the other writers were there too. We’re able to figure out personality quirks and how everyone has a kind of a slightly different sense of humor. And I think that was really helpful. You don’t always have that time before a show.”
But Miller hopes, in general, that the show helps with normalizing therapy for audiences. “I hope that stigma is taken away from therapy,” she said. “I also think cognitive behavioral therapy is really good to get into action and not just be talking to, to be actually getting into action with things and that grief, you know, even if you’re grieving you can still laugh and also to reach out. Because I think a lot of these characters get stuck and don’t reach out. And as a friend who I want to be there for my friends, it makes me feel good. I think everyone feels that way to be there for a friend and it makes me feel good.”
Shrinking airs weekly on Apple TV+!
(Featured image: Apple TV+)
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