INTERVIEW: India de Beaufort Talks ‘Night Court’
Night Court brings us back into the world of Harry Stone’s court. Well, sort of. The show follows Abby Stone (Melissa Rauch) as she becomes the new judge of the Night Court, taking over the position once held by her father Harry (played in the original series by Harry Anderson). But much like Harry’s court, Abby’s is one about hope and seeing how she interacts with characters both new and old is a fun time.
One of those new characters is India de Beaufort’s Olivia. The Prosecutor who is up against John Larroquette’s Dan Fielding every night, she’s pretty much that same kind of attitude that Fielding brought to the original series. And it’s refreshing to see. It’s helped by de Beaufort’s charm and willingness to come back with a quick retort to these characters who are genuinely trying their best.
And in talking with India de Beaufort about the series, it’s clear she loves how the series is updated for a 2023 audience. I asked about whether or not she was part of the generation (like me) who grew up watching it on Nick at Nite and she said she wasn’t, as she grew up in the U.K., but she did go through the entire series with her husband fellow actor Todd Grinnell three months before her audition. And so it made her have a love and appreciation for the show.
But that doesn’t mean we’re getting the same series over again. There have been changes and for the better. “It was a slightly different show in terms of what is and isn’t socially acceptable,” she said. “Dan Fielding is a great example of a character that evolved in a wonderful way and I’m really excited for people to get to see the new Dan Fielding ,the Dan Fielding in his seventies who has been updated to 2023. For me, I am a lover of multi-cam and I’m a lover of, honestly, the way we used to do it. And I’m kind of sad that we don’t do it that way anymore. It almost feels like we’ve kind of forgotten how to make great multi-cam television. Norman Leer is a friend of mine and my husband was on a Norman Leer reboot called One Day at a Time and I played his love interest on that show.”
Grinnell played the landlord Schneider and de Beaufort was Avery. You may remember Grinnell as being referred to as the tall Paul Rudd. Probably by me (definitely by me) but their working relationship seems so sweet and while Grinnell is not (yet) in Night Court, it is clear that de Beaufort’s connection to the show is through him.
But de Beaufort went on to talk how the series is updated for a new audience. “So it’s very much been in the front of our minds over the last 10 years, what it looks like when you refresh a multi-cam and bring it into the current day and age, but try to respectfully you do it and honor what has gone before,” she said. “And I think what we’ve done with Night Court is we’ve carried over a place to disappear. The joy, the fun, the lighthearted spirit, but we’ve also made sure that as much as you’re laughing, you’re also occasionally crying and you’re invested in these characters while you’re kind of being taken out of the everyday life, which for the moment put a lot of us very serious. So Night Court‘s kind of hoot, it’s a fun place to hang out and in terms of the way that it’s shifted, male versus female, imbalance, equality, all that kind of stuff, the series regulars three are women, two are men.”
And that is so refreshing to see. I love Olivia and I can’t wait to see where the show takes her character and it is all thanks to India de Beaufort and her performance!
(featured image: Jordin Althaus/NBC/Warner Bros. Television)
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