Actress Mircea Monroe discusses playing Morning Randolph on the Showtime comedy series Episodes
Mircea Monroe is an actress you're going to be seeing a lot more of in the future, if she keeps working at her current pace. After memorable roles in the Supernatural spin-off Ghostfacers and films such as Tekken, and The Change-Up, the versatile blonde is poised for a breakthrough. She returns as TV star Morning Randolph in the Showtime comedy series Episodes, which pokes fun at the TV network system through a show-within-the-show entitled Pucks.
I recently had the chance to speak with Mircea Monroe for Episodes: The First Season DVD set, currently available at retailers everywhere, and the upcoming second season, debuting Sunday, July 1 at 10:30 PM ET (CLICK HERE to watch the full Season 2 Premiere episode right now!).
Take a look at what she had to say about this character, whose age is always subject to debate.
I've been following you on Twitter for awhile, so it's nice to speak with you.
Mircea Monroe: Oh no (Laughs).
Oh yes. Your Twitter feed is hilarious.
Mircea Monroe: I don't realize that... I have such a lack of awareness that it's actually on the Internet (Laughs).
I just recently caught the first season, and I really enjoyed it. The first thing I thought of, when we find out about the mystery surrounding Morning's age, was the IMDB lawsuit actress. I believe that news broke last October, so were you guys shooting Episodes when that story broke?
Mircea Monroe: That's such a smart question. They wrote it well before that came out, but it's the same idea. It's a great question, but yeah, they had written that before.
Do you think her age is something that should never be revealed? There are shows that never really reveal certain things, like the janitor's name on Scrubs. Do we get any hints in Season 2?
Mircea Monroe: It comes up. I mean, you have a pretty good idea that she's in her late 40s. It's less of a mystery. I think it almost takes away, in the same way where you maybe reveal too much about your personal life, it takes away from the character. I feel that if people know, and it could be distracting from the job they're doing, then there's no need to. The whole idea is to suspend disbelief. I personally don't want anyone to know, because I want to keep working for awhile (Laughs).
I have to ask about the sex tape scene in Season 1. It was crazy. For one, you probably can't even say "sex tape" on a lot of networks, let alone do the things you did. Can you talk about that day, and what shooting a scene like that was like?
Mircea Monroe: It was weird because the guy that was in it, was essentially an extra. That's fine, of course, but it's not like an actor who you know. I met him, and within two minutes, we're making this sex tape. It also wasn't like a normal shoot. We were in a room with this handheld camera and just us. The director was there, but he was also shooting another scene. It was very intimate, but the actor was great and super sweet. It was definitely a challenge, in some ways.
When they mentioned it earlier on the show, I didn't know we'd actually get to see that. I wasn't expecting that.
Mircea Monroe: It was a good lesson for me in letting go and being in the moment, so to speak.
This show has so much to say about the network system in general. Do you think it also might be an underhanded dig on the average network viewer as well? The characters who were involved in Pucks, didn't really like it, but it screened off the charts. Can you talk about that dynamic of the show?
Mircea Monroe: (Creators) David (Crane) and Jeffrey (Klarik) are insanely smart and funny and talented. They've been in the business for a long time, and they based it on their experiences, and, of course, heightened them. As far as the audience goes, I think they have a lot of respect for the people who have made them successful, that being the audience. But, it's also true that, sometimes, bad shows do well.
I'm normally not a huge fan of these short, seven-episode seasons, but I thought it worked really well in the first season, showing how the pilot was made. With Season 2, you have nine episodes, so how far do we get into the first season of Pucks?
Mircea Monroe: Oh, the second season starts a few months after the first season ends. We see Pucks premiering, and a little more of the inner workings, like the characters on the Pucks show, other characters besides me and Matt (LeBlanc). You sort of get to know everybody a bit better. You do see more with Pucks, but it's still about the outside, and what's going on in the show, not the show within the show.
Are you in all nine episodes then?
Mircea Monroe: I'm in seven or eight of the nine.
Are there any memorable Morning moments you can tease for Season 2?
Mircea Monroe: Oh, something happens with Morning, which is one of the best, if not the best thing I've done as an actor. It's just so funny. I think it's one of the funniest things I've been a part of. Anything more and it will tell you exactly what it is and ruin everything, but it's so good.
It's something I'll definitely know when I see it then?
Mircea Monroe: Oh yes you will!
In the first season, there were several of these Hollywood stars mentioned by name. Are there any celebrity cameos, anyone playing themselves in Season 2?
Mircea Monroe: The answer to that is no, but there was going to be one, and they ended up not doing it. What they did worked better, but there was talk, initially, of doing something like that. What they ultimately decided was best for the show.
It's something I almost want to see, but don't want to see at the same time. I wouldn't want this to turn into Entourage, with a new guest star every week. It becomes more about that than the story.
Mircea Monroe: Exactly! I think the way that they did it worked better, and I think it's funny to have it talked about and not seen. They were open to that. I don't think they were totally against that, but it's about what works best for the story.
You have quite a lot coming up besides Episodes. There is Magic Mike, where you play Matthew Bomer's girlfriend. People are definitely talking about that a lot lately. Can you talk about shooting that?
Mircea Monroe: We shot it in Florida, in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, because that's where I think Channing (Tatum) was actually from. Basically, there was just a lot of hotness going on. A lot of hotness and talent. There was an explosion of hot talent, and it was delicious on my eyeballs.
You see the ads, all these guys with their shirts off, but then every now and then we'll see women like you or Olivia Munn. It's nice there's that there too, for the other side.
Mircea Monroe: Yeah, there's definitely stuff for the straight dudes to enjoy as well. Then there's the story, with (director) (Steven) Soderbergh, and it's a good movie. It was fun to work on something where everyone was around my age. Joe (Manganiello) and I had done Scrubs together, years ago, where each of us had a few lines. It was a fun experience to be with my peers, and all these people who are growing. I didn't do too much on it. I was just there for a week or two, just enough to get a little taste of that experience.
Mircea Monroe: That is such a good question. It should be airing really soon. I need to find out, but it was a coincidence. White Collar was completely separate from Magic Mike. I got it, and told Matt, so it was after. Matt is the absolute best, but me getting it was independent of them even knowing I had done Magic Mike.
Is there anything else you have coming up that you can talk about?
Mircea Monroe: I've done a shit-ton of independents. There's just no telling. There's one right now called 3 Days of Normal, that is so sweet. I'm so proud of it, and it's doing the festivals, but who knows. There are about four other ones, actually even five, because there is one I did two years ago that finally came out in a few theaters in New York and a few theaters in L.A.
Is it fun balancing big-budget stuff like Magic Mike and The Change-Up, which I thought you were hilarious in, with smaller projects? Do you go into projects looking at a balance between studio stuff and indie stuff?
Mircea Monroe: When I did that 3 Days of Normal one, we had no budget and we were all staying in a house in New Hampshire. There's no trailers, and it's just a family environment. There's not much of a crew, you just do what you need to do. You're working a trillion hours day. I actually put The Change-Up on tape, when I was on that movie, in my room in that house. It's just such a juxtaposition from The Change-Up, where you have a car and 18,000 people who are there to make sure that you're happy. Each thing is wonderful in its own way. I like to balance them. I think the little ones remind you of why you're doing it, and what it's about. There's something exciting about completing it, and the challenge of not having any money. I find that really exciting. It creates such a strong family environment. The big ones are amazing for obvious reasons, monetarily, but because they have all of these resources, you can do so much more. They're both really wonderful in completely different ways.
Is there anything that you're going to shoot this summer that you can talk about?
Mircea Monroe: I'm doing a lot of improv and stand-up and that kind of stuff. There are a couple of things that I'm going to be shooting, and I'm sure more will come up, but I wanted to shift the focus, just for a little bit. It's definitely a whirlwind, but I absolutely love it. That's the great thing about this business, you have no idea what happens in five minutes.
What would you like to say to anyone who didn't see the first season about why they should get this DVD set and check out the second season?
Mircea Monroe: I would just say that it's worth it (Laughs). It's funny, it has heart, and it's just great entertainment, and well, well worth it. I 100% stand by it (Laughs).
Great. That's my time. Thanks so much. It was great talking to you.
Mircea Monroe: Thanks so much. I'll talk to you soon.
You can watch the lovely Mircea Monroe as Morning Randolph in Episodes: The First Season, currently available on DVD, and in the upcoming second season of Episodes, debuting Sunday, July 1 at 10:30 PM ET on Showtime. You can also CLICK HERE to watch the Season 2 Premiere right now.