[WATCH] Natalie Zea (‘The Detour’) on playing part created by Samantha Bee & Jason Jones

“I went to drama school and when I got out I found that people were really, really quick to pigeonhole you into one genre or another,” reveals Natalie Zea as we chat via webcam (watch above) about her shift from dramas like “Justified” and “The Following” to the new TBS comedy “The Detour.” As she explains, “I’m trained to be a comedic actor, so I’ve always sort of been trying to get back there.”

On “The Detour,” she plays Robin, whose husband Nate (Jason Jones) tricks her into taking a road trip with their two kids. Jones created the series with his real-life wife Samantha Bee, star of TBS’s “Full Frontal.” Bee’s decision not to play the role “was more of an economical decision, kind of a safety net that if this thing failed, Sam had her show.” Or perhaps, says Zea in jest, “maybe they secretly hate each other.”

The show was renewed by the network even before the first two episodes aired back-to-back on April 11. We suggest that her Emmy submission might well be the second of those, “The Hotel,” in which her character gets high after eating pot-laced gummies. As we tell her, playing stoned or drunk proved to be a winning strategy for Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) at the Emmys. “I didn’t know that!” Zea exclaims. “Thank you, guys. Okay, its episode two!”

Also in our chat, Zea teases upcoming episodes, including “The Road,” which will air on May 16. “Flashback is near and dear to me,” she says. She also talks about working with Ashley Gerasimovich and Liam Carroll, who play her children Delilah and Jared, and even hints at what we might expect to see in Season 2 of “The Detour.”


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