Shalita Grant interview: ‘Search Party’
“Buck wild” is how actress Shalita Grant says she works. The Julliard School alumnus and past Tony Award nominee reveals in her exclusive interview with Gold Derby about recurring on “Search Party” (watch the video above), “I never know my lines. I don’t learn them. I don’t learn them the night before; I don’t learn them the morning of. I learn them probably about 10 minutes before we go up.” Grant explains that this process allows her to “go with the flow” on any last-minute script rewrites, “to listen in a very specific way” to her scene partners and finally to improvise because she is “genuinely responding to the moment.” She admits, “It’s a tightrope that I walk, I know!”
Cassidy Diamond is the “terrible, but very well-dressed and beautiful — glamorous — defense attorney” that Grant plays in seven episodes of the third season of “Search Party.” The satire is available to stream on HBO Max and Grant says that people “really should watch” so that they do not “feel super left out” and especially “if anybody’s feeling a little sad during this pandemic; we all got something.”
Grant reveals, “Diamond was a recast, so they had already had someone in the role and had shot a few days with this person and it wasn’t really working out, so they had to go back to the drawing board.” Reimagining the part with “several vocal tics,” Grant ultimately debuts as a scene-stealer in the episode titled “The Rookie Lawyer” as the rookie lawyer herself, representing Alia Shawkat‘s character Dory Sief.
Michaela Watkins plays prosecuting attorney Polly Danzinger. Grant continues, “I had the most fun with Michaela! She’s crazy! She’s crazy the way I’m crazy! We’re just two broads that are very open — super open! Show up to work, no idea what’s going to happen, but we’re down for it and she was actually hurt when she first showed up. She was bitten by a coyote.”
She will appear on the Emmy Awards nominating ballot in the Best Comedy Guest Actress category, specifically for her performance in the episode titled “In God We Trust,” in which Dory’s trial begins. Grant originally auditioned with material from this installment and further justifies the submission, “It’s a good microcosm for all of the work that I do before the episode and after, but that opening statement — it’s one of the things that people tweet me the most about, besides a spin-off with Michaela.”
Grant will next appear in the continuing drama “You” starring Penn Badgley on Netflix, in a series-regular role as Sherry Conrad. She teases with reference to Travis Van Winkle‘s new character, “Cassidy Diamond walked, so Sherry Conrad could run, okay? The things that go on in season three of ‘You’ around Sherry and Cary — buck wild (and that’s all I’m going to tell you, my friend).”