Greendale Community is proud to present an exclusive interview with the wonderful Yvette Nicole Brown. You all know her as Shirley the sweet, caring but sometimes angry student on Community. You may also recognize Yvette from such film and television roles as The Ugly Truth, Boston Legal, The Office and many more. After exchanging a few e-mails she was kind enough to answer some questions for us. Yvette is as sweet as you would imagine and even ends her sentences with little smiley faces! Yvette shares with us some great stories from the set including the chemistry between Shirley and Jeff, working with Dan Harmon and getting her very own catch phrase!
The great thing about Community is that so much of the show evolves the whole cast together in one room. What is it like filming those scenes?
We have a lot of fun filming the study room scenes. The only "hazard" is that we have a hard time not laughing. Danny Pudi and I have ruined quite a few takes.
Working with such hilarious people I would imagine it to be extremely hard to keep from ruining every scene by laughing. Especially the Halloween episode must have been tough to get through with everyone’s costumes. Has there been a particularly tough scene for you? Danny's line about the snacks at the party that ended with "predictable but appetizing!" cracked me, Joel and Donald up each time, so that was a tough one. :)
Community is a very fast paced show and its amazing how much you get into a half hour show. What has been the most challenging part of filming Community for you?
There hasn't been anything challenging about filming, we all have a great time!
Community has an amazing cast filled with some really talented people including Chevy Chase a comedy icon. What’s it like doing scenes and hanging out on the set with someone of his stature?
Chevy puts everyone he meets instantly at ease and he tells great stories about early SNL. He has been a joy to work with!
Your character Shirley has had some major revelations in the few episodes so far and despite her being extremely friendly has shown a little bit of a dark side. What has it been like exploring the other sides of Shirley and where would you like to see the character go in the future?
I've had a ball playing Shirley. It's not often you get to be nice and seeth with anger sometime in the same sentence! LOL! I look forward to finding out and exploring the experiences that made her the way she is.
As the show has continued it has allowed the characters to break off from the group more and more and let the characters pair off with different members of the group. One of the best and most unlikely pairs has been Shirley and Jeff who despite being complete opposites seem to have a great chemistry as Shirley brings out the best in Jeff. What do you think makes Jeff and Shirley work so well together?
Toxic gossip aside (lol!) I think Shirley and Jeff both like to laugh and they find humor in a lot of the same things. It manifested as gossip, but I think they will find a way of interacting that doesn't destroy others. :)
What has it been like working so closely with Joel?
Joel is the nicest snarky person you'll ever meet (lol! And he's a great actor. And he knows enough about EVERYTHING to always keep you guessing. He's cool people. I like him a lot!
It seems like Dan Harmon has written a lot of characteristics of the actors in their characters. Is there much Yvette in Shirley?
Every week Shirley becomes more and more like me. I haven't figured out if that's scary or awesome! :)
What has it been like to work with Dan Harmon?
Dan Harmon is the BEST! Easily the coolest boss EVER! I'm so grateful that he wrote such a fun, multi-dimensional character and that he was kind enough to let me play her! I still can't believe my luck! :)
I understand it takes a lot of time setting up between shots. How do you pass the time?
I read, respond to emails or tweet during the breaks on set. And if it's a long break, I nap! I could win a medal in napping! Even in wardrobe and a full face of make-up I can make it to R.E.M.!
What can you tell us about what’s in store for Shirley in the future?
In the future you're gonna hear Shirley sing, find out how many kids she has and their genders and hopefully find out more about her ex husband and why they got divorced.
Shirley has already developed her very own catch phrase “Aw that’s nice,” attended her first college party and gotten in trouble gossiping. What has been the most fun moment for you so far?
The best part has been what you mentioned. Shirley's "catchphrase" actually came from me. It's something I say all the time and I ad-libbed it in the pilot and now it's Shirley's catchphrase!!!! I don't know if it gets better than that! :)