411 Mania Interviews: Ginger Gonzaga (Mixology)
Posted by Al Norton on 02.26.2014
411's Al Norton sits down for an exclusive interview with Ginger Gonzaga, star of the new ABC comedy Mixology.
Ginger Gonzaga is an accomplished improv performer who you may recognize from her role on Legit or her guest spots on The Millers, Whitney, and Hot in Cleveland on the small screen and from the box office smash Ted. She also co-hosted the daily Hulu series The Morning After. Gonzaga can next be seen starring as Maya in the ABC comedy Mixology, which premieres tonight at 9:30pm.
Al Norton: You must be excited for the show to finally be on the air (ABC picked up the show last May)?
Ginger Gonzaga: I know, it's crazy. It's very exciting.
Al Norton: I have this image of you telling people for the last year, "no, really, I have a show, it's on ABC, really."
Ginger Gonzaga: (Laughing) It's a real thing, I swear. Yes, that's pretty much my life.
Al Norton: So what drew you to Maya?
Ginger Gonzaga: How powerful she was. Even in reading it she was powerful and strong; she doesn't suffer any fools, and it's rare to have a female character written like that. I think there's a lot of women like that in the world but I don't think they're very well represented in TV, let along in comedies. I liked that she was powerful and strong and smart but that that wasn't the joke. Sometimes there are bosses or lawyer characters who are Type A and that's the whole thing, that's the joke, but with Maya that's not why she's funny and we're supposed to admire those things about her. I admire those things about her, for sure.
Al Norton: On some ensemble shows actors never get scenes together but with the majority of the action taking place in one big group setting, you guys must have been a tight knit group.
Ginger Gonzaga: Yes, we're a very tight cast and crew, everybody. It was a wonderful experience. A lot of people are surprised we all get along and I am surprised that they say that because it makes me think that everybody on other shows must hate each other (laughing). Before the wrap party so many of the crew members said it was the first wrap party they were going to in their careers…This was so special that people needed to be there.
Al Norton: Do you get to put you improv skills to work on the show?
Ginger Gonzaga: Yes, which I love. You don't know if your improv is actually going to make it in but in some of the promos I've seen some of them so I am very exciting. The writers are excellent but they are always kind enough to let us play around a bit.
Al Norton: Not knowing how the season ends, does the conceit of the show allow for a second season? I mean, it must, but would it just be a different night for everybody?
Ginger Gonzaga: We're not 100% privy to what the exact plan is but I do know they've already mapped it out and it would still be a ticking clock, done over one night. My thought is that instead of being strangers, this go round we'd all know each other.
Al Norton: Whatever anxiety you had about wanting the show to get on the air so people could see it must be dramatically tempered by the confidence the network is showing by giving you Modern Family – their top show – as a lead in.
Ginger Gonzaga: You should have seen our text message chain when we got that news; it was crazy. It's so nice that we have that support from ABC. It's an honor to follow Modern Family. That show is perfect; you can pick it up at any time and it's always funny, every time!
I like to say we're headlining, that Modern Family is opening for us (laughing). Please don't use that it people can't tell that I'm kidding.
Al Norton: That third week in March, where you've got Mixology on and a guest spot on Growing Up Fisher, that's like Ginger Week on TV.
Ginger Gonzaga: Every week is Ginger Week on TV! That show is great and I really like DJ Nash and Emily Cutler, who writes for them. Any show that has a dog on it, I will happily guest on.
Al Norton: So you're angling for Turner and Hootch: The Series?
Ginger Gonzaga: Basically. I'd have to write it and make the lead character a woman in the reboot; Turner and Hootch: It's A Woman's World.
Al Norton: What shows make you laugh?
Ginger Gonzaga: I'm really into HBO's Getting On. The movie Precious cracked me up (laughing). I like Getting On, I like Modern Family, I liked Hello Ladies but that's gone now. I'm so excited Getting On got picked up. You know what I like about that show? No one wears make up and it's so real looking. That might be my favorite show right now.
Al Norton: For someone who has seen the ads for Mixology and thinks, "ok, it's a comedy about a bunch of single people who are all in the same bar", what might surprise them?
Ginger Gonzaga: It's a different format and I think it watches and feels like a 13 episode film, at least to me it does. I also think you'll be surprised by how touching some of the scenes are. It's always funny but it also has a lot of heart. I cried watching the show and I like to think that I am like Maya and not a crier.
Don't miss the series premiere of Mixology, tonight at 9:30pm on ABC.