Penny is my favorite character on “Happy Endings.” I already loved Casey Wilson on “Saturday Night Live,” whenever they’d give her something to do at least. So an entire series with episodes centered around her and her crazy shenanigans in each one was a treat.
I got to meet Wilson at the ABC party for the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour and I asked her three years worth of Penny questions.
CraveOnline: How do you like committing yourself to just acting on the show and not worrying about the writing side of things?
Casey Wilson: I love it. I could never love anything more. It’s great. Writing is wonderful and I love it but I love to show up and we have amazing writers. Our writers are writing such funny jokes and scenarios for us that I don’t have to worry about anything. It’s great.
CraveOnline: Are you game for anything they ask you to do?
Casey Wilson: I am game for anything, to my own detriment. I have no shame. I wish I did. I really wish I had more dignity.
CraveOnline: Has there ever been anything for Penny where you say, “No, come on?”
Casey Wilson: I don’t think so. Maybe they were maybe talking about doing an episode about Penny eating too much or something like that, but I don’t think Penny should even be a character conscious of her weight. I think that’s the only thing I didn’t like. The rest of it, anything goes.
CraveOnline: Did you regret the body cast?
Casey Wilson: I mean, I’ve regretted everything but I haven’t said no to anything. No, the body cast is like I imagine childbirth would be. Horrible while you’re going through it but then you forget about it and you love the result.
CraveOnline: Do you think it could’ve worked out with Doug Hitler if she’d just thrown away the notebook?
Casey Wilson: Yes. I think if she’d thrown away the notebook, it would be Penny Hartz Hitler. They would be a great couple.
CraveOnline: That could be a spinoff.
Casey Wilson: [Laughs] That should be a spinoff. That’s a good idea.
CraveOnline: Do you make up your own abbrevs?
Casey Wilson: No, I don’t. The writers are abbrevs-full. They’re chock full.
CraveOnline: What is the difference between amah-zing and amazing?
Casey Wilson: The world. The world. I did actually make that up, just randomly, but it was from a podcast. This guy Seth Rudetsky does a podcast about musical theater and he calls everything amah-zing. So I thought it was funny and that’s where that came from.
CraveOnline: Does he like that you’ve popularized amah-zing?
Casey Wilson: I don’t know if he knows about it. He’s a famous theater critic.
CraveOnline: Is it fun to have different costar every week?
Casey Wilson: It is fun. It is fun and I’m glad Penny has a boyfriend now that it’s nice to just act with one guy but it’s so fun. It’s just fun to act with so many different comedians.
CraveOnline: How do you keep your energy level up for Penny?
Casey Wilson: [Laughs] I think of myself as a very low energy person so I don’t know. A lot of sugar.
CraveOnline: Is it hard to talk as fast as Penny does, and everyone else does, on the show?
Casey Wilson: Yes, and I’m actually starting to think I should talk slower. My dad gets on me. He’s like no one can understand what the F they’re saying.
CraveOnline: In real life you want to talk slower?
Casey Wilson: No, on the show. I watched it last night and I thought I talked way too fast. It was annoying.
CraveOnline: By season three has it gotten more intense?
Casey Wilson: Yeah, I think obviously the show is just as fun and we want to make it forever. I think we’re hoping that we stick around. I would say that’s the intense part.
CraveOnline: Are there any other characters you hope the writers explore more?
Casey Wilson: Besides the main six? I’ve loved getting to act more with Damon this year, Brad and Penny having stories together, that’s been really fun. So I hope we do more of that.
CraveOnline: Why was Penny dating Lance Briggs in Kickball when she has a boyfriend now?
Casey Wilson: To be honest with you, they’re airing them out of order, so that’s kind of a problem. We’re being aired out of order, so I’m still with Pete.
CraveOnline: So Kickball was a prequel.
Casey Wilson: It’s a flashback. We go back in time.
CraveOnline: What were your thoughts on Penny in the pilot, and how have they changed now that you’re in season three?
Casey Wilson: I loved Penny in the pilot and I think she’s pretty similar, but I think she’s come to be maybe a little more grounded, but maybe not.
CraveOnline: Did you get her right away?
Casey Wilson: I did, yeah. I think so. I loved the idea that there was this kind of jaded character but who’s very optimistic as well. Like a single girl who’s optimistic I hadn’t seen before and I thought that was really funny.
CraveOnline: Tell us about your film Ass Backwards which is going to Sundance.
Casey Wilson: Yes, I wrote it with my best friend, June Diane Raphael and we wrote Bride Wars together and we’ve been working together for a while. It’s premiering at Sundance. It’s an R-rated female buddy comedy.
CraveOnline: As an indie movie, was it closer to your original script than maybe Bride Wars ended up under the studio system?
Casey Wilson: 100%. It’s R-rated, it’s our sensibility 100% so we’re really excited about it.
CraveOnline: Have you been to Sundance before?
Casey Wilson: Never.
CraveOnline: What do you expect?
Casey Wilson: I’m scared. I’m going to be cold. I’m excited. I’m sure I’ll be stumbling down the mountainside drunk because of the altitude.
CraveOnline: What’s an R-rated sort of gag that we haven’t seen before?
Casey Wilson: There’s a lot in this that you haven’t seen before. There’s a lot. We smoke meth and we go to a lesbian commune. There’s a lot that happens in this movie.
CraveOnline: You have another movie in Sundance, what do you play in C.O.G.?
Casey Wilson: It’s a serious role, a Christian woman who takes in the main character, Jonathan Groff. It’s going to be an amazing movie. The writer/director, Kyle Alvarez, is so talented. It’s going to be great.
CraveOnline: It’s based on David Sedaris, right?
Casey Wilson: Yeah, yeah, a short story.
CraveOnline: Did your character appear in the story?
Casey Wilson: Yes, but very briefly. Very briefly, so it’s kind of been made a bigger role.
CraveOnline: Did Sedaris have a hand in how that would be adapted?
Casey Wilson: I don’t know. I think Kyle collaborated a bit with David but Kyle wrote the script so I’m not sure what their process was.
CraveOnline: Do you miss “SNL” at all?
Casey Wilson: No, I don’t. I loved it, but I love what I’m doing now.
CraveOnline: Was Penny such a great role that it made the decision to leave easy?
Casey Wilson: I’m in the perfect spot.