Six seasons and a movie. What once was just thought to be the marker of sitcom success from Community’s Abed Nadir has become a rallying cry that diehard viewers want to see come to fruition. As the NBC comedy recently wrapped its fifth season, fan support is stronger than ever. And with multiple films slated for release this year, Gillian Jacobs is poised for a complete pop culture takeover in 2014.
After five seasons as Greendale Community College’s resident activist turned wannabe therapist Britta Perry, Gillian is branching out in Walk of Shame (out today) as Rose, the fiery, aggressive BFF to local L.A. newscaster Meghan Miles (Elizabeth Banks). When the night she planned for her friend ends in serious mystery, it’s up to Rose, Denise (Sarah Wright) and the guy they think their friend went home with (James Marsden) to set things straight. VH1 spoke with Gillian about the release of the film and what qualities she uses to evaluate douches from non-douches in her everyday life. Read on for more, below.
Rose is a little bit of a tough girl who doesn’t take no for an answer. What was it like to play that kind of fiesty best friend?
I did think it was a different dynamic for and that’s probably why I was drawn to the movie — that and getting to work with Elizabeth Banks. It was fun to be a sort of aggressor.
Are you like that in real life with your own friends?
No, no, no [laughs]. I’m much more like Elizabeth’s character.
So you’re not going out to clubs, you’re staying home…
Yes, [I like to] put on sweatpants and not go out.
During the big night out at the club, Megan, Rose and Denise meet some guys, do a lot of shots, and have what seems like a pretty eventful night. How long did it take to shoot that sequence and what did you guys do to create the party feeling? I felt drunk for you.
[Laughs] Well it’s funny shooting movies because you get to see clubs during daylight hours, which no one should ever see — it’s not pretty; there’s a reason the lighting is dim in there. It was fun because Sarah [Wright] and Elizabeth [Banks] are so awesome, you just have fun shooting with them, but that’s all artificial. When you’re shooting at 9 am at a club you have to use all of your acting skills.
You’re also very suspicious of the charming bartender Meghan goes home with (played by James Marsden). Are you also the protector of your friends?
I definitely feel protective of people I love, but I don’t know if I’m as overtly aggressive as Rose is. She’s more of a badass than me.
The ladies have a way of determining whether or not a guy is a douche with their four-point douche scale, which is pretty on point. What are some questions you’d include in your own douche scale?
Probably [if he is] condescending in how he talks to you, right? Hmm… Is not nice to waiters — that’s a good tell, usually, correct?
Mean to animals. That’s a definite no.
I walked away from the film realizing that I don’t know anyone’s phone number by heart.
I know, I can only call my mom!
Did Meghan’s situation cause you to reevaluate anything in your life, or maybe address a dependency on certain technology?
I haven’t made any changes so I can still only call my mom [laughs].
Community’s fifth season just wrapped and Jeff and Britta almost got married! In the grand scheme of the show, do you want Jeff and Britta to end up together?
I feel like the show is not ultimately about relationships, so I obviously trust Dan Harmon completely. Whatever he wants to do with the show I believe in so but to me it’s about the relationship of the group not just individual romantic relationships. I want Dan to do whatever he thinks is best.
In the show to “Britta” something means to mess it up completely. What do you think to “Gillian” means?
Unfortunately probably similar to Britta’s name [laughs]. I haven’t thought about what to Gillian would mean but now people just tell me I Britta things continuously so it sort of merged.
I’ve seen fans tweeting photos with mustard on their faces in support of a sixth season pick-up. Over the course of the series, what’s been the craziest thing fans have done in support of the show?
Well I told them to put the mustard on their face so that one’s my fault.
It’s great they listened.
I know it was really sweet, wasn’t it? Maybe doing flash-mobs — that’s not weird, but it’s really cool. You know, at 30 Rock and in L.A. outside of NBC, singing songs from the show and everything. That’s pretty cool.
— Gillian Jacobs (@GillianJacobs) April 25, 2014
How do you pass the time waiting to hear about a sixth season renewal?
I’ve been doing a lot of interviews so it’s basically people asking me all day if Community’s coming back. So I haven’t been able to avoid that question, but I’m feeling pretty good.
Do you have a dream ending or scenario for where you want the group to go?
I would just like us to have a large enough budget that we’re able to shoot outside. That would be nice.
Community has parodied a lot of genres over five seasons. What would you want to do next?
We have not done a soap opera.
What kind of character or trope would Britta play in that?
I would like to play like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Tootsie — like the hospital administrator.
Walk of Shame is the latest film in a batch of strong, female-centric comedies over the last two years. Do you think this trend is long overdue?
I want there to be tons and tons and tons and tons of movies starring women. I’m really excited that The Other Woman did so well at the box office and I hope that will keep encouraging people to make movies about women, starring women, about female friendships. More. Please.
Walk of Shame is in theaters now.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]