Photo by Eric Ray Davidson. Alison wears shirt by Rag & Bone. Styled by Rachel Pincus.
Few actresses are fortunate enough to launch their careers playing radically different roles on simultaneous shows. “There were days where I’d literally shoot Community in the morning and then drive over and shoot Mad Men in the evening,” says Alison Brie, having just returned home to Los Angeles following the Sundance debut of her latest film, Sleeping with Other People.
With her two iconic TV roles coming to an end this year, Brie admits to a case of the “Will I ever work again?” jitters. But the truth is, she’s more in demand than ever. Brie got her start in regional theater before being cast as devoted housewife Trudy Campbell on AMC’s Mad Men. Soon after, she landed a starring role as effervescent Goody Two-shoes Annie Edison on NBC’s slapstick college comedy Community.
With an ability to move with ease between the worlds of network comedy and cable drama, Brie’s tremendous range lends her a rare old-Hollywood flair. In her Sundance film, she and the director (Leslye Headland of Bachelorette fame) put their own screwball twist on romantic comedy by slyly subverting the tropes that plague modern on-screen romances. “It hit on all cylinders for me,” Brie says. “The character was really intricate, and you could tell that it was personal, that it came from a personal place for Leslye and was very dynamic and different than a lot of leading female roles in romantic comedies, a genre that I love.”
Do all the different kinds of projects ever get to be too much, even schizophrenic? Last year alone, she voiced animated roles in The Lego Movie and Netflix’s cult hit BoJack Horseman. With IFC Films picking up Sleeping with Other People and her next role in the comedy Get Hard, led by Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, Brie isn’t worried.
“Great women like Sigourney Weaver, Frances McDormand, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore — look at their careers. They play lots of different roles and are just always doing something different, always pushing themselves and pushing boundaries,” Brie says. “As much as I really respect the work, I also think it’s fun. We’re playing make-believe at the end of the day.”
Read our extended interview with Alison Brie HERE.