By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Kimiko Glenn is best known for her role as the unpopular outsider Brook Soso on the popular Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.” She also now joins the cast of the FX sitcom “Married” this season as Miranda, a much more socially accepted character, on the comedy series.
Glenn, who hails from Phoenix, Arizona, recently spoke from the Los Angeles set about her new TV role, playing the efficient and a little naïve office assistant to Russ Bowman, played by series star Nat Faxon. Created by Andrew Gurland (“The Last Exorcism” films), the series revolves around a couple coping with the everyday challenges of marriage and family. Comedian Judy Greer co-stars as Russ’ wife, Lina. Other cast members include John Hodgman, Zack Pearlman, Sarah Burns, Brett Gelman and Jenny Slate.
After a successful first season, “Married” returns for its second season, airing on FX Thursdays at 10:30 p.m.
Dressed in a summer-like sleeveless blouse and dark slacks, the Asian-American actress (she’s Japanese, German, Scottish and Irish) sat down between scene setups at a Los Angeles warehouse (transformed into a surf design office set) to talk about joining the “Married” cast, juggling gigs and how she got into show business in the first place.
Q: Your character is new this season. How does Miranda fit into the “Married” world?
Glenn: I’m Russ’ assistant, Miranda. We both work at the same place. We work at a surfwear design company.
Q: Are you there to support Russ or make his life crazy?
Glenn: I’m there to support Russ. I’m his assistant so I try to make his life easy.
Q: You’ve shot five episodes so far. How did you get into your character? What is your understanding of her?
Glenn: I’m pretty similar to Miranda so it’s super easy, and Nat is super easy to get along with. That kind of helps in the whole dynamic of things.
Q: Is this character is very different from Brook?
Glenn: Oh yeah, very different. Brook is pretty much universally disliked, and I think Miranda is, at least, received well by other people.
Q: She’s a very sweet character, right?
Glenn: Yeah, and I think Brook is too. She’s just misunderstood.
Q: What are you shooting today?
Glenn: I alert Russ to the work-inappropriate shenanigans of a co-worker that he has to fire.
Q: What has it been like to work with Nat Faxon and John Hodgman?
Glenn: I have nothing but great things to say about everyone I work with here. They’re really cool and sweet.
Q: Do you enjoy doing comedy?
Glenn: I started out in comedy, so it’s always been a love of mine, just to be silly and have fun and stuff like that. But especially with “Orange,” things have kind of gone to the dramatic side, and stuff like that. And I’ve been enjoying that. I always want to keep a variety of things available. I always want to be doing the acting thing.
Q: How has doing this show reinforced or changed your view on relationships and marriage?
Glenn: I have no idea what a marriage is like. I would say it’s a little frightening but pretty much realistic.
Q: Does Andrew Gurland ask you to bring in ideas from personal experience?
Glenn: No, he hasn’t asked me.
Q: How is Russ as a boss?
Glenn: He’s sweet and he treats me well.
Q: Didn’t he hand you off to someone else at the bar in one episode?
Glenn: Oh yeah. So I guess in that way he wasn’t a very good boss or a friend, really. But then it ended up being kind of a fun story for me, and I went with it.
Q: But your character learns a life lesson, though.
Glenn: That’s true. Yeah, so I guess he’s mediocre as a boss. (She laughs.)
Q: Are you in the entire second season?
Glenn: No, it’s spread out. You see my character throughout the season but I’m not in every episode.
Q: How has this worked with your “Orange” schedule? Have you had to fly back and forth across the country?
Glenn: I’ve had to fly back for other projects, but for “Orange” no, because we wrapped production on Season 3 many months ago. I think we’re going to start shooting again (in July for Season 4), so it might overlap (with “Married”) a little bit. We usually start (production) when the previous season premieres. Thankfully, it hasn’t been too crazy with a bunch of different projects. With “Orange” is hasn’t conflicted with “Married.”
Q: How would you describe your professional relationship with Nat’s character Russ?
Glenn: I’m the work wife.
Q: Do you have a tug-o-war with him?
Glenn: Zack (Pearlman, who plays the boss) sends me off at one point.
Q: As an assistant, you have to be very organized. Are you like that it real life?
Glenn: No! Maybe at one point in my life, but now I only wish I was more organized. That would make my life a lot easier, I think. So I think, in real life, I’d actually be a terrible assistant. It depends on who I was assisting and what it was for. I might be cool but chances are I’d lose a lot of things. I’m very disorganized. (She laughs.)
Q: What initially drew you to acting?
Glenn: I was a singer. I got really into Celine Dion as a kid. I used to imitate her. And my dad saw that. I was just kind of a crazy kid. He said to me, “Do you want to harness that energy somewhere where it counts?” So I started doing musicals. It never occurred to me to do film or TV, oddly. But I was super in-love with Broadway and stuff. I always wanted to move to New York. That was a lifelong love of mine.
Q: What was your favorite scene from the first season of “Married?”
Glenn: I’ve only seen a few episodes of it, but I’m mainly drawn to Nat and Judy’s dynamic because it feels like they’ve been married for so long. They’re kind of adorable together but there’s also kind of a struggles of married life in there. I love watching them together. And, of course, Jenny Slate is hilarious.
Q: Do you see that chemistry between them off the set?
Glenn: I’ve only meet Judy once. She’s lovely. But we don’t have many times when we’re shooting together because I’m in the office with Russ.
Q: Is there a lot of room for improvisation?
Glenn: We play around. As soon as I stepped onto the set I got the sense that it was a playful set. That gave me a sense of relief when you find out they’re not super-married to the script or anything. You can really make it your own and play with it and be there with someone in the moment, instead of being worried that you have to get every word right. You get more fun, real moments.