'Animal Practice' Star Marisa Quinn Talks About Her Tiger Costar and Other Tails
'Animal Practice' Star Marisa Quinn Talks About Her Tiger Costar and Other Tails
When your co-stars are a monkey and a tiger, things are bound to get a little wild. That's what actress Marisa Quinn found out when filming the upcoming NBC sitcom Animal Practice. The sitcom takes place in a veterinary hospital and centers around the zany characters who work within its walls. And things are looking bright for the denizens of Animal Practice. NBC is giving the show a big thumbs-up by airing the pilot episode of the fall series early after the Olympics this Sunday.

Marisa Quinn, who will also be appearing in the final Twilight installment, got to log some quality time with tigers and monkeys and star Justin Kirk. Oh my! BuddyTV was lucky enough to speak with Quinn about her experience on the show, monkey-napping from Community and the feel of tiger breath on her face.

You've got an NBC sitcom coming up in the fall called Animal Practice. Can you tell me a little bit about your role on that?

So I'm in the pilot episode and I can't tell you too much, again because of spoilers. But the pilot episode is going to be absolutely hilarious. The directors were also involved in The Hangover, they're the same guys from The Hangover Part 2. And the tiger from The Hangover also makes an appearance in the pilot episode and she's basically my costar in the scene. So I'm working with Sheika the tiger and it was an intense situation. [laughs]

It was absolutely amazing, working with this gorgeous creature was incredible. But then the reality starts to set in and you're like, "there's a huge tiger right next to me". It's very close quarters and I have to run down the hallway with her. Tigers sort of get excited when you run because they think you're a toy and they want to chase you. So one of the first times we were running down the hall, she startled. They had her trained animal handlers running with her as well, but I'm holding the cage right next to her and it's a big grate so you can see her very well, there's a lot of exposure there. We're running down the hall and I felt her leap up against my side of the cage.

I can't tell you, there was this grunt and I felt tiger breath and spit on my face. I was like "oh my god". Feeling tiger breath on your face is something I cannot describe. It's crazy. But thankfully she was really cool and she liked me but she didn't feel the need to mark me, which unfortunately she did feel the need to do to some other people on set that day. Tigers are cats, they spray their territory, so some unfortunate crew members got a little taste of the Sheika. [laughs]

It's good that she liked you but not too much.

Exactly. Not enough to mark me!

So what can we expect from Animal Practice? How do you think it will fit in with the other NBC sitcoms?

I feel like Animal Practice is just such a special show. It has incredible people. I mean Tyler Labine and Bobby Lee are two of the most hilarious dudes ever. Then Justin Kirk is not only hilarious, he's got great dramatic skills as well which really ties well into a single camera comedy. It makes it more grounded in reality and not just super slapstick. So it's got a cool modern quality where it's hilarious but it's still cinematic with amazing actors.

JoAnna Garcia just got cast as the lead female and we shot with her just a few weeks ago and she's so precious. Just incredible energy! All of us have been hanging out and basking in the magic. Everybody gets along and everybody is loving each other. And then are you kidding, the animals? How can you not love it? There's scenes with penguins and tigers. The monkey is a series regular!

I was going to ask about that. Clearly the breakout star from Animal Practice is Crystal the monkey from The Hangover. I believe she also plays Annie's Boobs on Community. Are you guys stealing her from Community?

I guess we must be! Unless she's doing double duty. [Alison Brie] from Community does double duty on Mad Men, you know. Cross pollination in the shows! She's just going to be a busy little monkey.

She'll have a packed schedule.

Exactly! She might give that dog from Frasier a run for its money. That's like the richest dog ever in the history of the world. He's probably richer than a lot of humans.

Video: The animals of Animal Practice catch Olympic fever>>

Will you recur on the show or is it just a guest spot in the pilot?

Fingers crossed, I did talk with the show runner that day. It was super fun, so I would love nothing more than to be back in the halls of that animal hospital.

Animal Practice will have a special premiere on NBC on August 12 after the Olympics. You can set a reminder to watch from your phone with the BuddyTV Guide app. Learn more and download today!

Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of Chris Jones)