Kaitlin Olson plays "Sweet" Dee Reynolds on the raucous FX comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
, which begins it's third season tonight with back-to-back episodes starting at 10pm. The only girl hanging out with a group of crude guys in a Philadelphia bar they own, Olson holds her own, delivering a hilarious performance, such as when she starred in the show's parody of Million Dollar Baby
or when she and her brother Dennis (Glenn Howerton) went on welfare by becoming crack addicts.
Kaitlin spoke to BuddyTV about how she originally started on the show, what it's like working with a bunch of guys, including Danny DeVito, and what viewers can look forward to this season. Below you will find a transcript as well as the mp3 audio file of the interview.
Hi, this is John from Buddy TV, and we’re talking with Kaitlin Olson from the hilarious FX comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Hi, Kaitlin.
Hilarious? Hi there.
Indeed, I believe it is hilarious, I absolutely love this show.
Thank you, I do too.
I’m glad to hear that. Now, it began obviously when Rob McElhenney… how do you pronounce that name?
McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton, they shot this pilot and sent it to FX, and they agreed. But how did you get involved?
I did it the old-fashioned way, just auditioned for it. Not that exciting of a story, their story is better, but I did beat out thousands and thousands of girls.
And how did that work? Were those three the ones deciding, and they just liked you the best?
They were all in the room along with a couple of other producers. I just went in, did the audition, and it was actually a scene with Charlie. That was my audition scene and Charlie read with me, and it was just fun.
I could tell right away when we walked in, we started talking, that we kind of all had the same sense of humor. So by the time I started the audition, I was just relaxed, because these guys are awesome and very friendly and fun. It was actually a really fun audition, which never happens.
Now with these guys, the show is very guy humor-related. It seems like a boys’ club with those three creating, writing, producing, starring in it. Do you ever feel left out as sort of the only girl on the show?
No, I feel happy to be the only girl on the show. We get along really well, we’re all really good friends now, I don’t feel left out. I think that they were surprised that a girl could hang out and have fun with them, and I was like, “Really? You guys don't know any funny women? That’s too bad.”
Your show is very politically incorrect, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Has FX ever said no, that you’ve crossed a line?
No. It’s funny, FX has been known to tell us they want us to sort of push it a little bit more. And we're kind of like, "Umm, more than this?" There’s a fine line, I think, that sort of making fun of stuff and being outside of the box is really funny. But then I think we know when we’re crossing the line and sort of going into something that’s mean.
We voluntarily don’t do that because it’s just not funny, not because we’re being nice, but because it’s just not funny anymore. I think that those guys are inherently very funny people, and the writing’s just really good, and it kind of just naturally doesn’t go too far, because shock humor’s not really funny to us.
And have you ever pitched an idea for your character or for the show? They’re usually in charge, I think, of writing most of the episodes. But are any of the ideas yours?
Like I said, we really are all good friends, and we just kind of hang out and have barbecues and drink beer and make each other laughs, and oftentimes the stuff that we’re talking about and laughing about end up on the show. So in that sense, I have. I pretty much can look at the script and say “Oh OK, I wanna do this and say this.” And they’re like, “Oh, that’s a good idea, let’s try that.”
But for the most part, they’re writing is so amazing that I don’t find myself feeling like they lack for storylines, and trying to pitch stuff to them. I usually just read the scripts, and I’m really excited about what they’ve written for me.
You’ve worked on other TV shows as well, and I’m just wondering, how does this experience… ’cause this sounds like a completely different kind of experience than most people have on TV.
Yeah, it really is. It’s a very unique experience, in that the actors that I’m working with are also the people that are in charge, and that never happens. So it’s a very collaborative effort, and I think whatever directors we have come on the show, I kind of feel bad for them. Because at the end when they yell cut, we kind of just all look at each other and give each other notes.
I think it’s unique in that way, and for that reason it’s much more fun, because I feel much more involved. I feel like I have a lot more say in what I get to do, in the actual words I get to say, and there are times when I’m like, “Oh, I’m gonna say this now,” and we try that and it just gives a little more freedom.
Yeah. Now, the third season which begins September 13, I believe. Danny DeVito coming back again, what is it like working with him? Because he seems, it almost seems like, “Oh, it’s this little show that sprung up on FX.” And then you get Danny DeVito.
We were just as surprised that Danny loved the show and wanted to do it, because he’s certainly not doing it for the money. I don’t know, it’s a really amazing experience, mostly because Danny is such a wonderful man. He’s just this sweetheart, and he’s hilarious, and he’s fun to hang out with.
That’s kind of what you need on our show. You need to be funny, but also just a good person, good to hang out with. Because we kind of just show up, and then play around with each other, and that’s what makes it work.
Now also, with a lot of, you’ve had quite a few guest stars that I’ve been really surprised to see on a show as raunchy as yours. There was Dennis Haskins, Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell. Stephen Collins from 7th Heaven, Oscar-nominated actress Anne Archer. Is there anyone else coming up in the third season that you’re really excited about?
Well, Stephen Collins is back in this season. He does an episode which I’m very excited about, it’s one of my favorite episodes, and he’s just a really wonderful person. I think that it takes a very special kind of acting to make a super sweet, nice character also interesting and funny. So he’s back, and I’m really excited about that.
That’s good to hear. And you also this season did a little cross-promotional work for FX, you guest-starred on several episodes of The Riches.
I did, that was a really fun experience, too. That’s a very different show, but it was really awesome. Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard, equally amazing to work with, and it’s also just a completely different character. So that was really fun to be able to do.
Yeah, that was a character with a prosthetic arm, how did that work?
Yes, I have only one arm in that setup. It’s really fun, you just got to have a lot of patience for that, and it takes a long time to shoot.
And for the third season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you’ve already tackled abortion, religion, even child molestation or gun control. What topics are left for this show to cover?
You’d think that we run out, but somehow we just keep making ’em worse and worse. We find a baby in a dumpster, that’s funny, and I get set on fire. At one point we tackle the North Korea situation, a lot of fun stuff coming up.
It barely sounds like you’re defining comedy, but people who’ve seen the show…
Really, it’s hilarious.
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of FX)