September 28, 2011 2:42pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'Suburgatory' Star Jane Levy Isn't Afraid the Show Will Offend Suburbanites
It’s an understandable New York City teen’s fear. Her dad moves her from the bustling city to a world of eternally youthful mothers, huge SUVs, trimmed lawns, and gossiping neighbors. That’s the set up for ABC’s new comedy series, Suburgatory, which premieres Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
Jane Levy (who played Mandy on Showtime's Shameless) stars as 16-year-old Tessa, a city girl whose fear becomes realized when her single father (George, played by Jeremy Sisto) decides to move her to the suburbs for a “better life.”
Levy, a product of Northern Calif. suburbs herself, says she doesn’t think suburban dwellers will take offense at the show’s take on the lifestyle.
“I think people are going to say, ‘Oh, that’s my neighbor.’ They’re not going to admit it’s them, because they’d never be able to,” Levy, 21, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m from the suburbs and where I’m from didn’t necessarily have people like you see in Suburgatory, but along those lines and I think people will laugh at themselves. And it’s lighthearted.“
Levy recently gave THR a preview of what to expect from her character and the new ABC series.
The Hollywood Reporter: How would you describe your character?
Jane Levy: She’s a little bit of a tomboy, but she’s comfortable with who she is. She dresses how she dresses, because she wants to. She doesn’t try to please people. She’s not trying to impress. She’s comfortable in her skin.
THR: What’s your favorite scene from the first episode?
Levy: I think my favorite scene in the first episode is at the mall with Cheryl Hines’ character and Carly Chaikin’s character, because we wear ridiculous outfits and fight over ridiculous things.
THR: Now that you’ve shot more episodes, what has surprised you most about Tessa’s development?
Levy: My character is really a fish out of water. She’s trying to find her footing in this crazy world. She starts to act in ways that she’s really ashamed of, because the suburbs actually begin to grow on her.
THR: You and Jeremy Sisto, who plays Tessa's dad, play off each other well. Did the two of you have to do chemistry tests before you were cast for the roles?
Levy: I was [cast] first and we didn’t have any. We met the first day of work and we worked well together. It’s nice to work with such a good actor. It makes your job a little easier.
THR: Is there an episode you think fans should keep a look out for and why?
Levy: The Halloween episode is pretty great. Get ready for Halloween. I take Halloween as the best chance to mock everybody in the suburbs and I think I do a pretty good job of it.
Watch a first look preview of Suburgatory below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro