“From your mouth,” she says when I ask her about the future of the Netflix series on the latest episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast. “I’m so hopeful.”
The series follows the lives of childhood best friends Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl) and Kate Mularkey. Tully is a well-known talk show host while Kate decides to go back to work while going through a divorce from Johnny Ryan, who happens to be Tully’s television producer. In the season finale, Kate refuses to talk to Tully for reasons never revealed to viewers. “You so rarely see this incredible bond between two women in television,” Chalke says. “I love their authentic, flawed relationship that it’s not this glossy, everything is perfect,” Chalke says. “You see them really go at it and overcome huge things, but then there’s this one thing that they can’t.”
What did Tully do?
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I don’t know what (show creator) Maggie Friedman will pick. We talked about it a bunch and we were like, “Well, it definitely cannot be that Tully slept with Johnny.” It can’t be something like that. That’s something that we know we would never be able to have them get past.
You play Kate from her late teens through her 40s. How many wigs did you try on?
I have a wig obsession. I love wigs. I was excited at the idea that this was going to be an option, that we’re going to have all these different hairstyles. There was a moment before we started shooting, was it going to be Katie or me that went with dark hair and who was going to go dye their hair. I was up in my hometown of Vancouver where we were going to be shooting and the producers and the creators were all in L.A., so I went to a wig store and I got to try on all these different wigs styles in all these different shades of dark brown and black and blonde and send them a bunch of pictures. It was just fun to figure out, like who is Kate at 18, at 22 and at 42. Our first couple of days on set were like playing dress up.
How did “Firefly Lane” come to you?
Katie and I have mutual friend, Dulé Hill. He called me and he was like, “My good friend, Katherine Heigl is coming to Vancouver, your hometown to shoot a new Netflix series, ‘Firefly Lane.’ Can I pass on your number and maybe you could chat with her about schools and kids and neighborhoods to live in and stuff?” We chatted on the phone, we totally hit it off and then about a month later, I got this script in my inbox. I couldn’t stop reading it. I was like, “Oh, this is so good.” The character is so fun, I love the story and I love that it was a show about two women and I immediately just wanted to be a part of it. I was like, “Yes, please. Let’s go try wigs on immediately.”
Did Katherine Heigl recommend you for it?
I don’t know who brought up the idea, whether it was her or someone else. But it was cool that we immediately already knew that we got along so well. Then we met for the first time in person at the cast dinner. Our first two days of working together were these ridiculous, fun days of playing dress up and then it just kind of grew from there. We were shooting long days, we would hike the dogs on the weekends then she would have everyone over for wine and cheese nights. Then I had everyone over to my house for a party and her husband, (musician) Josh Kelley, brought his guitar and it just evolved into everyone dancing in my backyard to Josh’s music for the night.
What about a “Scrubs” reunion? When do we see a reboot?
I would be into it. I would love to do it. We’ve talked about. I think everybody’s lives is so crazy, but we all talk about how cool it’d be to do something like the “Psych” cast. [A “Psych” TV-movie was released four years after the show went off the air.] I think it’d be so much fun to do something like that.
You can listen to the full interview with Chalke above. You can also find “Just for Variety” at Apple Podcasts or whereever you listen to your favorite podcasts.