Nicole Baxter is Bottom Rung’s Grinch, the character who wants nothing good to happen to anyone down in the dungeon of doc review. Because she has a chip on her shoulder about her lack of education compared to everyone else, she has turned her latest project into a little fiefdom. And she’ll be damned if anyone tries to contest her authority.
Of course, it is in Dave’s nature to do so, so they will be clashing throughout the season. Oddly, the only thing she actually wants is to bang little Eugene. Nicole softens up only a teeny bit later in the season, but for the most part her role is to snuff out the plans the dreamers have of escaping hell.
Comedian Hailey Boyle plays Nicole. Hailey is a great comic and happens to be one of the best people I know. She spends her weekends doling out food to homeless people through her church—something I would never even think to do. However, this kind side required us to shake her up a little for this role. We needed full on bitch mode. So we put her through the ringer to prepare for the role.
We sat outside a yogurt shop and made her yell her lines at us from 20 feet away while onlookers sat and ate their yogurts, puzzled at what the hell was going on. If she didn’t yell loud enough, we moved our chairs further and further back, until we were on the edge of a major street. It was absurd. But it worked. Even on set, if she slipped into “nice Hailey” mode, I made sure to say something mean to bring out the Nicole Baxter in her.
Most criminal defendants, in my experience, welcome the opportunity to leave their jail cells – if only for a brief respite from the boredom, the smell and even the...
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