Young and Hungry
Meet Emily Osment
On working with ABC Family and the role of Gabi Diamond
Emily: I’ve always been a fan of ABC Family, and they’ve always treated me really well. I’ve worked with them in the past, and when you’re doing a pilot season, you get a lot of scripts and this was the first one I really connected to. I’m at a weird age where I don’t look my age, and this show kind of fit the mold, and as weird as this sounds, that was one of the biggest things for me—that I get to play a character that is my age. Usually, I’m playing someone who’s 16 or 25, and this was a role for a 22-year-old.
Can you cook in real life?
Emily: A little bit, yeah. Sure. But I’m an actor, so I can pretend really well. It’s an adorable role and I love Dave Holden. He’s very, very smart and his writing is fantastic.
Do you get to improvise a lot on the show?
Emily: Yes, there is a lot of improv, which I really like. Sometimes you get a sitcom, especially with a sitcom where there’s people working who are under age and you can only have them for 9 and a half hours. Our entire cast is older, we can work as long as we want, which means our tape nights can go as long as we want, which means that we can improv for as long as we want because we don’t have to worry about, “Okay we need to move, we need to move on” kind of thing, so there is a grace period, which allows us to play around a lot more.
This seems like the kind of show that would have a lot of improv opportunities.
Emily: Yeah it is. Kym Whitely, who’s stand-up queen, it’s very easy to improv with her. Aimee and I do as well, so it’s a really, really fun show. Kym Whitely’s marvelous. She’s good. She can’t get through the script most of the time either. She’s always trying to add something.
On Mallory Jansen (aka Caroline Huntington)
Emily: Mallory Jansen who plays Caroline, we have become very, very good friends, which you wouldn’t think because she’s such a big b*tch on the show. It’s weird to find someone who’s an Australian model who’s actually very nice because usually very beautiful people are like horrendous. I was so nervous when we auditioned her. She came in and I was like, “She’s too pretty, she can’t also be nice,” but she’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. She’s getting married later this year and she’s got this other show that’s doing well and her real-life is just blossoming. It’s cool to have friends that you get inspired by in that sort of way.
Do you ever see yourself doing more movies?
Emily: Yes, that’s where I want to be. I’m hoping that I’ve taken the correct steps to where I can end up there, but this is something that I love and comedy is definitely a calling for me. It’s a great show. Right now I feel like this is a good choice but it’ll hopefully carry me over to movies.
Do you guys banter on the show?
Emily: Jonathan and I rip each other apart; Jonathan and I have a very love-hate relationship. We make fun of each other constantly. We’re very hard with each other. I think that’s what makes our friendship so strong is that we can all be very hard on each other. Sometimes you find a cast where certain members of the unit keep to themselves a little bit more, but we’re all out about everything, but that helps with comedy, too. You have somewhere to go.
You don’t typically play somebody your own age, you usually play someone older or younger. On the show, you’re playing the role of someone your own age. Are there other similarities between you and Gabi that you can relate to?
Emily: Yeah, I think when you’re an actor you try to put as much of yourself in the character as you possibly can because that makes it as realistic as it can. I feel like we’re both, just the age alone, we’re at a time where we’re just trying to figure it out. I definitely have a lot of friends like Gabi who just finished college or dropped out of college who are not with their families as a home base anymore, and they’ve created this adopted family in the city they live in. And Gabi’s mother just died, we don’t know where her father is, but she doesn’t live anywhere near him, and so she has Aimee (Sophia Rodriguez) as a sister, and Kym Whitely as a mother and she kind of has this adopted family, and I have a lot of friends who are like that. That helps me connect.