Even before co-starring in the upcoming film Happiness for Beginners with Ellie Kemper, Luke Grimes was a great admirer of her, and he has a particular place in his heart for her breakthrough performance.
When asked in an interview held before the SAG-AFTRA strike which of his costar’s productions he enjoys the most, the 39-year-old actor responded, “The Office, 100%.”
Indeed, the NBC mockumentary series, in which Kemper, 43, played loving receptionist Erin Hannon from 2009 to 2013, “is a big part” of both the Yellowstone star’s and his wife’s lives, Brazilian model Bianca Rodrigues Grimes.
Grimes adds that she moved to the United States without knowing a single word of English. And she had only been here for two years when he met her, but she spoke beautiful, fluent English. ‘How could she learn it so fast?’ he wondered. And she told him, ‘she watched The Office with subtitles.’
In their new Netflix drama, Grimes portrays Jake, a psychiatrist with a private battle who meets Kemper’s newly divorced Helen on a woodland retreat.
While the film is technically a romantic comedy, it also includes serious, emotional moments, which Grimes was delighted to see Kemper go into.
She’s just always brought this wonderful energy — this kinetic energy, this sparkling thing — to the screen, adds he. He read Helen’s chapter, and Ellie wasn’t the first person who sprang to mind. ‘Oh, she’s trying something unusual,’ he thought.
He says that was interesting to him. She’s always so upbeat in the roles she plays, like Kimmy Schmidt. And this one was a bit of a change from the norm. He thought it’d be intriguing to see her handle something a little more glum, someone a little more down on their luck and not thrilled about their situation.
He also states that he and his wife, Bianca, stayed in this apartment building with some of the cast while the shooting was going on.
And the director, Vicky [Wight], was right across the hallway, Grimes remembers. However, they brought their cats, which everyone thought was odd.
He continues that currently, they have these two Bengal cats that are their kids, and they can’t just leave them anywhere since they’re strange and big, and they’re legitimate cats. As a result, they had to transport them to this tiny apartment where they were staying.
When asked if Office fan Bianca met Kemper, Grimes claims his wife “came to set a couple of times” when they were shooting and did meet him.
He continues that she had the opportunity to meet everyone. On weekends, they all hung out and it was wonderful.
Happiness for Beginners is now available to watch on Netflix.
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