Laura Prepon on ‘Are You There, Chelsea?’

The former star of "That '70s Show" talks about her return to TV on NBC.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Laura Prepon IS Chelsea Handler. Really, she is. She’s playing Chelsea on the TV show "Are You There, Chelsea?." The series was created by Chelsea Handler, based on her autobiographical books and her life. Prepon’s character is named Chelsea Newman. I got a few minutes alone with Prepon as she was going into the Television Critics Association party for NBC.


Carve Online: In the first episode you make fun of a redheaded guy. That was funny because you played a redhead on "That ‘70s Show." Was that some sort of revenge?

Laura Prepon: I am a natural redhead. There were definitely a lot of redhead jokes, which is pretty funny but I never got made fun of when I was a redhead. If anything people were not too happy when I became a blonde. But then it grew on them and now everyone loves me with blonde hair. So I might keep it for a little while just because now that I’m on a show I can’t go back to red.

Carve Online: What other funny trouble is your Chelsea going to get into?

Laura Prepon: Honestly, I don’t know if you’ve read Chelsea’s books, but there’s a lot of awesome experiences that she’s had. We definitely touch on a lot of them. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s like me and a bunch of misfits surround me.

Carve Online: If I read the books, will that be a spoiler?

Laura Prepon: No, because as shows grow and evolve you start writing more episodes based on awesome quirks the actual actor has. A story will come from a writer’s experience so not really. When you see a movie from a book that’s a very different thing than our show being based on the book.

Carve Online: What still makes you break during a scene?

Laura Prepon: Oh man, I break a lot. If you ask any of my fellow costars, I laugh at a lot of stuff. My sense of humor definitely is a wide range, a big span. I tend to laugh at a lot of stuff.

Carve Online: Is your Chelsea going to discover that she has a forte for comedy?

Laura Prepon: It’s funny because Chelsea even in all of her standup and everything, I don’t think she ever attempts or tries to be funny. She’s just open and brash and you love that about her and it’s kind of the same thing with my character. She’s not really aware of her own cuteness or non-PCness or whatever you want to call it. She just kind of is and that’s what makes her so rad is she’s not ashamed of who she is.

Carve Online: Was that your type of humor before you got the part playing her?

Laura Prepon: Yeah, honestly I respect and look up to women who aren’t afraid of who they are and have no regrets and grab life by the horns and do it and face the consequences. They really live life and that is what Chelsea does and that’s what my character does. That’s what I think people are going to love about it because she does things that would make some people uncomfortable, but my character is just like screw it, I want to see what that’s like.

Carve Online: Does it make you uncomfortable?

Laura Prepon: I mean, look, no, because it’s all in the name of comedy and it’s so much fun. There’s some stuff where I read it and I’m like, “Okay, that’s what we’re doing this week. Let’s do it.”

Carve Online: Do you have a safe distance doing it for comedy, and you can experience something safely?

Laura Prepon: No. As some people say, in general they love acting because they get to do things they don’t normally do but for me, I’m not a very timid person. I’m not afraid of many things. I hate spiders and stuff but in general, I don’t really run away from life so I think I have a lot of similarities to my character.

Carve Online: We know Chelsea likes vodka. What is your drink of choice?

Laura Prepon: Same thing.