Congrats on the
new slot after 'Grey's Anatomy.' How does that feel?
It feels fantastic. Obviously, we enjoy even getting on the air and Friday
night is a tricky slot for anybody and I was warned about that. I was
also told it was a good way to nurture a show and that if we kept some
numbers they would be able to move us. So this was the dream spot certainly,
and it shows so much faith and support from our network and studio. It's
just a fantastic feeling and everyone here feels the same way.
For people who
haven't seen 'Men in Trees' before, tell us what sets it apart?
On a broad scope, it's a good feeling show. It's not a violent show. It's
not a negative show. This is a show about hope and love in a time of war
and chaos. It's a show about real people. It's a comedy, for starters,
so it's a very positive feeling. You don't have to go in and search through
a whole bunch of darkness. This is a show about relationships and people
finding their way and standing out as individuals in a town.
What do you admire
about your character?
Marin is an eternal optimist who really believes in love, and she believes
that to find it you must find it in yourself first. I'm an optimist, and
I feel the same way. She really does love people and her journey as a
relationship coach is to help people with not only their love relationships,
but also their connection with themselves. She moves into this small town
to find herself again after a devastating reality hits her -- that her
fiancé has cheated on her. She has to re-examine her life and what
she's about and look at the things she's been talking to people about
and write what she believes is a deeper, more meaningful understanding
of what life and love is all about.
Is there anything
you would change about your character?
She changes all the time. I think that's what's so wonderful. We started
out with a woman who thought she knew everything and gave advice on relationships
and love and then had to re-examine all that. So she basically started
at zero, and I think that's a beautiful place to start because there is
so much opportunity for change and growth. They do that with Marin, she's
drawn into this small world in Alaska and finding this relationship with
herself and nature and the people of Elmo. And she's also a New York City
girl and loves fashion and loves writing and is a thinker and a doer.
She is in a struggle to understand who she is. And in trying to make those
decisions, she's constantly going from one world to another in her discovery.
That offers us a lot of opportunity for change with Marin, both in relationships
and within herself.
You play a relationship
coach. What's your key to a successful relationship?
It gets really tricky giving advice. It's so funny Marin is an advice
giver because the older I get, the less advice I give. Relationships are
complicated and, of course, that's what our show deals with -- the complications
of it. But a relationship is about two individuals, and for me to stay
healthy in a relationship the individuals have to nurture themselves.
Coley Laffoon, is a stay-at-home dad. How did that come about? Did you
chat about it?
Oh heck yeah, we chatted a lot about it. We wanted to have a baby, and
we knew that I traveled all over and we wanted to able to be together
as a family. I also didn't want to be a mom who was on the set with nannies
all the time. He was a nanny for a while and a camp counselor. His passion
was so alive and real in him, and he wanted to be the dad that stayed
at home. It was a decision to try to figure out what was best for us in
our relationships. Sometimes that means looking at what you are best at
and having to make decisions that aren't necessarily the typical decisions,
but to really examine what we were both best at and make our choices about
our relationship and our family by looking at those.
If you could go
back in time and give yourself advice, how far would you go back and what
would the advice be?
I would probably go back to a very young age and tell myself to keep my
Were you a bit
of a big mouth as a kid?
I think I was a bit of a big mouth my whole life. Obviously, I'm a person
who expresses themselves with a lot of openness and I'm very grateful
for the platform that I've had in my life to speak out about the things
I care about in my life, so that's kind of a joke. I think I would have
also told myself to take my time understanding and looking around and
absorbing what was going on before I just spewed whatever it was I thought
about everything. I tend to be more contemplative now.
Can you remember
your first audition or Hollywood experience?
Oh heck yeah, my first one was for 'Murphy Brown' when I arrived the first
week in Los Angeles. I drove onto the Warner Brothers lot and auditioned
to play the young Murphy Brown. I got that role and was shooting the second
week, and I looked at Candice Bergen and this incredible set and these
beautiful comedians that were surrounding her and thought, "Hey,
this is where I want to be someday." I knew that I had to work very
hard to create a path for myself that might lead me to a place where I
would be in the situation that Candice Bergen was. And it's amazing to
me that I'm now here working on a Warner Brothers show with those people
who first hired me and gave me the kind of dream or understanding of a
goal that might work for my life.
Years from now
when the show ends, what would you like to see happen to your character?
I don't even know. Marin is writing a book in the first season. I would
like to see her write the book that she wants to write with the depth
and understanding that she experiences in Elmo and New York or wherever
they take her in the world. But I would like to see her grow as an artist
and as a person who really believes that she has a voice in this world
that can help people with hope, love, understanding and compassion for
If you could play
one character, current or all-time, what character would that be?
I did not grow up on TV so I don't have a lot of things to reference really,
so I guess I would just go back to the inspiration that Candice Bergen
gave me. Murphy Brown was a woman who was powerful and complex and who
had a clear voice and helped so many women understand who they are and
their place in the world, so I think I would have liked that. I think
that's why I searched so hard for a part that was so complex.