I was very disruptive. I was horrible. I didn't learn like all the other kids. I had to sometimes take my tests out in the hallways because I couldn't focus. But, my teachers would come see me in the plays and were like 'I don't understand how you can focus and be in the moment in a play and you go into math class and you can't focus.
I made sure that instead of people making fun of me, like every comedian probably says, I made fun of myself first so they would get distracted and just laugh. I was pretty brutally picked on for a while growing up. It was always the really pretty girls, the hot girls and then there was me. So I had to do something to get any sort of attention.
In college, I went to school for acting; we had to learn phonetics just to be able to do dialects and all that stuff. I'm somebody who does better just hearing it. I'll just imitate it, and I get it better that way. When I know too much information, I'm not great.
Kids kill a show! It's, like, a fun concept when the character is pregnant, but then if a show runs for a while, I'm sorry, but it gets annoying when it starts to talk. You get a child actor in there, and unless that child actor is freakin' awesome, it's going to be annoying.
If I'm not clear with the character, I can't do anything with it. But once I get that character, the possibilities are endless. When you have such a defined character, I feel like I can actually read the phone book and make it funny.
It's so funny, because when I was growing up in a small town in New Hampshire, I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio - from the 'Growing Pains'/'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' era, because he was superhot - and I carried a laminated photo of him in my wallet and said he was my boyfriend. But no one believed me.
When you're walking around in Shanghai, I called it the City of Near Misses, because they do not stop for pedestrians. And the pedestrians do not have the right of way. It's those little things that no one tells you.
I was on a show called '12 Miles of Bad Road' with Lily Tomlin - it was an incredible HBO show. We shot 6 episodes, previewed it before the finale of 'The Sopranos;' it was written up as a 'Great New Show on HBO,' and then the whole thing was canned. Gone. Disappeared. That's when I realized anything can happen in this business.
I was the female lead in a romantic comedy. It's a little indie film that we shot in China called 'America Town,' starring Daniel Henney and Bill Paxton. I actually had to speak Chinese in the film. It was funny because I found out I was doing the film and then a week later, I was in Shanghai.
I definitely want to do more movies, and I'm also a writer, so I have a few screenplays that I'm working on, one of them based off my one-woman show that I used to do in New York. Two of the screenplays I've written by myself, and then I'm also working on one with my writing partner, Tom Riley, who's in London.
My older brother always tells me I changed as a person when I saw 'Ace Ventura.' Because when I saw 'Ace Ventura', I became obsessed. I watched the movie as many times as I had to - back then, you couldn't go on the Internet and find the script - so I watched it as many times as I could to write my own script of 'Ace Ventura.'
I'd say I'm a pretty intense person. I'm definitely not my Denise character on 'Scrubs,' nor my Jane character on 'Happy Endings,' but I'm a mix of the two. I really feel that I'm kind of every character that I've ever played; it's just a part of me. And I am a bit of a control freak like Jane. I'm very, perhaps, obsessive like that.