A year ago, Beth Behrs was a nanny.
Now she's Caroline Channing on CBS' "2 Broke Girls," which has its first season finale Monday, May 7. Caroline was a billionaire's daughter until her father wound up in prison, and she found herself homeless. She took a waitressing gig at a greasy spoon in Brooklyn, found a best friend in Max ( Kat Dennings) and put her Wharton business degree to use -- raising money to start a bakery.
Behrs loves the chance to do broad physical comedy. In her favorite episode, Caroline's tongue swells when she becomes a medical guinea pig, then she has to testify for her dad.
Behrs is giddy about her meteoric year.
"It's just crazy," she tells Zap2it.
She's walking in Beverly Hills, greeting pals in the street, which also makes her happy. Behrs has every reason to be happy. It's not as if a manager saw her and made her a star.
Behrs saw "The Sound of Music" and knew what she wanted. She was 4 when she made her stage debut in a community theater production of "Snow White," playing one of the queen's cats.
"We had to get the makeup done as a cat, and I hated the way the eyeliner felt," she says. "I grew up wanting to do Broadway, trained as a classical soprano in theater."
She studied theater at UCLA and took odd jobs such as waitressing, a skill she didn't perfect but that probably helped her playing Caroline. She had to learn to balance stacked plates for the show.
"I dropped everything at the pilot taping," Behrs says. "I was not a good waitress in life, and I was not on camera. The restaurant is not for me. It was a rough world. I can relate to this. Kids were more my thing."
Birth date: Dec. 26, 1985
How she sees the characters' relationship: "The friendship with Max has opened her eyes to a lot, and Caroline always tries to stay positive," Behrs says.
Credits: This is her first break, but she guested on an episode of "Castle."
Influenced by: Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. "I love Kristen Wiig and Julia Roberts," she says.
Ideal day: "Going on a hike and coming back and having tea and reading the paper and maybe spending the day with my mom and sister, and going out to dinner," she says.
Favorite movies: "I am a huge Julia Roberts fan -- 'Pretty Woman' and 'Notting Hill.' The reason I wanted to be an actress was because of 'The Sound of Music.' 'Now and Then' with Rosie O'Donnell, that I used to love as a kid. I grew up watching old musicals from 'Funny Girl' to 'Annie.' "
Favorite books: "My all-time favorite is 'The Great Gatsby.' I love F. Scott Fitzgerald. I am a huge biography nerd. I just finished Diane Keaton's [autobiography], and Eric Clapton's was really well done."
Favorite music: "I am a huge country music fan - from old-school Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons to Martina McBride and Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood."
Photo/Video credit: CBS