'Mr. Sunshine': Andrea Anders on romantic and comedic chemistry
When the show premieres Wednesday night (Feb. 9), Anders' character Alice has been carrying on a friends-with-benefits kind of relationship with Ben ("Friends" star and "Mr. Sunshine" co-creator Matthew Perry), who manages the sports arena where they both work. But she breaks it off with him for something more serious with another co-worker, the relentlessly optimistic Alonzo ( James Lesure).
"I think she'd really like [Ben] to be who she wants him to be," Anders, who previously starred in "Better Off Ted," "The Class" "Joey," tells Zap2it. "I don't foresee that happening anytime soon, so she's just going to move on for now. But I think the idea is to keep the connection between the two of them interesting."
And by "interesting," Anders means "occasionally winding back up with each other." Alice will waver a little bit between Alonzo and Ben, which is something that she didn't exactly relate to on a personal level.
"That hadn't really occurred to me until people started mentioning, 'Oh, [Alice] is having sex with two people.' Because in my own personal life, I'm not good at that. I need the one person to focus on -- I get confused," she says with a laugh.
Alice's back-and-forth may or may not inspire Team Ben and Team Alonzo groups on Facebook, but it will showcase the chemistry in the show's cast, which also includes Allison Janney ("The West Wing") and Nate Torrence ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip").
"It's ridiculous," Anders says. "In fact one time these two" -- Torrence and Lesure -- "were shooting a scene, and Nate got James so going laughing that -- how long do you think it took to get that? The crew was like, come on!"
"It was like 2 in the morning," Torrence adds.
"He was just committed to what he was doing, but this dude makes me laugh," Lesure says. "And I was just in tears. It's times like that -- I'm grateful to have a gig anyway, but to have that on top of it, it's sort of special. I do most of my stuff with Andrea, and she's been special to work with."
"Mr. Sunshine" premieres at 9:30 p.m. ET Wednesday on ABC.