Actress, singer, talk-show host and... model? Megan Mullally is about to make her runway debut on Tuesday's episode of Breaking In (9:30/8:30, Fox). So how did they talk her into it?
"Fortunately, I had not read the script very carefully, so I read it and I thought: underwear, fashion show, runway, I walk down it, whatever," Mullally told reporters last week on the set of the office comedy. "I just didn't think about the fact that I really had to do that. I'm glad I didn't."
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Mullally's foray into high fashion comes when Contra Security is hired by a lingerie company to protect a diamond-encrusted bra — much to the disapproval of new boss Veronica (Mullally). "I walked in and it was this giant, really fancy runway and probably about 250 background people. They were all young, attractive and dressed up really nice. I was like, 'Oh, sh--,'" she said. "I had no idea what I was going to do, so I just kind of winged it. It was fun."
So far, Mullally's improvisational skills have served her well on Breaking In. After eight seasons and two Emmy wins on Will & Grace, Mullally has recently made memorable guest-star turns on Parks and Recreation — as manipulative library employee (and Ron Swanson's ex-wife) Tammy No. 2 — and as Penny's loose cannon of a mother on Happy Endings. "I guess I just was playing it by ear and just going with the flow. This came along at a good time," she said. "I've been guesting on all these shows and I've been thinking, 'I guess it would be nice to have my own show that I get to go to work every day.'"
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Mullally had never seen an episode of Breaking In when she received the offer, but she thought the show had potential after catching up on the first season. "I thought that it was something I could have fun with. I'll say yes to almost anything," she said. "It's always a big crapshoot though. You never know."
Once she signed on for the role, producers were more than happy to tailor the role of Contra's new boss to Mullally's style. "Even in that first episode, Veronica has shades of still being a corporate person, but it ultimately fell away because Megan is so fun and so kooky," showrunner Adam F. Goldberg said. "The more we saw what Megan was doing, the more we realized that was just not where the comedy was coming from."
Added Mullally: "It was nice to have some really great collaboration and freedom to play around a little bit."
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Mullally's comedic skills have not only served her character, but have also helped raise the rest of the cast's game, according to Goldberg. "I'm certainly very grateful to get the opportunity to work with someone like Megan," Christian Slater said of his new comic foil. "She's quite hilarious and full of great ideas, and I like the chemistry."
While the cast has been very welcoming of Mullally off screen, it won't be so easy for Veronica to gel with the rest of the Contra team as the new woman in charge. "I don't think anybody has completely accepted me and they may never," Mullally said. "But we've made a little progress."
Watch an exclusive clip from Breaking In to see Mullally in action: