Beth Behrs has a secret. Up until a few weeks ago, she'd never baked a single cupcake. "I'm not very savvy in the kitchen," she reveals coyly. "We're around them all day, everyday [on set] and one Sunday I was learning lines for a cupcake-heavy episode and thought, 'I'm going to bake cupcakes.' But I have to admit, it was a Betty Crocker mix."
Cooking skills aside, Behrs has found the recipe for success in CBS' frisky freshman hit 2 Broke Girls, thanks to her portrayal of former Upper East Side heiress-turned-Brooklyn waitress/cupcake entrepreneur Caroline Channing. "Beth is a gold mine," says executive producer Michael Patrick King. "She has a deep well of talent, and it's a thrill to have spent this first season discovering what she can do, which at this point, I have to say, seems to be everything."
The 26-year-old blonde beauty from Lynchburg, Virginia, is no stranger to raunchy comedy, starting her acting career with a role in the 2009 direct-to-DVD American Pie Presents: The Book of Love. "I was the only girl in it who did not take her clothes off!" clarifies Behrs, calling the film one of her favorite jobs ever, since it came at a time when she needed it most. "I was scraping to get by, trying to pay the rent, eating ramen noodles and not going anywhere because I didn't have gas," she says.
While her desperation in finding a job never quite reached Caroline's level, Behrs does bring some of her own personality and experiences to the character. "I can definitely relate to Caroline's work ethic and business savvy," says Behrs, who wrote short comedy films while at UCLA to send to agencies. "She's always a glass-half-full kind of girl, and she's goofy like me."
Expect more goofy antics during May 7's one-hour finale when a visit from homemaking queen Martha Stewart could mean big developments for the girls' cupcake business. "She has the gift of comedy, but I got nervous saying dirty things in front of Martha!" says Behrs with a laugh. "I held back in our first couple of rehearsals because she's a classy lady."
The crudity of 2 Broke Girls' jokes has recently come under fire from critics, but Behrs shrugs that off. "Maybe it's edgy or pushing boundaries, but isn't that what comedy is supposed to do?" she argues. "The jokes all come from a real place, and they're very true to the characters."
The show has been part of a slew of female-driven sitcoms to hit primetime this season, including Up All Night and Whitney (whose star, Whitney Cummings, also cocreated 2 Broke Girls). "It's exciting to be in a time when women are allowed to do certain things on TV — like say 'vagina,'" says Behrs. "We're pushing limits, and it feels great to be part of this wave."
Behrs is also quick to give credit to co-leading lady Kat Dennings, who plays her roomie and sardonic fellow waitress Max. "She's like my other half," gushes Behrs. "That friendship is what makes the show so special. We love what we're doing, and I think it shows." The friendship will extend off camera when the duo head to Europe for vacation this summer. "It's not even like sisters, because we get along so well," adds Behrs.
And when the girls return to the diner in the fall for Season 2, Behrs says she's looking forward to stepping into Caroline's well-heeled shoes again, even if it leads to minor on-set injuries. "I'm a huge klutz, and I will literally run into tables, chairs and trip multiple times," she says, pointing out a few bumps and bruises. "But I've gotten better at navigating how not to fall on my face in heels." Now that's going for broke!
2 Broke Girls airs Mondays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.