Heather Goldenhersh, <EM>The Class</EM> Heather Goldenhersh, The Class

With only two episodes left before CBS' The Class (Mondays at 8:30 pm/ET) starts on its early "school vacation," we at TVGuide.com were dying to find out what is happening between one of the oddest but most adorable couples on TV, Lina (Heather Goldenhersh) and Richie (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). Now that they've finally managed to overcome some problems — he had a wife; he ran Lina over with his car; Lina was in a wheelchair for most of those episodes; their first awkward time together — they've really come into their own, which must mean there is more trouble ahead, right? Goldenhersh, a New Yorker, was happy to chat with us from her East Coast dwelling and offer a real behind-the-scenes look at the sitcom.

TVGuide.com: Is The Class a fun cast to work with?
Goldenhersh: Totally. I think it's one of the most unanimous things that we all say. It's kind of a love festival, how we all really respect each others' talents. Each individual is a uniquely wonderful person, and I think we definitely are a great ensemble. The last few weeks of taping, we go out to dinner together, once a week, but everybody, I guess, has stayed out there... except me.

TVGuide.com: Even Jesse? He's supposed to be a New York boy!
Goldenhersh: I know! He totally got an apartment out there and everything, and I'm like, "I'm renting a car. I'm subletting a place." My anchor is back here in New York, and I'm happy to work out there, but as far as right now, I'm happy to go back and forth. I'm like, "I'm from New York, and I'm going back to New York." It's so different. It's not like I want to typically bash L.A. I made some good friends there, and I love Santa Monica and Venice....

TVGuide.com: You're back in time for the winter weather.
Goldenhersh: I'm happy about it all. I like cold. I need seasons. I couldn't wait to get back to New York.

TVGuide.com: So, you're not the sunny, L.A., California girl?
Goldenhersh: Hell no. I have "NYC" branded on my forehead. But The Class  was the best schedule possible, working three weeks out of a month and coming back here every month for a week. It was a great show, and we're all doing positive envisioning that we're back for the second season.

TVGuide.com: So you haven't heard yet?
Goldenhersh: No, they said a decision would be released around the time that they announce the pilot pickups in May. But I'm happily occupied doing a play, and I'll be doing a small role in a George Clooney film.

TVGuide.com: That's exciting!
Yeah, my grandma really liked that one. She's like, "You can make a pass at him, Heather." But first, starting next week, I'm going to do an off-Broadway play at Playwrights Horizons, so I'm so excited about that as well. It's called Essential Self-Defense by Adam Rapp. He's a really talented writer, and I think it should be a lot of fun. It'll be nice to do something without a laugh line built in. [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Do you consider yourself at all like Lina?
Goldenhersh: I feel like a mixture of the two sisters [Lina and Kat] in real life. I'm a little less naive, but I definitely learned positivity from Lina, or optimism.

TVGuide.com: It would be hard to be that understanding all the time.
Goldenhersh: Yeah, exactly. I was kind of surprised that she didn't forgive Richie more immediately for his having been married and not telling her. Yeah, it's good for him to earn it a little bit, but it was shocking. They wanted her to be a lot brighter than is humanly possible.

TVGuide.com: Yeah, it's hard to be that up.
Goldenhersh: Yeah, but I think they're getting a good human balance. I feel like the straight man, a little bit, keeping it real or earnest to offset Richie. He's like a comic, just a total joy.... I'm so glad to be paired up with him.

TVGuide.com: The episode where you two have sex for the first time was probably the funniest of the season.
Goldenhersh: Oh, really, you liked that one? Great. I had a lot of fun that night. [Laughs] I love the little twists they gave her, where she's using the tactics to make him feel comfortable and then she's like.... I can't remember the line, but it was like, "Your sex problems don't scare me." She pulled a little of her sister out. Everybody's so sweet and cool and good-hearted and generous and encouraging of each other.

TVGuide.com: Sounds like a nice place to work.
Goldenhersh: It really is. In the beginning, there was an underlying pressure with lots of money riding on these shows; it's a risk for everyone, the writers.... I had a couple of tough weeks of adjusting due to the pace and the process of rehearsal, just the difference. And when they change lines, it's not necessarily that you didn't do it right, but I took it personally first and I was freaked out, like, "I failed! They're going to fire me!"

TVGuide.com: You have a Tony Award nomination! You're not going to fail.
Goldenhersh: I know, it's weird, the psychology of an actor. I think I'm getting better, but I don't know if there's some kind of self-doubting thing in there. It doesn't make sense really, but I guess in the new environment, this new kind of work, you are beginning again in a lot of ways. There's a definite style to the sitcom and a rhythm, and it can be pretty technical, and there's not a lot of time to marinade in it or to take a nice, long, warm bubble bath in it. Not like the play that I did on Broadway, we did it for three months off-Broadway and moved to Broadway for 10 months, and I almost lost my mind.

TVGuide.com: Because you were doing the same thing.
Goldenhersh: Yeah, but then you break through ground. It's like you're doing the same thing over and over, but it's different and alive each time, an infinitesimal sort of movement.

TVGuide.com: They've been playing online a table read for The Class, and a run-through that they filmed. Was that process nerve-racking? Isn't that when you are supposed to make mistakes?
Yeah, exactly. I didn't have a lot to do in those episodes, but the idea of [filming] the table reading seemed kind of intrusive and premature. At first it was like, "What?! I hate that idea." Then it was kind of fun. It would be interesting for people to see that part of the process. I guess it's a good way of being open, like, "Here it is, all hanging out. Come on in."

TVGuide.com: Well, hopefully people will see it and realize what a fun show it is.
Goldenhersh: I don't really have a perspective being inside it, but I meet people, friends and family who do watch the show and like it, and other friends who didn't like it but who now like it. The people at my mailbox place were like, "We didn't think it would go beyond half the season," and I was like, "Thanks very much, see you later, bye." It kind of hurt my feelings!

TVGuide.com: Well, when I first heard the premise I was skeptical, but it's a great cast, and it's just gotten funnier.
Goldenhersh: I think everybody is really spreading their wings and starting to fly, or rock! Like Jason Ritter, I know, just has so much in him. I don't want to speak for him, but with the whole legacy of his father [John] in front of him, to fit into those shoes, he can fully fill them in his own way. It became really fun to do.

TVGuide.com: Well, I think Lina and Richie are very fun together....
Goldenhersh: Yeah, I do love them.

TVGuide.com: Are you two sticking together for the rest of the season?
Goldenhersh: Yes, yes. As far as the forecast of the relationship, I think it goes deeper, actually, without giving anything away. I think there's definitely a strong commitment there. I guess they're the only couple on the show that's pretty decided.

TVGuide.com: They are almost normal in their own weird way.
Goldenhersh: I love that they're kind of the freaky nerds or the left-of-center people, because that's what I feel comfortable being. Actually, they have the most stability in each other.

TVGuide.com: You finally got out of that wheelchair, so we're finally getting to see you more.
Goldenhersh: I liked it at first, and I loved what kind of comedy they could keep milking out of it, but it got old for the audience before it did for me. I think people were antsy for her to get out of the chair. Actually, it was a relief when it came, to kind of change the energy and be up and about. I thought I wouldn't know how to be able to walk and talk at the same time, but I did it! It was pretty easy.

TVGuide.com: Do you have super-strong arm muscles now?
Goldenhersh: Well, my arms have always been pretty [good]. I do yoga and stuff. I was confined to the wheelchair with the cast that sticks straight out for all of the evening for a taping, because they couldn't take me in and out of them, so I just stayed in chairs — I guess it's a little "methody" — so it felt good to finally be able to join the land of the upright.

TVGuide.com: Well, I'm sure that they will find very funny things for you and Richie to keep doing.
Goldenhersh: He's definitely a clumsy one and doesn't have the finesse with the carpentry or whatever, so I guess it would be fun to see him back in the science lab or something. I know Lina is a really bad cook....

TVGuide.com: Right, the chicken.
Goldenhersh: Yeah, the killer chicken.

TVGuide.com: I just want to know, will Richie's wife (played by Sara Gilbert) reappear this season and cause more trouble?
Goldenhersh: Not this season, I think I can divulge that. You won't be seeing her again. I mean, I saw [Sara] for yoga outside of work....

TVGuide.com: I don't think that counts!
Goldenhersh: No, not for the general viewing public, but [Sara Gilbert is] actually pregnant, so it's really cool. Yeah, Richie and I are....

TVGuide.com: Stable and nice?
Goldenhersh: Yeah, but I'm sure there will be some bumps.

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