Check­ing in with RETTA

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY JAY BOBBIN

Retta’s cur­rent TV star­dom is down­right crim­i­nal. And she doesn’t mind.

Though her com­edy be­came well-known on “Parks and Re­cre­ation,” she’s ef­fect­ing an im­age change by stay­ing with NBC for “Good Girls,” the se­ri­o­comic show that be­gins its sec­ond sea­son Sun­day, March 3. She re­sumes her role as Detroit wait­ress Ruby, who has turned to crime – in tan­dem with her friends, sis­ters Beth and An­nie (Christina Hendricks, Mae Whit­man) – to fund her daugh­ter’s treat­ment for kid­ney dis­ease.

“When I read the pi­lot, I knew ex­actly who she was,” the pleas­ant Retta says of Ruby, “so I felt that (se­ries cre­ator-pro­ducer) Jenna (Bans) had painted such a pic­ture of who Ruby Hill was that it was easy for me, per­son­ally. Once I started work­ing on it, when my ‘kids’ come on set ... they’re re­ally cute. They’re su­per-sweet. And that Lidya Jewett is su­per-, su­per-smart; when she starts to talk to me, I fall in parental mode.

“I didn’t meet Reno (Wil­son) un­til the ta­ble read, so I didn’t know how I felt about him play­ing my hus­band. And when we sat down at the ta­ble read, he was so warm – and he’s like that with every­one, and he calls ev­ery­body ‘Baby.’ He’s just so lov­ing that I knew ex­actly what that re­la­tion­ship was go­ing to be on screen. So, for me, it was the script, and then the peo­ple that play my fam­ily.”

Retta also has learned a trick that helps with the range of emo­tions she has to dis­play, and fre­quently, on “Good Girls.”

She re­calls she dis­cov­ered it while film­ing the pi­lot, when “I re­al­ized I hadn’t drank any wa­ter. So, that’s how I prep for my cry­ing scenes. I drank some wa­ter, and I was like, ‘Oh, I got this. This is my lane.’ And then usu­ally, when I read the script, I get trig­gered by it and by what is hap­pen­ing. I’ll cry when I read it, so when I go to shoot it, the di­a­logue trig­gers me.”

Birth­date: April 12, 1970

Birth­place: Ne­wark, N.J.

Cur­rent res­i­dence: Los An­ge­les Mar­i­tal sta­tus: Sin­gle

Other tele­vi­sion cred­its in­clude: “Pinky Malinky,” “Parks and Re­cre­ation,” “Girl­friends’ Guide to Di­vorce,” “Kroll Show,” “Key & Peele,” “Drunk His­tory,” “It’s Al­ways Sunny in Phil­a­del­phia,” “Rod­ney,” “Fred­die,” “$5.15/Hr.”

Movie cred­its in­clude: “Fa­ther Fig­ures,” “Where’s the Money,” “The Lego Nin­jago Movie” (voice only), “Band Aid,” “To the Bone,” “Mid­dle School: The Worst Years of My Life,” “Op­er­a­tor,” “Other Peo­ple,” “Alvin and the Chip­munks: The Road Chip,” “Sex Ed,” “First Sun­day,” “Sex and Death 101,” “Frac­ture,” “Dickie Roberts: For­mer Child Star,” “Slack­ers,” “Ring­mas­ter”

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