Welcome back to TV Topics, where host Steven Prusakowski, joined by co-host Abe Friedtanzer, walks guests through their TV landscape. For each episode one special guest sits grabs a seat on our couch for the entirety of the show to discuss their relationship with television and their latest work. For this episode we speak with an actress who has made you laugh while gracing the screens of your favorite sitcoms.
You will know her from current work on Apple TV+’s Shrinking, along with Scrubs, The Drew Carey Show, Cougar Town and many more. It’s the spectacular Christa Miller. She sits on the TV Topics couch as we ask questions about her TV viewing experience – from her favorite primetime show as a kid to her TV guilty pleasure, what show she would like to live in and much more. Christa provided us with an unexpected answer or two, including her very cool connections to the some television history which were not on our radar.
We take a break from her trip down TV memory lane to deep dive into her must-watch work as the neighbor who seems to get into everyone’s business as Liz on Shrinking. The series created by the dream team of Bill Lawrence (Christa’s husband), Brett Goldstein and Jason Segel is about a therapist (Segel) who decides to provide his own form of therapy after struggling with the loss of his wife. Christa is part of an amazing cast of fresh actors including Lukita Maxwell and Luke Tennie. Plus some very familiar faces like: Jessica Williams, Michael Urie, Ted McGinley.. oh yeah, and Harrison Ford.
We discuss it at length in a wonderful conversation fans of the series will think really rocks. Speaking of which we also get into her music supervisor work and her rock collecting and gifting hobby. Fingers crossed one ends up in my hands one day. While we wait for that to happen, here are some excerpts from the conversation. Be sure to listen to it in its entirety above. Christa was a lot of fun and full of surprises.
Christa was involved with Shrinking essentially from its conception. She explained how it came to be as well as how she made certain she was in the cast:
“Bill had become very good friends with Brett Goldstein. Then, I in turn, became friends with Brett Goldstein – and had a crush on Brett Goldstein – I adore him. He was talking about that he was writing a script, a dark script about therapy and he said there’s a part in there for you. It’s Christa in the script. And I said, ‘I’m doing that script.’ And Bill’s like, ‘Hold on.’ Because when pandemic started ending, we started getting scripts, not only from Bill, but my agents were sending me scripts. I was ready to go get back to work. And I was like, ‘I want to do Brett’s show.’ I was so singular in doing Brett’s show. Then Bill was also writing a comedy, but much lighter and they decided to do it together and merge them. Because, Bill’s told Brett, ‘This is a series – people are gonna kill themselves to watch it. It’s so depressing.’ So they merged it, remembered Miller. “I felt very attached to the material. I wanted it. I was like, ‘I’m doing Shrinking. I’m doing Shrinking. That’s all I want to do.’ And that was it. I made it happen. I really was steadfast.”
Like her character on Shrinking, Christa is also a collector and sharer of rocks. It is a personal hobby where she hunts for the perfect rock, tumbles and then gifts. She spoke about the unique hobby:
“I’m doing a lot of rock work recently. I love collecting agates -agates are my favorite, because they tumbled so beautifully. Kind of like marbles, they’re just so beautiful. They’re hard to find in LA, but there’s I’ve secret pockets, but just finding them, you know, finding a good agate. Also, I find a lot that look like they’re an agate, but you don’t know. So you take a saw, you cut it and you don’t know if it is going to open up and be a prize or not, which is very exciting. Then, if it is, they’re so beautiful. Then I cab them. I have a calving machine, which is they’re like sanding machines to make them as beautiful as they can be before they go in the tumbler. I love them. I give them to people that are special to me.”
Many people may be surprised again by Christa who not only acts in dozens of series, she also serves as Music Supervisor, a role that started when working on her husband’s series Scrubs and has continued beyond to Ted Lasso and Shrinking, both of which are praised for their music selections.
On tapping into the musical spirit of a show or character:
“Because I love music so much, I feel like I want to give back. I love using new musicians that I know when I hear, that I feel like it’s going to be a hit song if it could get out there. I wanted to do new music in Shrinking. And I have different playlists for different people. For Harrison (Ford) I sometimes use older music because I get to have a little Harrison music, but I wanted to do new music. I feel I know the vibe. And, I worked with Apple as well because I had different ways. They helped with the vibe too. Now they leave me alone with the music. I don’t know if I could do another show that Bill was not the producer because he gives me autonomy to do what I want. I mean, sometimes he argues with me, but you know, he lets me do what I want.”
Thank you to Christa Miller for taking a seat on the TV Topics couch. Check out her incredible work on Shrinking on Apple TV+. Be sure to listen to our full delightful conversation below.
Future episodes of TV Topics will feature more of your favorite actors and actresses, who will also discuss their relationship with TV. Other non-guest episodes will focus on Emmys talk, spotlighting must-watch TV series and performances that may not be on your radar, what we’re watching and more. If you love television and good conversations, you’ll love TV Topics. Our next guest will be from Yellowjackets, Wednesday and so much more, Christina Ricci.
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If you would like to be a guest on TV Topics, reach out to Steven Prusakowski.