Interview | Eliza Coupe + Damon Wayans, Jr. From “Happy Endings”

Damon Wayans, Jr. and Eliza Coupe play Brad and Jane Williams on ABC’s Happy Endings. The show resolves around the lives of a group of friends in Chicago who must decide whether or not to remain friends after the couple that brought them together, separates.

I got the chance, with an assembled media panel, to interview Wayans and Coupe about their experience working together, their fellow cast members, and season 2.

Question > Hi guys. Congratulations on the pickup of Season 2. Are you surprised by the success of the show or did you have a feeling it’d be a hit?

Damon Wayans, Jr. > You going to take this Coupe-a-dupe?

Eliza Coupe > I’ll take it, I’ll take it. I think that given the fact that all the odds seemed to be against us in the beginning of Season 1 – I king of thought it would go, although I did chop off all my hair thinking it wasn’t going to go, so maybe that actually helped.

Question >I also wanted to ask you guys, the cast is full of some pretty people. How do you guys manage to keep a straight face? And are there any tricks you use to keep yourself from laughing? And who makes you laugh the most? It’s like three, actually.

Damon Wayans, Jr. > I have no tricks. I laugh whenever it’s funny, so I waste time. And we actually – you know what’s funny, that we all try and make each other break and we like to actually stay in there longer just to make each other laugh. And I don’t really think anybody’s mastered a technique on not laughing. It’s just fun. I like that.

Eliza Coupe > I keep a knife in my pocket at all times and just stab myself when I’m going to laugh. And it gets a little bloody; it’s a little weird, but I am stabbing my leg during most of the show. So I developed gangrene in my right leg, but it’s fine. I’m cool with it.

Damon Wayans, Jr. > I have a little needle that I keep in my skivvies.

Eliza Coupe > Yes.


Question > Good. I just want to know if we’re ever going to find out how Jane and Brad met or if we’re ever going to get some kind of flashback of them meeting and falling in love?

Eliza Coupe > Ooh, I like where your head’s at. I don’t know. I’d like to see that too.

Damon Wayans, Jr. > Yes.

Question > Have you guys thought about it? Like have you thought of a back story in your own minds?

Damon Wayans, Jr. > Yes, I kind of feel that we met at some frat party. She hooked up with like at least three or four guys before me.

Eliza Coupe > Yes. That night, that night.

Damon Wayans, Jr. > Yes, that night, that night. I mean, we’re just wasted and I’m seeing this girl and I’m going to try and hit that. And then I did and we fell in love.
 No, No I was like, “I want to try and marry that.” That’s what happened. I walked in on her with three other dudes, I was like, “Her. She’s the one.”.

Eliza Coupe  > Yes, yes.

Damon Wayans, Jr. > And then we went to the chapel and got married. That’s what I think happened, I’m not sure.

Question > This question’s actually for Damon. I know that your character wasn’t officially just written of of New Girl, you just sort of were taken out of the picture so that you moved out. Do you think that there’s a chance that you might make a cameo on the show?

Damon Wayans, Jr. > I doubt it. I- I don’t think that that will happen. But I have good luck sex. I don’t think that I’m going to be on it again. I mean, it’s I want to be on Happy Endings.

Question > And then quickly, I know that you guys – I believe in this episode – are starting to try to think about having a baby. Can you elaborate on that, the characters having a baby?

Eliza Coupe > I don’t know that they’re thinking of having a baby. A baby is kind of just brought into their lives sort of and it’s kind of more – we find out that there’s a possible baby out there of Jane’s, and then you have to see how that kind of unfolds by watching the show.

Question > Do you have a favorite moment from the show so far?

Eliza Coupe >There’s – I don’t even know what episode it is, but at the end of the one scene, Brad and Jane decide to clear the tables and go at it. And we – I just found out that that actually made it in. I didn’t know if it was going to and and it made it in. So that was a really fun moment.

Damon Wayans, Jr. > Unreal. That was definitely one of my favorite moments. Also we had one of my buddies — comedy buddies — came on – boy who I worked with before on The Other Guys, Rob Riggle, and he was just too funny like during his scenes. We did this – a basketball scene and he was just – I don’t know if they have any takes where I’m not. I don’t break, I’m not laughing. So hopefully they can make a show around me laughing.

Question > Damon, what is it about the Wayans’ family that produces so many funny people? And if the previous generation hadn’t done comedy, if they were a family of dentists or mechanics or pro tennis players, would you have gone into that instead of being an actor and a comedian?

Damon Wayans, Jr. > None of those jobs are appealing to me, the ones you named. I would never be a dentist, I’d never be a mechanic, never. Honestly, I don’t know. I mean, everybody is pretty funny in my – in my family, it’s just who’s going to take that next step. Who’s going to take that leap into the audition rooms and just slowly get more and more insecure in life. Just – that’s what happens when you become an actor, you just get more insecure. Did you like that? Is that okay? So it’s like whoever wants to deal with that for the rest of their life and potentially go bald like half my family.

(**Given that the interview was extremely long, this is just an excerpt. To read the entire interview, please visit Eliza & Damon Full Interview. )