Unscripted and Unplugged: Curb

Cheryl Hines sat down with The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk in the latest episode of “At Home With The Creative Coalition,” a podcast featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with today’s biggest stars. In the newest episode, Hines opens up about improvisation on the set of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” working with Larry David and the “Curb” crew during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding comedy in her Florida family life, and much more. Highlights below.

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Highlights from “At Home With The Creative Coalition” featuring Cheryl Hines —

On improvisation on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”: 
“I was thrilled, because my background is at the Groundlings Theater, here in L.A. But I started studying at the Groundlings and I learned how to improvise — my first teacher there was Lisa Kudrow — and I learned how to improvise and that’s why I even got the audition for ‘Curb,’ because it was all improvised. So for me, that’s a really comfortable place for me to be in, whereas it’s an unusual way for an actor to work, it’s very unusual. Like, I don’t even know if there’s another sitcom that’s all improvised. Sometimes, you’ll be shooting something and there’s a script, but then they’ll say, ‘Want to try one for fun?’ And then people kind of go off-script and kind of say a few things. But I don’t know of another show that’s completely improvised. So I love it, and have loved it. It’s also really different to improvise in front of a live audience. I mean, listen, a lot of the nuts and bolts of improv are really good for life. They really help you navigate through life and through people and with different situations because the idea is: you don’t know what’s going to happen, you can’t control what’s going to happen, you can’t control what your scene partner is going to say or do, the only thing you can do is listen and respond to what they just said or did. And it’s great because your only job is to listen and to respond to what they’re saying. But some people do get caught up in the idea of, ‘Oh, I have to be funny. I have to make a joke.’ And in something like ‘Curb,’ it’s not that helpful, because that’s not real life, right? People aren’t just doing joke after joke.”

On filming during the COVID-19 pandemic: 
“At that time, I hadn’t even left the house. At that time, people were terrified to be face-to-face with someone else. And our union, they worked really hard to try and figure out guidelines, to figure out some way we can shoot again. And they came up with these protocols… [Larry David] was social distancing before — he didn’t shake hands, he touched elbows, was ahead of his time. But it was great because we had to get COVID tested. I moved out of my house into a little apartment by myself because I just didn’t want to get COVID and give it to somebody. I didn’t want to be the person to shut down the set or to give COVID to somebody, so I didn’t leave…. [Larry has] been doing this for a long time, like, ‘Oh my god, I just shook hands with someone, I have to sanitize my hands.’ When we were shooting, I’d get my makeup done outside, everyone was wearing a mask and a face shield. So even Larry, you know — you’re sitting, we all would have wear our masks until they said, ‘Rolling!’”

On her and Larry David’s different backgrounds and using her experiences for episode ideas: 
“Larry [David] loves that world because it’s so different from him. You know, there’s an episode… years ago when I went back to Florida for Christmas, my family had made a nativity scene out of cookies and they were walking around the house saying, ‘Nobody eat baby Jesus.’ And I called Larry and said, ‘If you were here, you’d eat baby Jesus and everyone would go crazy.’ And he said, ‘Oh my god, we’ve got to do that.’ And he said, ‘What else is going on down there? What else goes on in Florida?’ And I said, ‘Well, there are also live nativity scenes where people are standing on the lawn…’ Larry and I really come from opposite worlds, so it’s funny that he likes that… So we did an episode where my parents came to visit and Larry ate not only the Jesus cookie but the Mary cookie, and then to get back in my parents’ good graces he hired these actors to do the nativity scene outside in our yard, and Larry goes up to Joseph and starts talking and said something about how hot Mary was… and they burn the whole thing down.”

On Susie Greene’s role in “Curb”: 
“Susie Greene is so funny because, you know, why would Cheryl David hang out with Susie Greene? I guess, mostly, once again, it’s entertaining. Do you have friends where, like, you don’t need to be on a deserted island with this person but one night with them is going to be entertaining? So Susie — you know, she’s also, on the show, fun to commiserate with — because Jeff [Garlin] and Larry [David] are always in cahoots doing something idiotic — or just gang up on Larry. So it’s fun to have another woman around. You’re like, ‘Can you believe these two idiots?’ And then Susie will go off.”


More about “At Home With The Creative Coalition”
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “At Home With The Creative Coalition” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.

Upcoming guests include Justin Bartha (“The Hangover,” “National Treasure”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Evan Handler (“And Just Like That…,” “Californication”), New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Isaacs (“Compromising Positions”), Rachel Mason (“Circus of Books”), International Bestselling Author Patrick McGinnis (“The 10% Entrepreneur,” “Fear of Missing Out”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Joe Pantoliano (“The Sopranos,” “The Matrix”), Yolonda Ross (“The Chi”), Reid Scott (“Echo”), and Alena Smith (“Dickinson”).

Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Shiri Appleby (“UnREAL”), David Alan Basche (“The Exes”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”), Carly Chaikin (“Mr. Robot”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Alan Cumming (“Briarpatch”), Ethan Cutkosky (“Shameless”), The Creative Coalition President and actor Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”), Griffin Dunne (“This Is Us”), Michael Fishman (“Roseanne,” “The Conners”), Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Judy Gold (“The Other F Word”), Nicholas Gonzalez (“The Good Doctor”), Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Tony Hale (“Veep,” “Arrested Development”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Jon Huertas (“This Is Us,” “Castle”), Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Chad Lowe (“Supergirl”), Aasif Mandvi (“The Daily Show”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA,” “The West Wing”), AnnaLynne McCord (“Let’s Get Physical”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Katherine McNamara (“Shadowhunters”), Marta Milans (“Shazam!”), Rob Morrow (“Billions”), Kathy Najimy (“Duncanville”), Haley Joel Osment (“Future Man,” “Entourage”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”), Jessica Queller (“Supergirl”), Anthony Rapp (“Rent”), Mona Scott-Young (“Love & Hip Hop”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), Krista Vernoff (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), Constance Zimmer (“Good Trouble”), and David Zucker (“Airplane!,” “Scary Movie”). 

More about The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.