Erinn Hayes may be one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood. The fourth season premiere of her hit TV series, “Children’s Hospital,” is August 9 on Adult Swim. She is one of the stars of the new indie film “It’s a Disaster” that has played to rave reviews at the Los Angeles Film Festival and Comic Con. And she was just added to the cast of “Guys with Kids,” the new Jimmy Fallon-produced NBC comedy series that premieres this fall.
But that didn’t keep this mother of two young daughters from her scheduled telephone interview with us for ON AND BEYOND, even as she was driving to pick them up from their Los Angeles area preschool. Hayes can multi-task with the best of them.
That bodes well for the San Francisco Bay Area native, who plays quirky, looking-for-love Dr. Lola Spratt on “Children’s Hospital.”
“It’s getting better each year,” she says of the series, a great comedy that has very little to do with medicine, but is laugh-a-minute hilarious. “I think we have an amazing cast (which includes Henry Winkler, Malin Akerman, Rob Corddry, Megan Mullally, Lake Bell, Rob Huebel and Ken Marino), and the shows are written so well for all of us. It’s finally getting its due out there—permeating pop culture and getting a huge following, and it’s fun to be a part of.”
The cast does 14 shows per season, each show 15 minutes long.
“It’s a pretty grueling production schedule,” Erinn says. “We do one episode every two days over six weeks—three weeks in December before the holidays and three weeks in January afterwards. I’m always thinking, ‘just six weeks for 14 shows?’ Pretty condensed.”
In “It’s a Disaster,” director Todd Berger (highlighted in a story at ON AND BEYOND last week) centers his doomsday comedy on four couples facing the possible end of the world. They are forced to hole up together in a small home as the final hours draw near. Erinn plays Emma Mandrake, one of the home’s owners. The film has already generated a lot of interest on the Internet and in entertainment media, and Berger hopes to find a distributor shortly. Erinn co-stars in the film with Julia Stile, David Cross, America Ferrera and Rachel Boston.
“I’m very excited about [the film],” she says. “One of the things that attracted it to me is that it’s an anti-disaster movie. No one is trying to be a hero, we’re just trying not to die and we’re dealing with our own problem relationships.”
How would Erinn handle such a situation in real life?
“There are two different answers to that,” she says with a laugh. “As a mother, I’d snuggle with my two children. But then there’s the non-children answer, which is to be totally in America’s character—get drunk and pass out until the end of the world! Last December, we had some really bad wind storms here—power was out for days—and it really opened my eyes, kind of kicked me in the butt. Shamefully, it showed how unprepared we are for something like that. My husband bought a BB gun, and I said jokingly, ‘What good is that doing to do?’ I realized that living here in California, I’m become so blasé about earthquakes that I don’t even worry about disasters anymore. Maybe I should.”
Her career is far from disastrous (movie pun intended). On “Guys with Kids,” she’ll play Sheila, the ex-wife of Chris (actor Jesse Bradford) and a type A attorney. The comedy centers on three 30-something dads who are trying to hold on to their youth. She also recently booked a supporting role in “They Came Together,” a new film starring Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Chris Meloni, Ed Helms, Jessica Perez, Colbie Smulders and Jack McBrayer now in pre-production inNew York City for a 2014 release.
“I’ve been trying to do some different roles,” Erinn says. “TV has been an easier road for me, and you get known and get to more stuff, but I also like film work. It’s just nice to have a variety of parts to play.”
Especially when, like talented Erinn Hayes, you can multi-task.