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Arts & Culture

Eliza Coupe: Only Happy Endings

Eliza Coupe in <em>Benched</em>.
Eliza Coupe in <em>Benched</em>.

Eliza Coupe has played some pretty brainy characters on television, from Dr. Denise on Scrubs to her current role as an attorney on the USA sitcom Benched. As she explained to host Ophira Eisenberg on the Ask Me Another stage, Coupe had to overcome one thing before she could play these roles: a New Hampshire accent.

"It's not great," she said of her home state's dialect. "It doesn't make you sound smart at all."

Coupe made a name for herself as a comedic actress with featured roles on Scrubs, Flight of the Conchords, and the cult classic sitcom Happy Endings. She currently stars on Benched as Nina, a corporate lawyer who, after a very public nervous breakdown, finds herself working as a public defender. The transition to lead role had Coupe nervous at first. "There was a lot of throwing up in my mouth for a little bit when I found out," she joked.

Adjusting to the grueling production schedule was also a challenge. "I would just keep looking like, 'oh, there's my name, and there's my name again, and that's it, and okay, so I'm in all day. And by all day I mean until the wee hours of the next day."

Of course, Eliza Coupe is all about Happy Endings. That's why we asked her to lend her comedic talents to a game that takes depressing, dark movies and reimagines them with sunnier, happier finales. Can you guess the movie based on its rewritten ending? And later in the show, we test her legal prowess in a game all about courtroom jargon.

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