After a plum role on Mixed-ish, the Second City e.t.c. alum steps further into the spotlight with a high-profile new Netflix series.
The Second City has produced scores of talented performers over the years, from Bill Murray and Tina Fey to Amy Poehler and Jane Lynch. The latest alum angling for comedy stardom? Christina Anthony, who cowrote three original sketch revues for The Second City e.t.c. and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Revue in 2010 for e.t.c.’s The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life. Now in L.A. with roles on Key & Peele, Mixed-ish and more under her belt, she’s landed a sweet gig on the new Kristen Bell starrer for Netflix, The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window. As she prepares for the show’s early ’22 release, Anthony dishes to CS on the Chicago scene, her dream project and what she misses most about the Windy City.
How has the time you spent in Chicago helped you prepare for this career?
Eight live shows a week for years at The Second City made me certain about what was funny and my point of view. So now, when I’m filming a show and the crew has to hold their breath and not laugh during takes, my inner voice reminds me, ‘You’re still funny. Do not freak out.’
You still do stand-up and improv in L.A. How is the scene different from Chicago?
Shows feel like an audition in L.A. Sure, industry people came to shows in Chicago, but I never knew until after the fact. In Los Angeles, it’s a lot of ‘executive so-and-so from that network is out there looking for STARS, everybody!’ It can be... exhausting.
What excites you most about The Woman in the House...?
I’d never done a dark comedy so I was in new territory, but working with Kristen Bell was a dream! I learned so much from her. Who doesn’t want to literally solve a mystery with the actual Veronica Mars herself? And the creators of the show—Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras—come from improv, so the comedy just fit me so naturally.
What is your dream project?
That’s easy. My own sitcom taped before a live studio audience.
What do you miss most about Chicago?
This is going to sound strange because it’s not a place but a feeling: I miss the feeling of riding the Brown Line over the Chicago River by the Merchandise Mart. Oh, and neighborhood dives. I love that people have their spot in Chicago.