Annelise finally gets some action on “Grandfathered”

On last night’s episode of Grandfathered, we finally got a look into the romantic life of John Stamos‘s playboy restauranteur Jimmy’s out assistant Annelise (Kelly Jenrette). The new prep cook, Jess (Aylya Marzolf), shares her crush on Annelise, so the guys in the kitchen set them up, and Annelise begrudgingly agrees. She’s not one to mix business with pleasure, but Jess is cute, and it’s been a while since Annelise has dated anyone.

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Unfortunately, Jess turns out to be shady and it’s not a love connection (I won’t spoil it for you completely!), but we do get to hear about why Annelise has been single for so long when she tells her co-workers that she was closeted for a long time and then became too focused on her professional life to have a personal one.

We talked with Kelly Jenrette at TCA about this week’s episode (“Baby Model”) and why she loves that she’s rarely recognized out in the real world. What did you think about finally getting into Annelise’s love life on the show?

Kelly Jenrette: You know it’s really interesting because Annelise, to me, comes off as a person who is not very good in relationships. She’s very focused on her work and Jimmy is relationship enough for her trying to maintain her sanity while doing everything she needs to do for him and then trying to have her life. So I thought it was really interesting the way they did the episode where I do get to—we kind of get to see that side of Annelise and then it just doesn’t turn out the way people would think.


AE: Is there any hope it could turn into a relationship?

KJ: Not with that girl! She was a lying sneak. So it’s not gonna work out for her. I’m not exactly sure what they have up their sleeves for future episodes to come.


AE: Did you just get the script and find out that’s where the episode was going?

KJ: Yeah, I got the script, read it and it was funny because I was like, “That’s exactly how I would think it would turn out for her,” just because of the way she’s kind of unfolding. She’s very straight-forward. There’s not a lot of give and take for her. That doesn’t always necessarily work in a relationship. You have to have a little bit of flexibility, and you see she just doesn’t know how to do that relationship thing. It’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds in episodes to come.

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AE: Was there anything else you were really excited to do this season?

KJ: Well when we first met with the writers, they were just getting to know us, and I said, yes, I can sing. Then when I got the script and I saw that my character was going to sing, and it was followed by “very badly,” I was like “Oh no!” But it was an amazing episode to shoot. I loved singing horribly. My mom called me—she was like, “I was on the edge of my seat, tears were in my eyes, and I said ‘They’re gonna let my baby sing!’ and then you opened your mouth and my tears dried right up.’ So that was a really fun one.


AE: It takes some talent to sing badly, too!

KJ: That’s what people keep saying. That’s the hardest thing. I was rehearsing, and my husband was like, “Babe, that doesn’t sound bad.” I was like, “No, this sounds terrible.”


AE: Do you ever get recognized by fans?

KJ: People don’t recognize me from the show I think because my hair is always so different, so people really don’t recognize me. A lot of times I get that look like, “I know you from somewhere. I don’t know where.” I’m like, “I don’t know!”


AE: You don’t help them out, and tell them it’s Grandfathered?

KJ: “I’m from Atlanta, I don’t know!” I really don’t get recognized much.


AE: Is that a good thing though? You can live your life?

KJ: Yeah, I was in the grocery store the other day, and my hair was a mess, and I was like, “This is fantastic. I can go out looking a mess, and nobody was going to be like ‘Have you seen the girl from Grandfathered? She looks a mess!” So that’s a bonus.

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AE: So knowing that you sing, did you watch The Wiz? Would you want to be a part of a live musical event like that?

KJ: Oh my god, it was so amazing. The Wiz! Oh, I just watched it over and over and over again. I would love to be a part of something like that. Musical theater is where I got my start, so to go back to that would be amazing.


AE: Do you have an ideal role you’d love to play?

KJ: Ooh. Dreamgirls would be fun. Lorell, not Deena or Jennifer Hudson‘s role. I do consider myself to be a singer, but a powerhouse Jennifer Hudson singer? No. Not me.

Grandfathered airs Tuesday nights on Fox. You can watch full episodes of Grandfathered on the show’s website