“2 Broke Girls” star Beth Behrs knows what it’s like to have an empty bank account.
“I WAS a broke girl,” Behrs tells PopcornBiz of the lean times right before she landed her CBS sitcom. “Like, no money, had to call mom and say, 'I need money so that I can get some macaroni and cheese to eat’ broke.”
The 25-year-old actress was hustling herself to pay the rent before she landed her breakthrough role as Caroline Channing, a once-privileged New York socialite who’s reduced to waiting tables at a greasy spoon. “I was auditioning, I'd done some guest stars and a couple of smaller films,” she recalls. “I was a nanny, I worked at The Geffen Playhouse and was working a lot of odd jobs. I've been acting since I was 4- or 5-years old in theater, and so this is a dream come true.”
And yes, Behrs does know a little something about the food service industry. “I was a waitress and hostess at Chili's in Marin County in Northern California, right before I left for college,” she reveals. “I wasn't very good at it, a lot like Caroline. I dropped a whole tray of drinks my first night on a party of 10. I put too many on the tray and just dropped them all, so that was nice.”
Pursuing her dream of performing was what kept her going. “It was like a calling for me,” explains Behrs. “I loved being on stage. I love making people laugh. From the time that I was four year old dressing up I was making my whole family laugh at the dinner table, so I think what got me through was my love of comedy and of acting and of being in front of an audience."
As a comedien who also hopes to write and produce her own projects one day, Behrs says she feels fortunate to have been discovered by her “2 Broke Girls” creators, Michael Patrick King of “Sex and the City” acclaim, and standup comic Whitney Cummings, and paired alongside co-star Kat Dennings.
“I'm so lucky that I have Michael and Whitney,” says Behrs. “I was a fan of their work before – a HUGE fan – and they've really embraced me and taken me under their wings. And Kat and I have just formed the best friendship. I think that I couldn't have gone through the pilot without her."
She also relates to her character Caroline, who has more depth than her background might suggest. “She is a complete businesswoman,” Behrs says. “To get into Wharton Business School – this is a smart girl. I was very into school growing up. I went to UCLA and I never got a B. I can definitely relate to that. I think Caroline seems like someone who really thinks on her feet and can kind of make the best of any situation, so she'll figure out a way to make it work and be positive. It's all going to be okay.”
Despite hints of socialite superficiality, Behrs says Caroline’s not intended to be a commentary on the celeb-utant-types whose antics fill the gossip sites. “I don't really see her as Paris Hilton,” says the actress. “I don't know Paris Hilton personally. [But] I'm sure she is a lovely girl.”