She’s played a warrior from the future, a type-A car salesman, a medical intern, a CIA agent, and more, but in her new series Pivoting, Eliza Coupe plays a type of character that she’s avoided playing in her years as an actor: A mom.
The Fox comedy stars Coupe alongside Maggie Q and Ginnifer Goodwin as three lifelong friends dealing with the loss of a fourth friend, whose recent death from cancer has all three women re-examining their lives. As Amy, Coupe plays a woman trying to balance a career she cares about with being a parent to her two kids, something Amy’s more ambivalent about than most on-screen depictions of motherhood.
It’s that ambivalence that made the character interesting to Coupe, who tells Consequence in this one-on-one interview, edited and transcribed for clarity, about why Pivoting was the right show for her to explore a mom role — and why she never wanted to do them prior to this.
But then, we look back at how her career has allowed her to explore so many other realms of human experience, as we asked her about a random assortment of her past roles, including Scrubs, Community, Wrecked, Angie Tribeca, Sherman’s Showcase, and of course Happy Endings, and what exactly she remembers about them. Spoiler alert: Wardrobe comes up a lot more than you might think.
To start off, how did you get involved with Pivoting?
It was so great, I actually got a call from my team at UTA. They sent me the script and they said, “Hey, they want to meet with you.” And when I read it, I was just like, “This is incredible,” so we all just went and got coffee and I signed on to do it.
Then this little thing called the pandemic happened and we just really didn’t get to get into it.
I actually did not know it has been in development for that long.
Yeah, I met them in February  and we were supposed to go into production in March — they were getting the cast together. It’s so funny, they were like, “Hey, I think we need to push a couple of weeks because people are shutting down for this thing.” I was like, “Oh, okay, it’ll only be a few weeks.” Cut to a year later, when we actually film it.
Of course. In terms of those conversations initially, was the character you’re playing kind of already locked down, or were you invited to contribute ideas as to how the character would work?
Liz and I have a very similar sardonic approach at life, so a lot of it was already there. But upon meeting me, she shifted it a little bit… [making it] a little bit easier for me to do it. There was a lot of improv while we filmed it. There were strong bones of the character on the page already, and she gave me the freedom to fill it in.