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Lauren Graham entered the HBO comedy as an NBC censor — a “lucky coincidence” one week after David made the lives of real NBC censors’ “miserable” after his ‘SNL’ monologue, says executive producer Jeff Schaffer.

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Sunday’s episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Namaste.”]
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – When Larry David faced backlash over his recent “controversial” Saturday Night Live monologue, many viewers took to social media in his defense to ask, “Have you ever watched an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm?” Sunday’s episode of David’s HBO comedy proved that point.

“That was a wonderfully timed accident. If you didn’t like it before? Here it is again!” Curb executive producer Jeff Schaffer tells The Hollywood Reporter of the response to David’s concentration camp bit on NBC’s SNL. “This episode, especially, we’re talking about things that many people are afraid to talk about.”

Even more aptly timed is the introduction of Larry’s new romantic interest, foul-mouthed NBC censor and single mom Bridget, played by Lauren Graham. Below, Schaffer talks to THR about Graham’s role — another “lucky coincidence that one week after he made NBC censors’ lives miserable on Saturday Night Live, we got to see him actually dating one on Curb” — and what’s ahead for the budding pair.

Why did you want to set up Larry with an NBC censor?
Larry’s had a long history with NBC censors. It’s just a lucky coincidence that one week after he made NBC censors’ lives miserable on Saturday Night Live, we got to see him actually dating one on Curb. Larry thought it would be really funny to be dating a censor and to get turned on by all of the foul language that she says “no” to all day. We shot the scene and it was great, but in the editing room we realized that it wasn’t as much about him getting turned on by it as it was a wonderful, romantic moment. So we put the romantic Parisian music under it and made this very sweet moment for Curb. That’s as romantic as we get: Larry falling for someone as she’s talking about pussy.

Is the real Larry David acting out his own funny fantasy by writing Bridget in as an NBC censor, having dealt with many throughout his career?
It’s a very strange, sweet revenge fantasy for all of the censors. Instead of hating them, what if he actually fell for one? I can say without hesitation that Lauren Graham is playing the coolest NBC censor you will ever meet.

How did you go about casting Graham — were there others who tried out for the role?
The character, Bridget, is going to be around for a while and we knew it was going to be a pretty big part for the final half of the season. So it was important for us that Larry had someone who he felt super-comfortable with. But it had to work both ways. He had to be comfortable saying anything in front of her, and we also had to make sure that it was someone who would be comfortable saying all of these foul things, too. We didn’t actually audition this part. We just talked about who would be great for this, and Larry thought she would be perfect and she was. He can say anything around her and she rolls with it. She was comfortable saying anything on the planet in front of Larry.

What about Graham did David think would work, and what was it like when they shot their scenes?
Lauren and Larry have an effortless connection. She walked in and it felt like they had been dating for a long time, it was so easy. The very first scene of her story was the first time she was on set, and she had to say the filthiest things on the planet. She was laughing and saying, “Oh, my dad was going to be so happy that I was on Curb.” Larry knew her a little bit socially and just got the great vibe that Lauren gives off. She is an incredibly giving and receptive actress and a great listener, so it’s very easy for him to improv with her.

Why did you want to give Larry a romantic interest, someone that he can actually stand, at this point?
Bridget is attracted to the fatwa, so Salman Rushdie was once again right. Larry is still surrounded in the sexy pixie dust of the fatwa and there are beautiful women who are attracted to that. So that’s working great for Larry. But she has this kid, and that’s an issue. It’s like that old analogy about Hollywood — that people come to Hollywood and Hollywood presents you with this beautiful plate of food and there’s just a little piece of poo on the plate. And everyone says, “Eh, I’ll eat around it.” So Larry is going to be eating around the kid at the moment. He really likes Bridget and he’s just going to have to deal with this kid. But he’s quite sure that this kid does not have Asperger’s. He, in fact, just think that the kid just has Asshole-perger’s.

What does this mean for Larry and Cheryl David (Cheryl Hines) — is there no future for them?
Hasn’t Cheryl suffered enough? Can’t she be happy with Ted Danson? Cheryl is always going to be in Larry’s life and Larry, sadly, is always going to be in Cheryl’s life. They’re always going to have to deal with each other but right now, Larry is trying to find happiness with someone else. When we see them next week, Larry is still going to be very into Bridget and very not into her son. There are a few more episodes to go and Larry is now seeing someone who is excited about the fatwa, so the fatwa has been working pretty well for him recently. But it will come roaring back in the final episodes.

 

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