Interview with India de Beaufort of “Night Court” on NBC by Suzanne 3/9/23
This was a fun interview with India! She’s not only a talented actress but singer as well. Check out her latest video! Most of our video was about her starring role in the new “Night Court” as the prosecuting attorney, Olivia. She’s very funny! I was a huge fan of the original “Night Court” years ago, and I was happy to see that the new one is enjoyable as well. I loved Melissa Rauch already for her role in “The Big Bang Theory,” and of course, John Larroquette is always awesome in everything he does.
Suzanne: Congratulations on the show getting renewed. That’s great.
India: Thank you. Yay!
Suzanne: Yay! You’ve been in some of my favorite shows with very long names, like Kevin Probably Saves the World, which I just love, and Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist.
India: It’s true. I do keep ending up in shows with very long names.
Suzanne: Well, maybe since Night Court is short, it will last longer. So, tell us how you first got involved with the show. What was your audition process like?
India: I had just auditioned for another Peacock show. I just tested for a Peacock show that I didn’t get the part, and I was taking a little break with my husband. We were in a hotel together, and my phone rang the day that I found out I didn’t get that part, and my rep said, “Hey, we have something for you. It’s not the role that’s just gone. It’s something new, same kind of network, but it’s a straight to test,” which is a lovely thing to have happen. The test is essentially the part of the process where it’s down to you and maybe three or four other actors. You have a work session, work the part, and then you tape these days, most likely a test, and that gets shown to the studio and network, and they make a decision. So, I was fortunate enough to kind of skip all the initial hurdles that happened before that, went on to my work session with Melissa and Dan and Pam Fryman and Juel Bestrop, our casting director, had a hoot, loved them. Then we made the tape, send it off, and a few days later, I got a call that I got the job.
Suzanne: That’s great. I thought you were British and had a British accent for some reason.
India: I am British. My accent’s messed up. So, if I’m with my mom, the British accent comes out a whole lot more, and ironically, she’s the same. She’s from the north of England and was born with a very thick northern accent but has lived in London her whole life. So, when she’s in London, she’s very well spoken and posh, and then somebody from my family in Liverpool will call her and all of a sudden her thick scouse accent comes out. So, apparently we’re just a mess of accents, as they say.
Suzanne: Well, it’s good for you, because you can play the American accent really well.
India: The issue is that I now have to pay attention either way, because right now as we’re speaking, there’ll be certain words that come out where you can hear my English accent. So, now, no matter what I’m doing, I have to put on an accent. Otherwise, I just end up like a transatlantic hybrid.
Suzanne: It’s funny. My husband’s family is from New England, and he was a baby when they left there, but his parents had very thick accents. They moved to California when he was a baby. So, he speaks with this weird accent, and he often gets accused of sounding like he’s from England or something because he says certain words strangely compared to the rest of us, which is funny.
India: It’s fascinating. I wonder if we’ll end up sounding the same in the end.
Suzanne: Yeah. So, had you watched the original Night Court before you got the part?
India: I watched it once they called and said that they wanted me to test for the role. I went and checked it out so that I could get a feel for what the show was. We didn’t get it in England, I don’t think. I asked my mom, and she said she had never seen it, but I knew what it was; I just had never watched the show. So, I watched it, auditioned for it, got the job, and then binged and continued to watch it through the season, which was kind of nice, because I’d watch an episode and then go into work and be like, “So John, tell me about that time that you were jumping on tables, or jumping into a closet, or about specific guest stars,” and it was kind of neat to have that experience.
Suzanne: Have you watched it all now, or are you still watching it?
India: No, I still have to watch the last couple of seasons, which I’m planning to do before I start filming this current season. It’s also a delightful show to get to watch. If I didn’t have a four year old, I would I get to watch a lot more TV.
Suzanne: Right, right. Did they give you much backstory for your character, or did you just go by the dialogue and the script?
India: You get a breakdown when you audition. So, I had a breakdown of the character, and I got to see sort of the general gist of where they wanted to go with the role, but I think a lot of it actually also happens after you book the job. I think they have an idea. You have an idea. Hopefully it aligns. And then throughout the course of the show, we start to discover more about the character, and I think the writer is linked to your skill set and what you’re bringing to the role and she sort of evolves [it]. We do it together, I guess, throughout the [unintelligible].
Suzanne: Is there going to be more that we learn this season about your character in terms of her family or whatever?
India: I think we get little tidbits of information from Olivia along the way. I’m certainly hoping that in the next season, we get a little bit more. But yeah, she kind of has a nice journey throughout the course of the series, in terms of her relationship with Night Court and what it means to her, and that’s sort of a sweet sideline to follow along with.
Suzanne: Okay, and what’s been the most challenging part of playing Olivia?
India: The most challenging part. Not breaking on set. [laughs] Honestly. I mean, Lacretta is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and Olivia and Gurgs have a lot of scenes together, and she just gets me. I am the worst for being the first to go. Then, once you throw in John Larroquette throwing out zingers, it’s impossible [to keep] a straight face, and I’ve never been good at that. I’ve always been terrible for stifling a laugh. So, yes, that’s the biggest challenge.
Suzanne: And is there anything you can tell us about the remaining episodes that aren’t spoilers?
India: Yeah, we have some of my favorites coming up. Lyric Lewis is going to be on the show, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Holmes. We have some really great episodes down the line, and we may or may not have some other interesting guest stars that I may or may not be able to talk about. That should be very interesting for our audience.
Suzanne: Oh, cool. Oh, and you mentioned that it’s easy to break up on the set. Are there any behind the scenes funny stories, anything like that?
India: I mean, we’ve had a lot of accidents. [laughs] This poor guy came in to be in one of our – I think it was one of the earlier episodes. Wait, I should check that I’m not saying a spoiler. Yeah, I’m going to have to put a tab in that, because I’m not sure. I don’t know if I’m spoiling something or not. We have some animals all over the place repeatedly. We’ve got a really fun episode coming up that’s sort of around weddings, which is one of my favorites. Oh, Kurt Fuller also is going to be joining the cast down the line. There’s fun stuff to come.
Suzanne: Oh, cool. And you’ve done comedy, drama, voiceover. Which do you enjoy the most?
India: I think multicam, to me, is the biggest challenge, and I’m hoping to really learn and shape the way that I attack multicam. I just want to keep getting better and better and better at it. Thanks to getting to observe the people around me, hopefully I will learn from them, and that will help me in that journey. The most professionally fulfilled I think I’ve ever felt was probably on Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist. I think there was a moment when I was shooting the song “Happier” with John, and both of us were standing there flooding with tears. We had been crying for four hours straight, because it’s this emotional breakup: danc[ing], singing, a beautiful performance moment, and I just remember kind of standing there thinking, “Wow, I’m really using every single skill set I have ever had in one, two minute piece.” I think both John and I kind of noted the how magical that moment was to make that together, and also to make it somebody I loved so much, it was really, really special.
Suzanne: Great. And is there anything else besides Night Court that you’re working on or that you have coming out that you can tell us about?
India: You can check me out on Netflix right now Firefly Lane, season two of Firefly Lane, and also in Slumberland, starring Jason Momoa and Marlow Barkley, which is a really delightful movie directed by Francis Lawrence, from The Hunger Games franchise. Currently I just directed my second music video, which I’m currently editing that [will] hopefully come out in the next couple of months.
Suzanne: Great. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate talking to me, and I look forward to the rest of Night Court.
India: This was a pleasure. Thanks so much for checking out the show.
Suzanne: All right. Thank you. Bye!
Night Court Tuesdays on NBC (8-8:30 p.m. ET): Two-Episode Series Premiere: Jan. 17 (8-8:30 and 8:30-9 p.m. ET)
The eternally optimistic Abby Stone follows in the footsteps of her revered late father, Judge Harry Stone, as she takes on the challenge of overseeing the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court.
Abby always sees the best in people and her passion for justice is undeniable. In her quest to bring order and dignity to the court and reign in its colorful crew of oddballs, she enlists former night court district attorney Dan Fielding to serve as the court’s public defender. Still exceedingly self-confident, Fielding must adjust to a new boss and a new job – defending the downtrodden. And, beneath his arrogant demeanor, there is an empathetic side to Fielding that Abby is determined to unearth.
They both must contend with Olivia, the court’s officious assistant district attorney. Driven and ambitious, she views the night court as a steppingstone on her way to bigger things. Neil is the court’s neurotic clerk who loved that his job came with low expectations. That is until a new idealistic judge showed up looking to push him out of his comfort zone.
Rounding out the staff is Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous, the night court’s sharp-witted bailiff. Gurgs takes her job very seriously and is fiercely protective of her night court colleagues.
From executive producer and writer Dan Rubin (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), “Night Court” is based on the original hit series that ran for nine seasons on NBC. Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive produce through their After January Productions. Mona Garcea oversees for After January Productions and John Larroquette serves as a producer.
“Night Court” is produced by Rauch’s After January Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.
India de Beaufort
Olivia, “Night Court”
India de Beaufort plays Olivia in the NBC comedy “Night Court.”
De Beaufort’s TV credits include “One Day at a Time,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “Younger,” “NCIS: LA,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Necessary Roughness” and “One Tree Hill.” Other projects include “Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire,” “Kevin Probably Saves the World,” “Blood & Oil” and “Jane by Design.”
Additionally, she will be seen recurring in Netflix’s hit series “Firefly Lane.”
Voice credits include series regular roles in “All Hail King Julien,” “It’s Pony” and Nickelodeon’s “Max & the Midknights.” Additional voice credits include an arc in “Fast & Furious: Spy Racers.”
Retaining her fashion influence, her jewelry line June Riot sold out. She continues to lean into her design education, having shown her first fashion collection at New York Fashion Week in 2012.
De Beaufort resides in Los Angeles with her husband actor, Todd Grinnell; their son, Crosby; and dog Kid.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda