'The Detour' Scene Stealer Natalie Zea Talks Crushing on Robin: "She's So Much Fun!"

John Russell

SHE PLAYS The Detour’s Robin Randall, aka Robin Rabinowitz, aka Virginia Rabinowitz, aka Virginia Montana, a mom of two with a­ decidedly unmotherly past. Season 2 of the TBS comedy finds Zea’s character settling down—so to speak—in New York City with husband Nate (creator and executive producer Jason Jones) and their kids after Season 1’s disastrous family road trip. It’s not long before Robin’s youthful indiscretions become an issue. Still, Zea has a major girl crush on her character. “Oh my God, she’s so much fun!” she gushes. “I wanna be part of her mom group.”

WHERE YOU’VE SEEN HER BEFORE Primarily in dramatic series like The Following, Justified and Dirty Sexy Money. But the role she gets recognized for the most? As the second Gwen Hotchkiss on the campy NBC soap Passions, which she played from 2000 to 2002. “That happens to me more often than you can imagine!” she says. “I’ll meet somebody and become friendly with them, and once the barriers get broken down, it’s like, ‘Look, I gotta tell you this…’”

'The Detour' Ditches the Road Trip, Takes Root in New York City for Season 2

'The Detour' Ditches the Road Trip, Takes Root in New York City for Season 2

Season 2 of the TBS comedy premieres Tuesday, February 21 at 10/9c.

WHY WE LOVE HER It’s hard to believe Zea hasn’t done more comedy—she’s got the kind of instincts that would make Lucille Ball stand up and clap. “I hate to use the word fearless, but it really does best describe her,” Jones says. “She will never walk away from any crap we throw at her. And we’ve literally thrown crap at her. I think this season it came from a cow.”

CHILD’S PLAY Though she’s worked with children before, The Detour is the first show in which Zea has performed opposite kids on a day-to-day basis. She says costars Liam Carroll and Ashley Gerasimovich (above, with Zea), who play Robin and Nate’s twins, have ruined her for life: “I can never work with any kids again! My expectations are so beyond realistic. They’re still kids, and yet they’ve got a level of maturity that Jason and I will never achieve.”

The Detour, Tuesdays, 10/9c, TBS