'The Mick': Carla Jimenez Talks Karaoke, Improvisation and More
The Mick may be known for starring It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Kaitlin Olson, but the secret gem of this Fox comedy is Carla Jimenez, who plays the ever-hilarious Alba. As a housemaid-turned-confidante, Jimenez's character is always ready to bring on the laughs with her subtle approach.
Jimenez brought some of that fun when she talked with TV Insider recently about her role on the hit sitcom, what the audition process was like, and some of The Mick's most memorable moments.
How did you land the role of Alba? What was the process like?
Carla Jimenez: They were so welcoming and friendly, and I had the best time. It just seemed so easy…I just went in there, did it and it all clicked, you know, and I got hired.
Do you remember where you were when you found out that you were cast? Did you get a call?
Yeah, well here’s the funny thing… I did the original audition, and then I had to come back and reread with Kaitlin, and then some time had passed. I was actually sitting with my boyfriend watching TV on a Friday night, and it was close to midnight, and I had already shut off my phone at about 11:30. [I thought] obviously after 6 o’clock [I’m] not going to hear anything, and since it was a Friday…maybe I will hear by Monday. I’m going to bed at midnight, and I look at my phone, and there’s six messages from my agent… I guess [they] found out at midnight, and [were] desperately trying [reach me].
'All of us at Fox had enormous faith in 'The Mick,' and it hasn’t disappointed,' says Fox's David Madden of the pickup.
You and Kaitlin have some really great moments on the show. Prior to having a chemistry read, had you ever met or worked with her before?
No, I never have… I watched It's Always Sunny and I’ve seen her in New Girl, I’ve seen her in all these other movies and [TV], and always knew of her and admired her. When I was watching Sunny, for example, just her timing was so great, and how she could make something so funny by just doing something so subtly. So I was always in awe of her. But I had never met her before, no.
A few episodes ago, we learned about Alba’s love of karaoke. Are you a fan of karaoke as well?
I was when I was younger…in high school and out of high school I would go all the time. Me and my friends would go every weekend. Maybe even more than that, I don’t even know. Over the years I just don’t do it as much…I’ve gone on cruise ships, and I’ll go to their karaoke night, and it’s just so much fun!
Do you have a go-to song?
When I would do karaoke, my go-to song [was] that song, “I Will Survive.” I like 80s music a lot, so I would always do a lot of 80s songs like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” by Pat Benatar.
We know the show is funny, but have there been any memorable moments behind the scenes?
Oh my gosh, there’s always a laugh! [laughs] I feel like we’re laughing a lot. I think that it’s so much fun when…when someone just comes up with something so funny, that [it] breaks you. I think that’s some of the best moments, when you hear the crew laughing and you’re doing a scene.
The family is determined to save their reputation...one spa treatment at a time.
Do you guys ever improvise?
Oh yeah, a lot, actually. The cool thing though is, the Chernin brothers and the writers and everyone allow for us to add things in. What we’ll do is, we’ll do the scene as scripted a couple times, and then they’ll [say], ‘you know what, play, just see where this goes.’
So we’ll do it as scripted, but if something compels us to say something else or do something, a lot of times it made it in the show. Actually, [in] the [episode] ‘The Heater,’ the moment where Mickey takes my chips—the most expensive ones off the table—and leaves, we didn’t plan [that] out. So I started grabbing [the chips] like crazy, and then I came across this moment when I thought my drink was still sitting there…So it was just a moment of grabbing all of the chips and trying to drink and yell at her that was improvised and put in.
Is there anything you can tell us about Season 2, or what you might want to see for Alba?
Everything’s up in the air 'cause we still haven’t found out what’s going to [happen at] end in Season 1. So they haven’t really said anything to us. I think it’d be fun if maybe Alba [found] some love…or maybe somebody comes in and tries to pull one over on Alba. I think she’s best when she’s getting revenge…So, maybe we’ll see some of that in Season 2.
Has there been a favorite scene for you to film?
There’s a lot of stuff that’s still coming out in the episodes yet to air that have been really fun and great, but I think that my favorite episode still to this day is the second [episode], when I go to the club and [get drugged]. You know, why I love that so much is because that was never supposed to be in the show.
When I did the audition…[the writers] kind of took the script from years ago and changed the names, so they could see us do the scene. Once I got cast, and I talked to them about it… they were like, ‘Oh, you were so much fun to watch…we’re going to put it in the show.’ And I thought, 'Oh that’s cool.' I didn’t expect it to be the second episode, but…I loved it. It will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my audition scene. I’ve got to say, I’m so thankful every day because…they’ve really given me a character I’m so proud to play.
Is there any aspect of yourself that you’ve channeled through Alba?
You know, my friends tell me that sometimes. There are little smart-assy things that she’ll say that I guess are me that come through. She’s bolder than me—very much bolder than me—when she does stuff, but I think that I can be sneaky like her [laughs]. I think I can.
The Mick, Tuesdays, 8:30/7:30c, Fox.