‘Splitting Up Together’: Jenna Fischer Blogs About Lena’s Hot New Man

Splitting Up Together - Jenna Fischer as Lena
ABC/Eric McCandless
Jenna Fischer as Lena in Splitting Up Together.

[This is the weekly post-mortem column for ABC’s new comedy, Splitting Up Together, courtesy of star Jenna Fischer. Watch a new episode every Tuesday and then come to TV Insider to read Jenna’s behind-the-scenes insight in her own words! Spoiler Alert: Read ahead only after watching this week’s episode.]

My favorite thing about this week’s episode is the way it examines the relationship between Martin (Oliver Hudson) and Mae (Olivia Keville). I felt my 12-year-old self completely relating to Mae and the journey she has with her father going from a girl to a young woman. I love seeing her life as a budding feminist. It reminded me of my own youthful passion for equality and the ways my parents struggled to understand me. I should say, I love working with Olivia Keville, who plays Mae. We are so lucky to have her. She killed it in this episode!

One thing I had to know after seeing this episode… was the ugly-looking, one-pot meal Martin makes for the kids actually as good as they said? Because they made me believe it was great! As actors, prop food is always a gamble. Did you know that when actors are eating ice cream in a scene, it’s often mashed potatoes? That is because they need to do multiple takes under hot lights without the “ice cream” melting and ruining the consistency of the shot. It can take 2-3 hours to shoot each scene. Meals are often fully-cooked but served cold… again, so they don’t go bad under the lights.

Whenever I see actors savoring their food in a scene I am skeptical. I reached out to my co-stars to find out if the one-pot meal was any good in real life. Van, who plays my oldest “son” Mason, said “It was actually pretty good, it was combination of savory and salty… it tasted like a normal stew.” But maybe he’s just being polite. So I asked Olivia who said, “I was truly surprised because the description used within the show was really accurate! It looked repulsive but tasted delicious.”

To really get to the bottom of things, I knew I needed to ask Sander (Milo) who, when given the choice, always ate bread during our dinner scenes. Like, a ton of bread. You can’t give this kid enough bread. Here is what he had to say, “It looked disgusting, but was OK to eat. Like foamy potato, although not scrumptious.” So there you have it folks!

Martin’s version of dinner with (l-r) Van Crosby, Sander Thomas and Oliver Hudson.

Finally… ladies, his name is Trent Garrett (Wes) and you will be happy to hear he’s sticking around awhile. I’m excited about Lena’s foray into the dating world. And I’m especially excited to be working with Trent. I think he brings a great energy to the show that is totally different from the one Oliver brings to Martin. And yet, they are both totally funny, charming (and easy on the eyes.)

Wes is able to gently break down Lena’s controlling barriers. Lena is funny because she has this desire to break free and be spontaneous but also wants to be in complete control of every aspect of her life. Hmm, I’m trying to think who this reminds me of. Oh yeah, me.

A post shared by Trent Garrett (@trentkgarrett) on

“Let’s play hooky and see a matinee,” my husband will suggest spontaneously. “Sounds great!” Cut to me, on the internet, checking reviews, running times, the best seats at each theater. Did you know you can read reviews of movie theater seats? Oh yeah, you can! I want to be spontaneous but I also want to make sure we have the best spontaneous experience possible! Just like Lena. This is a fairly easy part of the character for me to access.

I can’t wait for you to see the next episode when Wes takes Lena very much outside of her comfort zone. It required me to go very much outside of my own comfort zone, as well. And, it involves street meat. (I’ll leave it at that for now.) Meanwhile, Martin continues his dance lessons in an effort to win Lena back. See you next week!

Splitting Up Together, Tuesdays, 9:30/8:30c, ABC