‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ Star Jane Levy Teases a Major Glitch & Love Triangle
A new episode of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is finding a glitch in the system. When Zoey’s (Jane Levy) gift to hear people’s inner thoughts via song short circuits and flips on her, she’ll be the one singing and dancing in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Glitch” airing March 29.
What does this mean for the titular character? Some wild musical numbers performed by Levy, who takes on the challenge without being a classically trained singer or dancer. The results are just as dazzling as fans would expect, but until they can tune in, Levy is giving us the scoop on what they can look forward to from this episode and the series as it carries on.
Among the highlights, Levy opens up about the glitch, her relationships with Simon (John Clarence Stewart) and Max (Skylar Astin), the grieving process over her dad’s medical issues, upcoming guest stars, hopes for a Good Girls crossover and more. Plus, catch an exclusive sneak peek at the episode below.
This episode is titled “Zoey’s Extraordinary Glitch.” What can you say about this glitch and what’s causing it?
Zoey gets so stressed out that her power glitches. She gets some news that is incredibly upsetting and terrifying and stressful. And when she’s walking away from just receiving that news, suddenly she starts involuntarily singing. And throughout this episode, instead of other people singing their heart songs to Zoey, Zoey sings heart songs to everybody else.
Normally, when other people sing their heart songs, only Zoey can hear it. And then in this case with her glitch, when she sings her heart song, conversely everyone can hear it. But they hear it as her singing acapella. And in her mind she has backup dancers and an orchestra and it’s produced as the other numbers in the show are.
Yes, and you have one number involving some table dancing that’s quite hilarious.
I know, I actually watched it with my boyfriend and I was laughing hysterically. And he was like, “You know, it’s not cool to laugh at your own jokes, right?” But I thought that that was really funny, too.
Were there any nerves heading into this episode considering you’re the lead of every performance?
Yeah, not only was it a heavy load, I’m performing six songs, I am also prepping this episode while I’m shooting the other ones in which I’m in every single scene. So I was working on average 16 hour days every day for six months. And leading up to this episode, I was tired. I was emotionally preoccupied with the current episode I was working on. And so, the minimal prep time we had because of the TV schedule was extremely stressful and scary to me. We ended up taking three days off of production — I mean everyone else could, not me — so I could learn all these numbers with [choreographer] Mandy [Moore] and her team. So we spent probably like 30 hours prepping this.
Wow, that sounds intense. Was there any part of the experience you enjoyed the most since you’re not a classically trained singer or dancer?
I do like to dance more. I enjoy dancing. Singing, I’m pretty hard on myself and it’s less familiar to me and I feel like I’m less free. I’m less hard on myself with dancing because in my opinion if you enjoy yourself you will enjoy it. But singing kind of feels like a task that I wish I was better at. So working with Mandy Moore and her associate choreographer, Jillian Meyers, and our assistant choreographer, Jeff Mortensen, crafting these numbers for three days was the best experience of the entire series for me.
And in the last episode Zoey revealed her powers to Max, and Mo (Alex Newell) already knew about them. Will that help or hinder her life moving forward in the series?
I think it only helps. They’re both trusty friends and want the best for Zoey and both come to her rescue when she is flailing. Especially so in this episode, as you will see when Skylar steps in to help Zoey.
We also saw a competitive side to Max and Simon. What can you tease about their relationships with Zoey as the season progresses?
You will see some intimacy between Zoey and Simon and you will see some intimacy between Zoey and Max. There is a number at the end of the series that I am most excited to watch. It is like slapstick comedy and sexy and sweet. And it’s a love number between Zoey and one of those characters. But I won’t tell you who.
This show definitely brings the laughs, but it also has a lot of heart, especially when it comes to Zoey’s relationship with her father Mitch (Peter Gallagher). Is it difficult finding a balance between those serious moments and lighter more comedic scenes?
You know, I have been asked this before and I approach comedy and drama the same. So, no, in a way it’s sort of the editor’s job as long as you are a grounded actor. Most of the time, I feel like it’s the editor and the director’s job tonally to blend that, but I just think that life is really funny and really tragic at the same time. And so, I don’t really find it hard to exist in both of those worlds simultaneously or one after the other. To me it’s just life.
Definitely. And what else should viewers anticipate for the season? Is there anything you’re looking forward to them seeing?
You’re going to see different stages of grief for Zoey. Throughout this whole season, Zoey is grieving and trying to deal and keep her life under control while the most scary, terrible thing that she could imagine is happening to her. You will see more love triangle for sure. You’re going to see a lot more of how Maggie (Mary Steenburgen) is dealing with the deterioration of her lifelong partner and love of her life. And there’s a beautiful number between them, too. We get fantastic guest stars. We have Renée Goldsberry, who won a Tony for Hamilton, and we have Bernadette Peters.
Wow, that’s incredible.
Yeah, and we actually had a lot of actors from the theater company, Deaf West, come onto our show, which was really spectacular and I’m really excited for people to see that episode.
You’re also close friends with Good Girls star Mae Whitman in real life. Do you think we’d ever see a Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist-Good Girls crossover at some point?
Yes! Mae and I are both begging for it. We’re trying to figure out the best guest star role for her on Zoey’s. She’s a fantastic singer. And I would love to be on Good Girls. I love that show. I’ve been watching it this season because it’s on right after ours and I think all three of those women (Whitman, Christina Hendricks and Retta) are such incredible actors and the music is so good and the cinematography and it’s so funny and emotional. I love them.
It’s the perfect Sunday lineup!
It’s so crazy how life works. Mae and I are like, “How did we get here?”
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Sundays, 9/8c, NBC