Busy Philipps on Red Nose Day 2020’s Importance & ATX’s ‘Cougar Town’ Reunion

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Just because you can’t go out and pick up a physical red nose this year doesn’t mean you can’t still show off your contributions to Red Nose Day.

Actress Busy Philipps has teamed up with Walgreens to raise awareness about how people can still donate and help end child poverty. The retailer of Red Nose Day has raised over $100 million over the last five years during the annual campaign that offers support to organizations aiming to keep kids safe, healthy, fed, and educated.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, Walgreens has gone digital. After donating online (now through May 30), you can unlock a red nose filter that you can use across social media platforms. (And don’t forget to tag Walgreens and Red Nose Day when you do, to spread awareness.)

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“Really now, obviously more than ever before, the need is just greater,” Philipps tells TV Insider. “These organizations are really stretched thin and so every bit that we can raise right now is going to help with kids and families in need across our country due to the COVID crisis.”

Here, Philipps discusses Red Nose Day, the upcoming ATX Cougar Town reunion, which of her past shows she’s trying to get a new episode created for a table read, and more.

Red Nose Day

(Credit: NBCUniversal)

How did you get involved in this cause this year?

Busy Philipps: It’s been something I’ve been participatory in for years. My children and I have always looked forward to getting our red noses. I feel really strongly about doing as much as I can in this time to help give back in all different ways to all different kinds of organizations, but especially for kids and families across the country who are struggling. My heart really breaks for children who are in need in this time and the organizations that Red Nose Day supports go directly to kids in need.

As a mother and as a human, I guess, it makes sense for me, in this time especially, to use my platform and my voice to help get the word out about how people can get involved and help and raise a ton of money.

Which of your past TV characters do you think would get as involved as you in Red Nose Day—successfully?

Probably Laurie from Cougar Town. She would probably be very into Red Nose Day and she would be wearing that nose for the whole week probably, not just one day.

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Ben Stiller, Adam Scott, and Courteney Cox are also getting in on the fun for charity for this year's Red Nose Day on NBC.

NBC is kicking off their Red Nose Day Special this year with “Celebrity Escape Room.” Who have you played on TV that you think would succeed in an escape room?

Kim Kelly from Freaks and Geeks would be really good in an escape room. She would be really mean to people. She would want it done just her way.

You were supposed to have a Cougar Town reunion at ATX, but now you and Christa Miller are doing it virtually. What can those who tune in expect?

We’re super excited. Christa and I have remained really close friends in the five years since Cougar Town has gone off the air. I feel so grateful that people still love the show and I’ve gotten so many messages [during] the stay-at-home orders that people have rediscovered the show, and have been rewatching it on Hulu.

Christa Miller Busy Philipps Cougar Town

(Michael Yarish / © TBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

I’m excited to just chat with her and have some wine and gossip and maybe play Penny Can. We’ll get into it, and I just adore her. I was trying to convince Bill Lawrence to write a new episode and we could do a table read of it, but so far, I haven’t had any luck, but we’ll see. Maybe I can still get that to happen.

Looking back on that show now, what stands out to you about Laurie and her relationships?

I really had such an amazing time. I have such fondness for the years that I was working on that show and being able to play Laurie. She’s so much fun. The wardrobe and the hair and makeup teams were incredible, just making her kooky and over the top always.

What I loved about that show is that overall, [it] was about friendship and about these people that stuck together through everything and that really resonates with people obviously now more than ever. People are really missing their friends, missing seeing people and hanging out. I miss them too. I miss my Cul-de-Sac Crew.

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Speaking of wanting to do a table read for Cougar Town, Parks and Recreation just had a virtual scripted reunion special. Are there any of your other past shows you’d like to do that for or you think would lend themselves to most easily have one, too?

I think Cougar Town would be super fun. I would love to do that. Honestly, I would do it for Freaks and Geeks or Cougar Town. I feel like Dawson’s Creek would be a little bit tricky just because it’s not a thing that a drama lends itself as easily to. But I would do it with any of the shows I’ve been on.

Red Nose Day Special, “Celebrity Escape Room,” Thursday, May 21, 8/7c, NBC