My most recent Fangirl Freakouts was all about the hilarious workplace comedy, Grosse Misconduct and I had hinted I’d be following it up with some additional content. I had the opportunity to chat with Anne Schroeder, who is not only is she one of the creators and writers, but she also makes up one of the four primary characters, Sarah. Thank you again to Anne Schroeder for agreeing to this interview.
How did you and Colby Ryan begin working on Grosse Misconduct?
Colby and I met in class. We both expressed a desire to create our own comedic series and it was a right swipe for both of us. We got a match! The premise of Grosse Misconduct was Colby’s idea, since he actually has the “life experience” of being a Director of HR. We came up with four principal characters to support that premise, and off we went.
What was the writing process like for you?
Colby and I would brainstorm ideas together and then I would become a hermit for a couple days and work on my own. I usually write a skeleton with the main plot points I want to hit, then fill in the dialogue, then go through and punch up the jokes. I. Love. Rewrites. I love taking someone else’s notes on a project and making them my own.
How would you describe the series?
A new twist on the werkplace comedy…. (Yes, sometime I think I’m very clever. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen…)
You also play Sarah Wilson, what is her character like?
Sarah evolved a bit throughout the writing process. She started off as a meek punching bag for Mitch. After we had our first draft of the series, she was a character I was not excited to portray and not a female character Colby nor I wanted to put out into the world. So we gave her a backbone and she became the problem solver of the office. She goes into the office each day hoping to leave it a little better than when she found it.
Sarah and Mitch have an interesting relationship, what was it like filming those moments between you and Colby? For example the slapping scene and the bathroom scene.
I felt like I had the easy part of the bargain for both scenes. Colby definitely had the heavy lifting in the bathroom scene. All Sarah had to focus on was calming Mitch down and getting him back into the office. As for the slapping scene, Colby was the one who had to get slapped! The slap was something I added to one of our final drafts, and no, it wasn’t because I was out to get Colby. Sarah had to get Mitch sober ASAP. After extensive research (which was really just an excuse for me to watch reruns of MythBusters), I found the quickest way to sober someone up happens to be slapping them. It also makes for great comedy! Sorry, Colby’s cheek.
I have to ask, what led to the inclusion of Brian’s chicken and their relationship?
All I remember is that Henrietta was definitely my idea. The brilliant story of why I introduced her, I do not remember. She quickly became a favorite part of the project for our creative team and her part kept growing and growing the more we wrote. We hit a bump in the road when we found out how expensive it would be to have a live chicken on set. Also, the folks at our office filming location were not crazy about having a feathered friend running around their place of work, which is totally understandable. Fortunately, our director (Mitchell Lazar) and Production Designer (Ecegül Bayram) came up with a clever way to have Henrietta at the office without needing an actor chicken.
If you could be part of any of the campaigns within Grosse Misconduct which would you pick? I personally think I’d have to go with Puppy Parkas.
Uh, obviously Puppy Parkas. That’s probably because the lead puppy model in the campaign is also my roommate and BFF of 10 years, Dodger. Surprisingly, this is his big acting debut. Strangers stop us on walks all the time to tell me that Dodger should be on TV. To this date, I have been stopped 0 times by strangers telling me I should be on TV….
Do you think you could handle working for Mitch Grosse?
Short answer: Nope. Long Answer: Ooof, I guess if it was a job that I really cared about? I’ve worked with some…. Let’s say “demanding” theatre directors before. You find a way to make it work. Then you find a couple of post-show drinking buddies to commiserate with.
Could you speak a bit about why LGBT+ inclusion was important for this series?
As a writer, I feel responsible for creating stories that are not being extensively explored in pop culture today. What we see in movies, television, and web content manipulate our perceptions of other people, particularly those different than ourselves. With all the controversy and misunderstanding in our country surrounding the LGBT+ community, I find it incredibly important to show a narrative featuring LGBT+ characters in everyday life alongside their heterosexual counterparts.
What do you hope viewers take away from Grosse Misconduct?
We all have to put on our shoes one at a time, regardless of our sexuality or gender identification. Also, the chicken parts were super funny.
Where can our readers find you on social media?
@AESchroeder for both Instagram and Twitter
@GrosseMisconduct for Instagram and @Grossemiscondct for Twitter
Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, and I run The Nerdy Girl Express Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp.