After graduating from UPenn, Becki Newton moved to New York to chase her Broadway dream, amassing TV ad, soap opera and series guest spot credits in the process. Then in 2006 she landed a role that changed the course of her career. Playing Ugly Betty’s nemesis Amanda showcased her talent for comedy, and she’s been successfully working that beautiful goofball angle ever since in sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother, Love Bites and The Goodwin Games.
In her latest project, Fox’s Weird Loners (Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c, beginning this week), she’s one of four misfits living together in a Queens townhouse. Her character, dental hygienist Caryn Goldfarb, is almost terrifying desperate for love.
Although that’s not the case in real life—Newton is married to Chris Diamantopoulos, an actor she met in the New York subway and married in 2005—there’s a lot she relates to about the role, as she told us.
“I play crazy people on TV but I’m much more mundane than the characters I play. I wouldn’t want it the other way around, crazy in real life and boring on TV.”
What drew you to Weird Loners?
Some of the comedy can be crazy and nutty, and then, very quickly, it turns incredibly heartfelt and you just want to hug these people no matter what they’ve done, no matter how badly they’ve behaved. We’re probably a little surprised about what we’re able to get away with, that you still like them at the end, and that’s what I’ve love about it. I actually sought the show out. My friend was auditioning for it and asked me to read with her, and I fell in love with it. There’s something so unique about the voice, so messy about all the characters yet they’re still so lovable.
My character is one of those people who seems to have it together and then you have a conversation with her and it all makes sense. I love her overzealous nature. She gets an idea and it’s the greatest idea—there’s no in between. She goes from zero to 5000 really quickly. I relate to her enthusiasm for love—she just dives right in. The day after I met my husband, I showed up with a lasagna, so I can relate to falling fast and falling hard. Caryn just gets really excited and enthusiastic and shows up with baked goods.
It’s set in Queens—did you do any location shooting there?
No, that’s all digital magic. We shot here in L.A., luckily. For a long time my husband and I were working in different cities but we’ve been blessed to be here for the past few years. My four-year-old son came to the set and it was quite an adventure. He sat in the makeup chair, and he was really excited about the snack truck.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
No, we’ll see how this goes and go from there—one foot in front of the other.
What’s on your to-do list?
I have a list of people I want to work with, or work with again. John Cho, I really want to work with him, he’s fantastic. Years ago I did something called Men’s Room with him and I worked with him again on Ugly Betty. Jayma Mays, who lives in my neighborhood—I think she’s fantastic. There’s some amazingly talented women out there. I just read Amy Poehler’s book and was riveted. I think she’s so inspiring. I want to travel more, spend more time in Greece. My husband’s Greek and we have family there.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I play crazy people on TV but I’m much more mundane than the characters I play, which is fun. I wouldn’t want it the other way around, crazy in real life and boring on TV.
What are you proudest of so far?
All of it. I moved to New York and started doing commercials with a European history degree in my back pocket. I ended up on Ugly Betty the week after doing an Olive Garden commercial and a month after that I was at the Golden Globes, standing in line with Angelina Jolie. It’s more than I ever imagined I would get to do.