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October 22, 2014

'Cougar Town's' Christa Miller Talks About 'Pretend' Boyfriend Scott Foley

by Michael Maloney, posted Dec 8th 2009 6:06PM

Christa MillerChrista Miller's 'Cougar Town' character Ellie is happily married (mostly) and provides a sharp but supportive contrast to single lady Jules (Courteney Cox.) Off-screen, Miller's happily wed (very) to the hit new sitcom's executive producer Bill Lawrence.

But that isn't stopping her -- or rather Ellie -- from fantasizing about 'Cougar Town' guest star Scott Foley on tonight's episode.

What's it like being married to the boss? And how does Miller juggle 'Cougar Town,' family and her role as Dr. Cox's ex-wife Jordan on Lawrence's other sitcom 'Scrubs'? Answer: she doesn't. Read on to see which one had to go for Miller to stay sane. (Hint: It wasn't her family.)

Christa MillerChrista Miller's 'Cougar Town' character Ellie is happily married (mostly) and provides a sharp but supportive contrast to single lady Jules (Courteney Cox.) Off-screen, Miller's happily wed (very) to the hit new sitcom's executive producer Bill Lawrence.

But that isn't stopping her -- or rather Ellie -- from fantasizing about 'Cougar Town' guest star Scott Foley on tonight's episode.

What's it like being married to the boss? And how does Miller juggle 'Cougar Town,' family and her role as Dr. Cox's ex-wife Jordan on Lawrence's other sitcom 'Scrubs'? Answer: she doesn't. Read on to see which one had to go for Miller to stay sane. (Hint: It wasn't her family.)

Who does Scott play on tonight's episode titled 'Mystery Man?'

He plays Jeff and is kind of Ellie's 'pretend' boyfriend. I have a funny through-line with him. Ellie flirts with him and Jules does not think it's funny. (Wryly) I want Scott to be actually my pretend boyfriend in real-life, too.

Can you be married and have imaginary boyfriends?
Well, I more say it to Bill to drive him crazy, but I don't do full-on flirting. Nor does Scott flirt with me. You can't behave that way. I did ask Bill on 'Scrubs' if he could write a make-out scene between Scott's character and Jordan, but he said no.

You're doing two roles on TV -- 'Cougar Town's' Ellie and 'Scrub's' Jordan. I thought only Kelly Ripa attempted to juggle so much.
(Laughs) I'm actually not. Bill asked me if I'd do a little thing on 'Scrubs' [this season] and I have to tell you I do not remember the lines. I also work on the music for 'Scrubs' and we have three kids [Charlotte, William and Henry.] They and my marriage are my main concern. The lines were falling out of my head. It was too much. I said I couldn't do this show, too. So I'm not doing 'Scrubs' anymore.

But Jordan brings humanity to Dr. Cox. She challenges him. Don't leave him with us!
Thank you. You put that so sweetly. It'd be easy to do both because the stages for both shows are right next to each other. John McGinley [Dr. Cox] and I have a great relationship. It's very funny. I don't mind if it's one scene. If I weren't busy on 'Cougar Town,' I would have a bigger role on 'Scrubs' and we'd have fun with it.

Will there be a resolution for Jordan?

I did one episode. I'm sure my husband is going to 'force' me to another one. It's very fun to play Jordan. I go in and do the lines. She's insane. But Ellie has so many more layers and that makes it more interesting to play. Ellie's more dry, which is fun.

Bill joked at the TV Critics press tour panel for 'Cougar Town' last summer that you are 'much, much, much, much older' than he is in real life. What's it like living with that sense of humor?

I am so happy that I married a comedy writer. He's never not without a joke. No matter where we are. He'll say, 'When our daughter, Charlotte, is in sixth grade, you'll be 64 and I'll be 40.'

What goes through your mind when he jokes like that?

He makes me laugh. I tease him back incredibly. Yesterday, he asked me if I could not go to Courteney [Cox] with things. He'll say to me, 'Don't tell Courteney that I was in the shower with you at six in the morning.' I told her right away.

What are the challenges working for and with your husband?

Bill has a 'no-asshole' policy at work. I have good friends on the crew; I hope they don't feel we're good friends because of Bill. I don't wield any power. [But] if someone were doing something against my husband [that'd be different].

You sound protective. Have you guys ever had a run in at an industry event with Seth MacFarlane because 'Family Guy' has taken a few swipes at 'Scrubs?'

(Laughs) No. But we ran into someone whom Bill had made fun of on his show. I think they're friends now. I am very protective of my family. But my husband's a good guy. He doesn't get involved with the drama of Hollywood.

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