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Megyn Price Goes Back To School on 'Rules of Engagement'

by Michael Maloney, posted May 10th 2010 1:30PM
A high school reunion is the perfect setting for 'Rules of Engagement's' self-serving Audrey, played by Megyn Price. In tonight's episode, titled 'Reunion,' Audrey drags husband Jeff (Patrick Warburton) to the class get-together, determined to show her former classmates how great her life is.

In real-life, Price, who is happily wed and the mother of a two-year-old daughter, has plenty to feel good about. The actress recently spoke to TV Squad about tonight's show, her real-life school reunion, what makes Audrey and Jeff tick and which Oscar-winner ran her off the road.

What was it like to get the script, in which Audrey goes to a high school reunion?
Heaven on earth. I was a little freaked out trying to remember what stories I'd told our writers about my real high school reunion, which my husband and I went to about three months before we filmed this episode. [Laughs] There were disturbing similarities. I can't put this delicately -- everyone goes to their high school reunion wanting to see who they "beat." What I love about this episode is that Audrey just wants to make sure everyone's doing all right, but all her motives are evil. She wants to be above everyone.

The term "hilarity ensues" comes to mind.
It's one of the favorite aspects of my character. She's unlike me in that she's full of herself. When her most evil dreams aren't realized, she goes to her base, her absolute lowest possible self in about one second. It's so fun to see the unraveling of her ego and confidence.

What was your real high school reunion like?
There was one girl -- she was pretty, popular and nice, everything that every girl envies. I thought, "I'm on television! That's a feather in my cap." At the reunion, this girl casually mentions she's married to an Italian prince. She's living in Rome. It somehow trumped me! [Laughs] She's still nice, the sweetest person -- and lives in a castle in Rome with a prince.

What response did you get from classmates about your success as an actress?
A lot of people assume that once you're working in Hollywood you become some sort of glamor-diva, which could not be further from the truth about me. I got a lot of, "Oh, wow. You seem the same."

'Rules' is the little show that could. Because of the writers strike a few years ago and mid-season orders, you've never had a full season. What's that experience been like?
It's different. I've found this unexpected bonus in that when we have shorter seasons our writers go into those episodes with focus and vision and fire out those shows. Each incarnation of the show has gotten more and more focused and smarter. The writers have paid attention to what works and what doesn't. I think our writers work harder than anyone on our show -- with the exception of craft services.

You're up against ratings juggernaut 'Dancing With the Stars' and cult hit 'Chuck.'
I feel about it the way I do my career. I never think I'm in competition with someone else. I'm my own flavor. If you like me, you're going to pick me. It's not like you like me over another actress. Our show is its own thing. It couldn't be more different. Plus, my TiVo records two things at the same time. You can watch shows on DVD and on the Web. All I know is I get stopped in airports, grocery stores and on the street by fans talking about how much they love the show. Even though we've had short seasons, people have seen us.

What's great about the show is that it says that it's okay to be in a relationship and that it's okay to be alone.
I like that you see why Jeff and Audrey are together. We got to work on their relationship and massage it so that it makes sense. They've established that Jeff and Audrey aren't particularly good people. They're trying to get by in the world and they're trying to get what they want. In the midst of that, they put some humanity and love for each other. Jeff makes Audrey crazy, but he cracks her up.

Jeff literally cracked Audrey in one episode, accidentally bruising her eye. They knew it was an accident, but authorities didn't. That was played just right because abuse is no laughing matter.
The day that our writers said to me, "We've got a great episode coming up. You get punched in the face ..." and I'm like, "What?" When I read it I thought the same thing -- only with these two people could it work.

Patrick's a big guy. Did you get accidentally clipped during filming?
[Laughs] Oh, no. I'm good at dodging those meat-hooks. We were also very conscious of the fact that in the wrong hands that could have been an ugly episode. You have to watch how serious you make serious issues. We're doing shows about fertility this year. That's a serious issue, too. Finding a way to find humor in things that are hardcore is definitely something that, I think, the sitcom does best.

You rode in a the recent Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. How did you do?
I didn't crash or light my car on fire. I knew the other drivers would go crazy once they waved the flag. We're [driving] seconds behind each other. I was actually driven off the road by Adrien Brody on the qualifying day. I totaled my car. I was in a new car the next day [for the actual race].

First that forward kiss with Halle Berry at the Oscars. Now this?

[Laughs] That's exactly what I said! He said, "Yeah, man. I kind of messed up my next turn because I was thinking about how hard you hit the wall." I thought, "Wait? Was that an apology?" But it was my childhood dream to drive a race car.

When will you hear about a pickup for 'Rules?'
I don't know. It can make my head explode if I try to figure it out. I do my job the best I can and the rest is going to happen. I've been on one TV series after another. None of the network decisions have ever made sense to me. If I let that dictate my judgment about whether a show is good or bad, then my judgment will be really skewed.

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beergas

Yes good fun show. The thoughtful writing and mix of
character types makes it. Good time slot for a never miss. Even reruns are short and sport is to catch something didn't get first time around, mainly the expressions at key moments.
That wedding site episode was a good one. Looking forward to this episode's theme too. Imagine they can tear a real hole into classmates.

May 10 2010 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MaryK

Megyn Price is one of the unsung heroes on "Rules of Engagement". I love the way she casually bats punch lines around with Patrick and David, making it almost look easy. Good little show.

May 10 2010 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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