Interview: Alison Brie Talks About the ‘Community’ Season Finale

You may know her best as Trudy Campbell on Mad Men, or recently as the neurotic publicist in Scream 4, but for fans of NBC’s Community she will always been Annie Edison. Taking time out of her busy schedule shooting a movie, Alison was kind enough to sit down for a press interview to give us the scoop on what we can expect from the upcoming two-part Community season finale.

The episode centers around an end-of-the-year picnic where the dean announces plans for a “small, quick, safe, game of paintball.”  What follows is an epic battle in which alliances are formed and broken, and friendships are put to the test.

The finale will include a very special cameo from Josh Holloway, most famous for his role as Sawyer on Lost, who arrives as a mysterious character in the game.  TV spots and online clips have already begun to hint at a certain chemistry that will form between Holloway’s character and Annie.

Alison herself confirmed that there were sparks on set that the writers wanted to play up in the final episode.  And yes, she also hinted that there were to be a few Sawyer-esq lines for the Lost fans.

Alison described the episode as a “Tarantino” western, since the paintball battle is used to allude to classic western films.  Admittedly, however, Alison is “not a huge western girl” and not very knowledgeable about the genre.  Thankfully, she said, a lot of Googling and a few choice Netflix picks helped alleviate that problem a little bit.

But what should really be exciting to watch in this episode is Alison’s performance as Annie.  This has been a strong season overall for her character, with Annie “on a constant journey to maturity… finding out who she is [and] trying to find her thing,” even though Alison says she doesn’t necessarily know what that is yet.  This season has been full of Annie struggling with her on-going feelings with Jeff while at the same time “trying to be her own leader.”

When asked about how much control she has over her character, she admits that while she is probably a lot more like Annie than any other character she has played, the writers were ultimately responsible for creating the character.  That’s not to say that she doesn’t put a little bit of herself into the role, especially in this second season as the writers have gotten to know her better.  She can relate most with Annie’s “nerdy sense of humor” and says she identifies with her overall sensibility.

This episode will be perfect for this character development because it will be a perfect vehicle to showcase Annie’s determination and ambition.  When the show first started, Annie’s character simply came across as up-tight, but as the show has progressed we slowly have been able she how she is still young and impressionable and willing to try anything (Alison referenced Annie’s almost-kiss with Britta earlier in the season).

But if this season’s finale is to be anything like last year’s, we are sure to have an exciting conclusion.  Alison ended the interview strongly hinting at the fact that the second half of the show will have “twists and turns around every corner” and that the episode will end with a surprising cliffhanger.

Alison is currently in Ann Arbor, Michigan filming Five-Year Engagement for which she has been practicing her British accent playing Emily Blunt’s sister.  The first half of Community’s season finale will air this Thursday May 5th at 8:00 PM on NBC.

Community is quickly becoming one of the strongest half-hour comedies on television, and this finale is sure to have some great moments and strong character relationships as we have come to expect out of the show.

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