Ever since she stole the 2008 movie Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, you’ve probably suspected you’d be friends with actress Ari Graynor. After she popped by EW to take our Pop Culture Personality Test, we can confirm you’re right. Currently starring in CBS’ Bad Teacher, Graynor is also headlining Second Stage Theatre’s dark off-Broadway comedy American Hero, which begins previews May 12. Jerry O’Connell co-stars in the play, and the first sign she’s as fun as you want her to be is when she speaks about the birthday present he recently gave her – “I don’t want to brag. He wrote me a poem. There I said it. It rhymed” – with as much affection as she does the mezuzah Woody Allen gave her as an opening night gift in 2011, when she was the leading lady in his portion of Relatively Speaking.
Then comes the unpretentious way she talks about her new hobby, record-collecting. “My mom used to jump rope to the Pointer Sisters when I was a kid, so I get pretty excited every time I see that vinyl sitting in my house,” she says. And that’s followed by her admitting she had both Luke Perry and Paula Abdul posters growing up. “My crush on Paula Abdul was slightly different than my crush on Luke Perry, but they were both powerful in their own ways,” she says.
She offers four more confessions in the video below. Watch it to find out what she used to watch after her parents went to sleep; how Jack McBrayer (30 Rock’s Kenneth) once joined her to karaoke “Smooth Operator” when she didn’t have the chance to properly workshop it beforehand; which movie scene she still wishes was a part of her life (she has the outfit waiting); and what she thinks is the ideal summer popcorn movie.
Bad Teacher airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS. American Hero runs through June 8 at NYC’s McGinn/Cazale Theatre.