Femme on Fire: Spencer Grammer

By Vanessa Butler

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Spencer Grammer may be known for her role as perky blonde Casey Cartwright in the hit television show Greek, but we anticipate a cult following for this babe thanks to her hilarious turn as Summer in Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s Adult Swim show Rick and Morty, which is coming back from hiatus January 13th. We had fun chatting with this firecracker and we predict that, like us, you’ll be in love with her infectious personality by the end of this interview.

Playboy.com: Playing the bratty older sister is such a cool thing to have on your resume. What initially drew you to playing the role of Summer in Rick and Morty?

Grammer: Almost three years ago, I was auditioning for lots of voice-over stuff and I was very pregnant. When I had gone in for this, I had just gotten over my babymoon—which is kind of like a honeymoon but you’re pregnant. [laughs] Anyway, I went in, did a cold read and I ended up getting a call back for Rick and Morty. When I did that audition I just knew that I totally understood the character.

Playboy.com: Were you anything like your character growing up?

Grammer: I was an awful teenager. I hated everything that had to do with my family. I thought I knew everything and I thought anything that happened to me was the worst thing that could possibly happen in the history of the world. So it’s cathartic to go in and play this amazing character. I also channeled the daughter from the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Audrey Griswold. I just imagine how awful everything seems [from her perspective]. I love that I’m able to be free when I’m doing voice-over; you don’t have to worry what your face looks like at all, which is something you’re really concerned about when you’re on camera. With Summer I just get in there and go. You can be scratching your ass and it would work!

Playboy.com: I heard that the creators, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, really enjoy writing for your character. That must feel great.

Grammer: [Laughs] I remember that press day! I was very sick that day and the girl who did the interview with them was telling me that they just talked about how I was their favorite character for the whole interview. I was like, “Awesome! You sure they didn’t say Chris Parnell?” [laughs] I love this character more than anything, but I really think that both parties bring a lot to her. I heard this rumor that Justin didn’t even want a sister initially, but it just adds this other dynamic to the story and it really resonates with people. She can stand up to Rick more than Morty can and she brings some feminist brouhaha to the show since Rick is kind of misogynistic in some ways.… He’s a drinking, puking mad scientist—he’s awesome! And they’re clearly all related. We’re his grandkids so we got some of whatever Rick has.

Playboy.com: Do you share the same kind of humor as the two creators?

Grammer: I think so. I definitely believe in the world that they’ve created; I’d live there! Dan’s fucking hilarious and watching the two of them together is like watching Abbott and Costello. When you have two people whose brains and humor completely align it’s just a magical union of the stars, it’s otherworldly. It’s kind of like meeting a soul mate I guess, which sounds really cheesy. Can you tell that I’m in L.A. today? [laughs] But seriously, they’re so creative and supportive of each other and have made this really genuinely hilarious piece of entertainment in a really wonderful format. The characters and talent they’ve chosen are great and the animation is beautiful.

Playboy.com: I love Dan Harmon, everything he touches is gold.

Grammer: I know! And also you have to remember that he’s always fighting. You always have to fight as a creator to make sure what you’re doing is shown. It’s a constant battle. I know that they’ve been able to do so much on this show and that’s why it’s so wonderful. I really love watching a project that is the voice of an individual person and not a general mash-up of societal norms. I want to see how somebody else sees the world and what they’ve created in their own mind. That’s entertainment to me.

Playboy.com: So in the second episode your character Summer kind of “Rule 34ed” herself in an Inception dream. What did you think of that?

Grammer: I haven’t seen it yet, but yes, I did get to play a sexy version of myself, which was a riot. There have been so many things that I’ve gotten to do with this character. There was the whole Eyes Wide Shut sex scene going on with centaurs. I love that stuff!

Playboy.com: What do you have coming up in 2014?

Grammer: I did this indie last summer which is hopefully ready to go to festivals now. It’s called 2 Br/1 Ba with Alexa Vega. That was really fun to do, so I’m hoping that will finally hit the circuit. But then I am just going to go back and do pilot season. Pilot season starts up next week and it’s just a whirlwind! I’m also writing something but I’m like one of a hundred thousand actors writing something…so we’ll see. [laughs] I’m really enjoying that, though. And of course I’m a mom too, so I do that. There’s Sundance this month, some people do that but I don’t do that…I just stay in L.A. and hang out in the beautiful weather.

Playboy.com: What’s your…

Favorite Food: Pizza? Which is how you’d answer this question if you were a 14-year-old! If you ask any young kid what their favorite food is they’d scream, “PIZZA!!!” every time. I love all food, but yeah, pizza. I’m still with that shit.

Favorite Drink: An old fashioned. I made my own orange bitters for Christmas last year and it was fun to be crafty or whatever. But I really like those a lot, they’re good.

Most embarrassing moment: Probably, like, farting? I can’t think of a specific one. I don’t even know if I’ve actually done this, but this is something that happens to everyone. You know when someone farts at the gym? You’re on a treadmill internally screaming, “OH MY GOD!” and no one knows who it is because there’s like fifty people so everyone is just looking around angry, which is how you’d play off if you actually farted in a public place? You know that face that you make where you cannot believe that someone would actually do that and how awful it is? How dare anyone do that! But it was actually you and you don’t actually tell anyone?

Worst pickup line: I can’t take credit for this one—it was Neal Bledsoe and Pablo Schreiber who made it up—but here it is: “I’ve got two tickets for boning man, do you want to come?” We kind of came up with it together, but it was a good one. We think someone should try that on somebody. I think there was a better catchphrase that went along with it, but I can’t remember it. But it was about Burning Man because L.A. clears out. It’s kind of like Christmas for hipsters. There are no hipsters in Silver Lake. They’re gone. There are no lines in Intelligentsia anymore, it’s just clear skies. You can just breeze on in and get a coffee. If you’re going to go visit Silver Lake you should go during Burning Man. [laughs]

First memory of Playboy: They used to just kind of lie around my dad’s house so I’m sure I found one when I was like five. Which is probably not the appropriate time to see a Playboy, but that’s my first memory of it. Being curious, opening it up and then thinking, oh my goodness! I think it stuck with me, though, because I still find women very attractive.


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