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One of Comedy Central's hilarious new comedies, American Body Shop (Sunday 10:30 EST and also airing on Spike TV) features a dysfunctional family of auto mechanics and body-work specialists with questionable skills and even more questionable ethics. While Sam (Peter Hulne) owns the body shop, it's shop receptionist Denise, played by the stunningly beautiful Jill Bartlett, who wields most of the power with her street smarts, wily manipulations, and raw sexuality.

MrSkin.com recently sat down with this rising star who exemplifies one of the rarest finds in Hollywood, a drop-dead-gorgeous actress with exceptional comic chops and astounding improvisational skills.

We heard the producers of American Body Shop had trouble casting Denise. How did they discover you?

Well I had an agent who was only sending me out for beer commercials and modeling jobs. She never came to even one stage show I did to see what my comedy chops were like. But a casting director sent my stuff to a manager named Naomi Odenkirk, who is the wife of Bob Odenkirk. I think Naomi agreed to meet me because she was told I was very funny and "funny" didn't seem to go with my look. Maybe she thought it would be like meeting a unicorn. I got the impression she wasn't taking on new talent at that time, yet she was willing to send me on a "test" audition for this show American Body Shop so he could at least see how I did with improvised auditions. She assured me there was no pressure, and I didn't feel any, because I thought there was no way in hell I was going to get this part. Comedy Central had no idea who I was, and they had already seen hundreds of women. They were having a lot of trouble casting it even by seeing a ton of prominent, accomplished actresses with mile-long r?m? On my way to the audition, I fired my agent, so now I had no fallback for representation. I did an improvisational audition for the casting agents, who immediately sent me along to the producers. They gave me three more new scenes to improvise and afterwards, they had me sign contracts just in case I got an offer, even though I wasn't at that moment getting an offer. And then directly after that I did some more improvised scenes for network execs. I thought I killed it, but I was still convinced I wouldn't get the part, because there was no way that could happen to me, going from casting to producers to network in one hour. And then that wonderful woman Naomi who gave me this opportunity called me and told me I had a television show. And my first reaction before anything else was to ask, "Does this mean you'll be my manager?"

Since ABS is a partially improvised comedy, I would assume you'd have to know something about auto mechanics. Do you?

Nope [laughs].

No? Didn't you guys have to go to school?

Well, yeah, we did. I have the most amazing, incredible attention deficit disorder and we went to a mechanic shop and there was this cute Australian mechanic who does lots of stuff for movies, and I couldn't tell what the hell he was talking about. He was talking about the front panel and the cam shaft or whatever and I was just, like, listening to his accent thinking about kangaroos.

Okay, so how do you improvise if you don't know that stuff?

Because my part in the show is not being a mechanic. I run the office, which means taking care of invoices and the inventory and all the business stuff, so I don't necessarily have to know auto stuff, even though I guess I'm supposed to; I mean why else would they have sent me to school?

Okay, so do you know anything about invoices and inventory and business?

No [laughs].

Is your character equally ignorant?

No, Denise is really smart, and she knows how to get what she wants from the boys. Most of the time she does whatever she feels like doing, like getting her nails done, getting a massage on the company dollar; she's very self-serving and opportunistic.

Does she have any larger vision?

Well, she's been at the body shop for five years now, so clearly she's getting something out of it. Being nominally second in charge makes her feel important, especially since, in some sense, she's actually totally in charge. Sure she wants to get out of there, but she's also getting something out of it, out of being with the guys. Even though she says she hates them, she really deep down, y'know... hates them [laughs]. But being the only girl there, she has power.

Tell us the way you, Jill Bartlett, are similar to Denise.

Denise is the one-third part of me that's the worst part of me.

Details, details...

Let's see... she's insecure [laughs], she has food issues, major ones. Though my own food issues are not as compelling. I'm just always complaining that I'm fat, which my friends are sick of hearing because they think I'm ridiculous. But for Denise, the producers asked me what I wanted, what Jill Bartlett wanted her character to have at her desk, and I went for broke. I said I wanted a huge drawer of chocolate and candy and a puke spoon and they gave me that! But now there're a lot of outtakes you'll never see because they decided it would be too harsh and dark. I would chow on like twelve candy bars in a row and then I'd run to the bathroom with a spoon to stick it down my throat and I'd make all these vomiting noises in the bathroom. And the set would die laughing, it was so gross. And I'd come out crying because your eyes water when you puke.

How do you know that?

Um... I heard it from my bulimic brother [laughs].

Uh huh... so you have a brother...

Not after this comes out.

ABS has an ensemble cast of five men and one woman. What's it like being the only woman on the set?

The guys are hard on me, but I like it. They're constantly giving each other shit, and I actually want to be treated like one of them. It's not like I'm with five guys who are going to give me special treatment because I'm pretty; they're like my brothers who want to beat up on me. No one wants to be the one that's nice to me because the other guys will rip them a new asshole. It's like we're in grade school again. So they'll all rip on me and tell me I'm fat or I'm a whore. But then one at a time they'll come to me and whisper in my ear, "You know I didn't mean that, I was just totally kidding, you know how pretty I think you are, and even if you're not pretty, at least you're not fat." Each of them thinks they're the only ones doing it, apologizing to me, but then they keep ripping on me publicly because they don't want to be the douchebag that's nice to the girl.

In a recent episode called "SuperQuads", your character finds herself being hilariously extorted by a quadriplegic. How did that come about?

Because Denise can get commissions if she brings customers into the body shop. So she chases down car-accident victims and plants promotional materials on their bodies while they're still in the wreckage, so that when they come to... or sometimes they don't because they die... they supposedly are going to read the flyer and think, oh this is where I should get my car fixed, as if it would be like the first thing on their minds. But in her haste to plant promotional stuff, Denise sometimes moves the injured people around when she shouldn't. Y'know maybe they weren't going to be paralyzed, but when she moves them, presto, they become quadriplegics. So there was a character in the "SuperQuads" episode that she did that to, and afterwards he could only move his mouth and the big toe on his right foot. He threatened to expose her if she didn't do whatever he demanded.

There's a secret very few people know, except here at Mr. Skin, that you appear in Judd Apatow's mega-hit Knocked Up, and not even Judd Apatow knows that. Care to comment?

Well, as you well know, your website becomes sort of a plot point in Knocked Up, because Seth Rogen's character is starting up a film nudity website. Then he finds out you guys already exist. So when he gathers all of his friends to look at MrSkin.com, they show your website for a few seconds full screen, which features an actress in her underwear.

And we are well aware here at Skin Central that this actress is you.

And at last, if Judd Apatow reads this, he'll know too.

Do you remember the first nudity you ever saw in a film?

Oh well, we had this thing in our house called On-TV. It was like this gaywad ghetto cable. So it would be getting late and I would pretend to take the dog for a walk or something. But I was like a little pervert and I would secretly go downstairs and turn on On-TV and I would momentarily see a boob or something or people getting down, but then it would turn to like squiggly lines. So I would have to keep going back and forth changing the channel so I could see something again for about two seconds before it would get distorted again.

Now wait a second. This is what every adolescent GUY does.

I know!!!

And you were doing that?

Yeah! And I was humping my stuffed animals' faces. Every stuffed animal I had had a smashed-in nose because I would rub my cookie on it. And my mom would say, "Jilly, why are all your stuffed animals' faces smashed?" I think she knew what I was doing because I also got in trouble all the time for putting my crackerjack on the jet of the pool. It didn't matter what my mom was doing, like she was smoking or vacuuming or making dinner, the second she heard splashing sounds coming from our above-ground white-trash pool, she'd go, "JILLY! GET YOUR VAGINA OFF THE JET!" She knew.

But you would do this while you were watching girls? Naked girls?

Well, yeah, I think I did.

So might we deduce anything about your sexual preferences from this?

Oh well, isn't it what's called the Kinsey Scale of Sexuality, that no one is ever completely straight or completely gay? I'm probably like a three on the gay scale. I can appreciate some nice boobs.

Well, we at MrSkin.com are...

. . . big advocates of lesbianism?

Well, we certainly are that... but we also measure one hundredth of one percent on the Kinsey Scale.

Yeah, yeah, you guys at Mr. Skin are exit only.

Here in Hollywood, any interesting brushes with fame?

What does that mean exactly, brushes with fame? Are you asking me if I'm a star-fucker? [Laughs] I'm not. I apparently only have sex with the financially challenged.

Have you been able to do anything else during this time you've been working on American Body Shop?

Well, I'm writing a dark comedy film script and I'm also developing an improvised single-camera show that centers around two girls.

Any network appearances?

Well, I recently did a guest spot on the NBC show Las Vegas. In one scene, I got to chow down on a steak for three hours. I'm not sure what I enjoyed more... that or the colonic the next day.

Something you did prior to ABS were appearances on MTV's Punk'd as one of their "field agents"-one of the actors who participates in scamming a celebrity.

A dog's gotta eat.

I take it they cast you because of your improvisational skills.

Yeah, the auditions are entirely improvisation.

Who got punk'd by you?

Three 6 Mafia, Nicollette Sheridan. (Picture: )

Nicollette Sheridan? How so?

My boyfriend was planning to ask me to marry him...

Your character boyfriend...

Of course. No one in the real world is that stupid [laughs]. No, I've received marriage proposals, but fortunately for them, it didn't take and now they might have a chance at happiness. Anyway, my character boyfriend runs into Nicollette and Michael Bolton, who was, of course, in on the scam. My boyfriend tells them I'm a huge fan of Michael's, and he asks Michael to hold the engagement ring until I arrive. When I get there, my boyfriend proposes, and meanwhile, Michael Bolton has fake-dropped the ring and secretly switches it for a ring that has no diamond in it, so it looks like the diamond came out when he dropped it. He makes Nicollette frantically search on the floor for the diamond, just as my boyfriend leads me over to them, and hilarity ensues. They replayed the punk on Leno when Nicollette Sheridan (Picture: ) was a guest.

During our research, we experienced what seems to be an industry buzz about you, and we expect your star quality will very soon be grandly captured on the big screen. We at Mr. Skin can only hope that the roles you take on won't require too much unnecessary clothing. Do you see that as a possibility?

Sorry to disappoint you, but this girl is... what's the term you guys use? Skingy? I've already turned down two film parts that involved nudity. I don't see anything wrong with it in general; it's just my personal choice. But, of course, you can never say never. If Martin Scorsese wanted to cast me and asked if I knew the word never, I'd say, "nope, never heard of it."

Okay, assuming you've got a substantive role in a substantive film that requires you to do a love scene... who would be your top choice to have opposite you?

My top choice... Conan O'Brien... no kidding. He's so smart and funny and self-deprecating. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I used to have dreams about him... he was my teacher, I was his student. And when I'd get back a test on which he wrote "SEE ME" in red ink, I'd have these erotic flashes. At the Governor's Ball after the Emmys one year, I walked up to meet him but then I could barely talk. For the first time I realized what it means to literally feel weak in the knees. What I managed to tell him, awkwardly, was I had dreams about him that he was my teacher. I think he got the drift, and he did the Conan growl and it was the moment of my life. I'm sure he doesn't remember.

Finally, we were told that you were an Olympic athlete. Is that true?

Not really. I was dangerously close to making the U.S. women's Olympic softball team, and I would have if I'd pulled a Tonya Harding. Even so, I didn't have the appropriate shmullet, camel toe, and fanny pack.

Related Links:

Jill Bartlett
Nicollette Sheridan
Knocked Up

American Body Shop
Las Vegas