Exclusive Interview: Two and a Half Men’s Courtney Thorne-Smith Talks Playing Lindsey, Fan Interactions and 30 Rock

Courtney Thorne-Smith

TV Equals recently had the wonderful opportunity to have a one-on-one chat with none other than Courtney Thorne-Smith about her current role as Lyndsey Mackelroy on the CBS hit comedy “Two and a Half Men” starring Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer.

During this very interesting conversation, Courtney discussed her character Lindsey, being on a popular TV series and what advice she would give her younger self before starting this career. Check out what she had to say below and don’t miss her in a new episode of Two and a Half Men “Grandma’s Pie” airing tonight Monday, April 9 (9:00-9:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.


‘Two and Half Men.’ Chuck Lorre announced your character will be recurring on the show for the rest of the season. That must be exciting.

Courtney Thorne-Smith: It is. It’s such a great place to go. It’s so much fun to do that wonderful writing and to do it with Jon Cryer. It’s been the most amazing gift.

The last episode was hilarious. Lyndsey’s mom and Alan’s mom are hitting it off.

Courtney Thorne-Smith: Yes, they are.

Two and a Half Men Grandma's Pie (3)

What can you tease about what’s coming up?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: I hope there’s more of that. I think that’s hysterical and Holland [Taylor] is just such a kick and I’m such a fan of Georgia’s [Engle]. It’s so much fun to work on a show like this because I get to meet people of whom I’ve been a fan for so long. This week we have Jason Alexander on the show, and it’s just really exciting for me because I’ve been a fan of the show, too. I’ve watched it since the beginning.

How do you feel your fans perception has changed since being on this show?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: Each fan of a different show reacts differently. It’s so interesting that as I’ve gone from show to show that the demographic is different. Different people come up to me. There’s the ‘Ally’ people, the ‘Melrose’ people, the ‘According to Jim’ people and now the ‘Two and a Half Men’ people and they’re very different. It’s funny. I could almost tell you when someone comes up to me where they know me from.

Before they even say anything?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: Exactly. I’m like, ‘Let me ask you a couple of questions and I will tell you what show you’re going to ask me about.’

Do you have a different approach to Lyndsey now that you’ve been playing her for two years and has she evolved over time?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: Well, I’m more relaxed. It’s a lot easier as time goes by because it’s not a new set. It’s not new people. I’m not trying to find my way. I feel very much at home there which is amazing. I feel very safe, and I just love that the writers are giving me such things to do. Somebody asked me yesterday if comedy was hard. I said that writing good comedy is hard. Performing really well written comedy is not very hard. It’s really fun.

So, these writers are so incredible and I’m playing with Jon Cryer who I think is the best in the business at what he does. I talked to him yesterday and I said, ‘Just watching you is such a joy.’ He’s the best at what he does, even knowing him. You’re sitting there, you know him and you’ve read the script and you still can’t stop laughing at what he’s doing.

Courtney Thorne-Smith

Not every actor can do a sitcom. There’s a specific skill. What’s your advice in someone who’s interested in working on a sitcom, doing comedy?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: Well, you have to work with Chuck Lorre and his staff of writers. That’s your first job, to get a job on one of his shows because they know what they’re doing beyond a doubt, and then you should really work with Jon Cryer. I mean, especially the comedy, it starts with the writing and if you don’t have something great to work with it’s not going to be funny. So, you’ve got to do funny stuff.

You’ve been on several successful TV shows. If you had the opportunity to step back in time before you got in to this business, what advice would you give yourself?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: Oh, I would just say to relax and enjoy it. At this point in my life I’m approaching it from such a different place. I have a son. I have a husband. I have great friends. I have this great life, and so when I go to work it’s just bonus time. I’m going and I’m playing and I don’t take it seriously. I don’t take myself as seriously. You can tell that to a twenty year old all you want and she’s still going to take herself way too seriously. It’s the job of a young person to be way too earnest and self-centered. That’s what we do when we’re young.

Do you feel the medium of a sitcom has evolved in a way that it’s easier to approach it, personally?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: I think when I was first starting out I was hired and fired from a guest spot called ‘You Again?’ starring John Stamos and Jack Klugman and at the time they said, ‘Her style is just too honest,’ but what they meant was…sitcom is just a different style. They’re all different styles. TV is a little different from film, and ‘Melrose Place’ is a little bit arch whereas something like ‘Good Wife’ is earnest. It’s just styles, but you have to be old enough to see the difference and not panic. So, they’re just slightly different muscles.

I know a lot of fans are wondering if there’s going to be a new season of ‘Two and a Half Men.’ Any idea?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: No. It’s very strange. I’m not the first person that they call. I’m shocked by it, absolutely shocked. As far as I know nobody knows, but I’m almost the last to know. I’m probably the second to last to know.

But this season is different with a revamped cast, Ashton Kutcher joining and Judy Greer as well. Can you talk about working with the new cast?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: It’s great. Now, I wasn’t with Charlie [Sheen] for eight years. I worked with him for a year and then Ashton came on and I’ve worked with Ashton for a year and they’re both great. Like I said, ‘Two and a Half Men’ is so much about the writing. It’s so great. They’ve got great people to play the writing. They’ve got the best actors to do it. So, it doesn’t feel that different. I think that everybody misses Charlie because they love Charlie. He’s a very loveable guy and very good at what he does. Everybody also loves Ashton. So, it’s equally good and different.

Now, this is something that we ask everyone we talk to. If could guest star on any other TV show out there, your pick of the litter, which one would it be?

Courtney Thorne-Smith: I would say ’30 Rock.’ I just want to hangout with those people. I don’t have to have any lines. I’ll be an extra. I just want to hangout with those people. I just think that they’re all so brilliant.

Courtney Thorne-Smith