Attention all shoppers! Superstore is back tonight, and we got to sit down with the cast and creator during the ATX Television Festival as prep was beginning on Season 2. Here’s what showrunner Justin Spitzer, and stars America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, Colton Dunn and Nico Santos shared about the upcoming season, and how this ensemble came together in Season 1.
Comedy legend Mark McKinney plays Glenn, store manager at Cloud 9, and shared that the cast connected very, very quickly. “[We] came together to read the pilot script after we’d all been cast. We met each other for four minutes and then sat down to read the pilot. We didn’t know each other, and then we read the script and everybody killed. It was the most remarkable thing. Then we did it again upstairs in front of the [network] executives without missing a beat. [We had] chemistry up the wazoo from the jump.”
Dina has to be my fave character on the show, and Lauren Ash loves playing this role. “This is my favorite part I’ve ever played, hands down,” Ash explained. “She’s very different from me in real life. I’m very shy about that stuff. I would never in a million years walk up to a guy and be like, ‘I think you’re cute.’ That would never happen. I love playing somebody who is that ballsy and confident.”
Nichole Bloom, who portrays teen mom Cheyenne, spent most of Season 1 wearing a prosthetic belly until she gave birth in the finale … but the belly wasn’t as awkward as you’d imagine. She told us, “Our set is so cold that I really liked having it on. I loved it because I could eat during lunch and I didn’t have to worry about sucking in my stomach, so I’m actually going to miss it.” As for whether or not we’ll be seeing a lot of the baby in Season 2, Bloom said, “With kids on set, there’s all these regulations. I wanted to have the baby with me all the time but it’s just not feasible. But the baby they used in the final episode was so cute.” She joked, “I want that baby to come back, that specific baby.”
Although some fans are cheering on an Amy (America Ferrera)/Jonah (Ben Feldman) romance, Spitzer wants to make sure Superstore doesn’t become the Amy and Jonah show when it has such a great ensemble cast. “We have such a ridiculously talented cast and they make the characters so interesting. You’ll see something in a performance that will inspire you to bring the character in that direction. When you’re trying to do lots of different stories, you don’t want to do eleven Jonah and Amy stories. You want to be able to mix things up.”
Ferrera added, “That’s what’s fun for the actors, too. I can’t think of one character on the show that I’m not excited to be in a scene with, that my character doesn’t have a fun and interesting dynamic with.”
Having an ensemble this large, its inevitable that some characters didn’t interact with each other very often in the first season, and the cast had some thoughts on what they’d like to see in Season 2. Who does Feldman want to spend more screen time with? Nichole Bloom’s Cheyenne. “If I’m thinking in characters my character doesn’t know as well as the others, it would be Cheyenne.” Ferrera remarked, “I would like to do a little bit more with Mateo. We had a moment in the pilot and I haven’t done a lot with him since. And I love my stuff with Cheyenne. And more with Garrett.”
One character we won’t be seeing too much of in Season 2 is Cheyenne’s baby daddy, Bo. Bloom shared, “I’m kind of sad that Johnny Pemberton, who plays Bo, we’re not going to have him back as much because he’s going to have his own show now (Son of Zorn).” But Colton Dunn (Garrett) reassured us that we won’t be saying goodbye to Bo for good. “Bo will show up in a few episodes which is awesome, because he’s a fun character.”
Lauren Ash is excited to continue working with co-star Ben Feldman, especially with the creepy Dina/Jonah dynamic. “I have a deep passion for wanting to make other people laugh when we’re filming scenes together, so the creepier I am to Feldman, the higher the chances that I will get him to laugh and ruin the take, which is usually my goal with him. But Ben’s actually so good at not breaking. It’s been so much fun playing that dynamic. Ben is an amazing scene partner.”
Nico Santos, the actor behind overachiever Mateo, did mention a potential Season 2 storyline that the writers were considering. “I was told by Justin that they might be writing a story where Mateo has to deal with a lot of dogs, and I’m really excited because I love dogs. So I’m like, “Bring as many puppies to me as possible!”
Spitzer did tease that the connection between Jonah and Amy will continue to evolve in Season 2. He said, “The [characters] will continue to grow closer as friends, but we’re not inevitably getting them together. We’re going to keep that tension as long as possible; do stories that touch on it, and then back away. There’s no guarantee that they’re ever even going to get together. They may, they may not. They’ll always have a relationship but who knows if it will turn into something romantic.”
Ferrera weighed in on the Amy/Jonah relationship as well. “When I read the pilot, what was exciting about this dynamic was not, ‘Oh my god, are they going to be lovers?’ It was, ‘These are people with such different experiences of the world, and such different outlooks on life that they will continue to work on each other, to change each other, to challenge each other.’ That’s how we got that finale episode. Jonah coming at it from such a different place, and Amy stepping into a role she never saw herself or imagined herself stepping into. Would she have gotten there without Jonah? Probably not. There’s a reason they’re in each other’s lives, but we don’t know that it’s for them to be life partners.”
Watch Superstore tonight at 8/7c on NBC and 8 ET/PT on Global in Canada.