Who knew Courteney Cox could be this funny? Yes, yes, Friends is classic, well-scripted, play-it-safe comedy, but if you find yourself itching for something a little more daring, tune into Cougar Town. Cox plays Jules, a divorced, middle-aged mother who’s returned to the dating pool for another bash at happiness. She has a grown-up son, and a handsome and lovable (but painfully dim) lingering ex-husband. Her feisty, loose employee Laurie, at 20 years her junior, is one of her only two friends. In contrast, her nosy neighbour and best friend, Ellie, lives an excruciatingly boring (yet hilarious) lifestyle, with a bald husband and zestless marriage. Cox tells us more…
How much can you relate to your character, Jules?
This is a character I feel very connected to. I’m not recently divorced, and I don’t have a 17-year-old kid – she’s just written in my voice. She’s like a heightened version of me.
You’re also a producer on the show. What’s that like?
Producing a show means you care more. As opposed to just showing up, you care about your character. As a producer you care about all the characters, the entire show, the package, the casting.
Jennifer Aniston is in the season premiere and Sheryl Crowe and Lisa Kudrow have also guest-starred. Who else would you like to see on the show?
Well, I think it would be nice if my character had a little thing with Zac Efron. I think he’s so cute. But I’ve been told it’s inappropriate!
You never use a body double for scenes that leave you a little under-dressed. Why?
I think it was an important thing to do. This show talks about real things and real experiences, so I had to. I know Jennifer [Aniston] was shocked I did it. Some people may not want to show parts of them that are not the best, and that’s all right. I decided to show and I don’t care. It was important to show the real side of being 40.
You look great though; do you work out a lot?
I try really hard. I walk, I run, I do elliptical (cross-trainer) workouts and band work, weights and dance aerobics. I play tennis and I eat really well. But I am also lit very well. Don’t mistake Hollywood lighting for reality.
What are your thoughts on Botox?
Botox? I think it’s fantastic and also horrible. I mean, they’ve come up with this stuff that can make you not look angry. But you have to use it sparingly. I went to this doctor once and he was like, ‘oh, let me do it just here and here and here.’ And I was miserable. I mean, I’m an actor; I’ve got to be able to move my face. When people start messing with their foreheads and can’t lift their eyebrows, that’s weird. It’s not that I haven’t tried Botox, but I hated it. You know you’ve messed up when people who are close to you say, ‘Whoa, what are you doing?’
How do you cope with the pressures of ageing in Hollywood?
You know, my mother’s beautiful, my dad was a really handsome man and there was a lot of talk about looks when I was growing up. So I’d probably have this [insecurity] no matter what. But then you move to Los Angeles, and that’s a whole separate set of issues. I’ve never seen so many beautiful people walking around. Then as I get older, I find myself going, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I’m not the youngest one any more.’
Do you find the public’s fascination with your friendship with Jennifer Aniston strange?
Well, I’m not putting myself down, but I don’t think it would matter if it were me or anyone else she hung out with. Why are people fascinated with celebrity? I don’t know. I haven’t quite figured it out myself.
Cougar Town season two premieres at 8.30pm on January 9 on OSN Comedy.