January 11th, 2012
04:57 PM ET
NBC's adaptation of Chelsea Handler's best-selling books may not have "vodka" in its title, but Handler made sure actress Laura Prepon had plenty of the spirit to go around.
To help Prepon prepare to play her on "Are You There, Chelsea?," "I sent her a case of Belvedere to start," Handler explained in a phone call last month.
That case lasted "for about maybe a week and a half," Prepon admitted. "All of my friends, they pre-game at my house, and have drinks before we go out. So that was an awesome gift."
Prepon, 31, plays a 20-something version of the E! personality and author who works as a waitress at a bar. Handler, meanwhile, acts alongside Prepon as her sister Sloane, and also serves as an executive producer.
"People ask me if I’m nervous playing Chelsea [because] she’s in the scene right next to me, but I’ve never been nervous or stressed out about it. She let’s me do my own take on her," the former "That '70s Show" actress said. "Chelsea speaks with a certain pattern, and she helped me a lot with the particular way that she speaks, but other than that they let me do my thing."
That's likely because Handler knew from the minute she saw Prepon that this was the actress who should land the gig.
"As soon as we all saw Laura, we thought she was perfect. She’s very salty, she’s very down to earth, and she’s very direct, which are three things that I would identify myself with being," Handler said. "She’s a very cool, laid-back kind of girl. There’s not a lot of drama. The whole thing about my books and my life is that drama is always around me, which gives me an excuse to look like the sanest one in the bunch. She sort of encapsulated that from the minute we saw her. As soon as we met her we thought she was perfect."
See how well Laura Prepon pulls off playing Chelsea Handler - while acting next to her - in tonight's premiere on NBC at 8:30 p.m.
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