Alison Brie Gets Real About Community, Talks On-Set Drama

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alison-brie-community2Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
The fifth season of Community premiered on NBC last night, and to the shock of absolutely no one, it didn't go so well. The 1.3 rating it earned among adults under 50 is the show's lowest rated season premiere to date. Even more troubling is that the return of the show's creator, Dan Harmon, did nothing to spike the anemic ratings, which doesn't bode well for the season moving forward.

Since its inception, Community has been one of the more cursed shows on television, with a series of highly publicized feuds between Harmon and the now departed Chevy Chase, and Harmon and NBC, which fired him for all of season four (which is probably why it sucked). Caught in the middle of all the toxicity has been Alison Brie, who plays Annie Edison, the former drug addict turned bookworm. Brie has emerged as one of the show's breakout stars, with a slew of high-profile flicks due this year, including The Lego Movie and Search Party.

To mark the arrival of the new season, Brie sat down with The Daily Beast for an interview that left nothing off the table. Here are the five most revealing things we learned.

The media made far too much of the Dan Harmon/Chevy chase feud.
"I don’t think Dan leaving was definitively something that had to do with Chevy, nor does Chevy leaving definitively have to do with Dan coming back. These were network-level decisions that were in a totally different realm outside of my working knowledge, but in the media, everyone wants to play it up like it’s this rivalry."

Donald Glover's last day on set wasn't the cry-fest you may have thought.
"I think Donald’s actual final moment on set was a totally nothing moment. He was alone, wrapped at six in the morning, and the rest of us had wrapped earlier and were like, 'Well, bye, goodnight!' But, the goodbye episode itself is a loving goodbye to the Troy/Abed relationship, and everything it brought to the show."

She's got love for Nicolas Cage.
"I think Nic Cage is a very talented actor who has done a lot of great work in the past, and who is very brave — if not reckless — in his choices sometimes. I would not question his talent; I would more question his recent choices."

The return of Dan Harmon has Community poised for its best season yet.
"We were excited that Dan was back; it’s some of the best work he’s ever done, and it just got more-and-more exciting. Our cast situation was also shook-up, but to very positive results. I’ve talked about this with Dan, and it’s crazy to talk about how the fifth season of a show is the show’s best work, but I really feel like that’s where we are. It was a great rejuvenation of the show."

Season four was just as hard to make as you thought it was.
"It’s tough to not have your leader that you’ve been following blindly for three years running the show and leading everybody. It was tough. I think we all felt, as a cast, a lot more pressure and responsibility to keep the character’s integrity. And, we felt very protective of the show, so whoever came in to run it, it’s a normal, 'You’re not my Dad!' instinct to protect it, and we’ve had such loyal fans that we get protective of them as well. We don’t want to give them a project that’s the same as what they’ve been used to, so yeah, that was a struggle for all of us last season. (The Daily Beast)