Netflix fans dead to me can’t get enough of the hilarious friendship between Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini) and Jen Harding (Christina Applegate). It feels like they have genuine fun every time they’re together — and that’s because they are. Cardellini and Applegate have mastered the art of improvisation, exploiting each other’s jokes. In fact, Applegate recently told Variety that they are in “almost every single scene” together dead to me is improvised. Here are some of Judy and Jens’ funniest improv moments.
One of the earliest improvised moments in dead to me was Judy and Jen’s car talk about Steve’s (James Marsden) penis. Jen says that Judy is an “addict” who needs to “put the whistle down.” Judy replies, “And by the whistle do you mean his penis? … It’s so hard for me to put that down.”
In a recent interview with Buzzfeed, dead to me Creator Liz Feldman revealed that she “never wrote those lines in the script.” However, she decided to run with it because Applegate and Cardellini felt like true friends at that moment. Then she knew she needed to allow more improvisation time for the actors.
“I feel like it was the first time it really landed. I thought, ‘Okay, we should do that. We should give them time to deviate from the script and bring in their own magic.’ They are both excellent improvisers, as is James Marsden. So there’s a lot of improvisation in the show. Some of my favorite moments are improvisations,” Feldman shared.
In Season 2, Judy comes home after a night out with Michelle (Natalie Morales) and tells Jen about the great time they had together. Then, when Ben (also Marsden) arrives at the front door, Judy makes fun of Jen for dressing to see him. Jen’s comeback? “Eat my fucking asshole, Judy.” This quickly became a fan-favorite one-liner.
Cardellini spoke about it dead to me impromptu scene with Awards Watch in 2020. She explained that it all started with her and Applegate trying to make each other laugh. Applegate kept repeating the “asshole” line in hopes that it would get included on the show, and it did.
“After that I said, ‘You know, that’s actually what you joke about sometimes with your friends, but I don’t really see women on screen that much. I think it’s so funny, please keep it,” Cardellini said. “When I saw the show and she was on there, I immediately spoke to Liz because I couldn’t stop laughing. So is Christina and I trying to make each other laugh. She says it to me, and then I say something back to her like, ‘I would, but I can’t. I’m taken now.” It all flows into the story.”
RELATED: ‘Dead to Me’ Season 3 Ends Explained: What Does Jen Ben Say?
What happens when Judy and Jen go on a drug-related trip? Fans will find out in dead to me Season 3 in which the best friends taste mushrooms together. Her highlights include playing with balloons, debating who eats applesauce in her house, discussing the perfection that makes the word “spatula” and more. Yes, a lot of it was also improvised.
“Christina really is a comics genius, and whenever she has space to just do whatever she wants, I just leave that space,” Feldman told Buzzfeed. “And Linda is hilarious and they work so perfectly together. It was just that we played around with the balloons and they switched places and we played around like a bunch of idiots. And Silver Tree, who directed that episode, she and I are friends, so it was like a bunch of friends hanging out and pretending to be high.”
All three seasons of dead to me stream now on Netflix.