When ABC's "Suburgatory" first premiered, it was easy to dismiss the blonde and vapid Dalia Royce (Carly Chaikin) as just another stereotypical mean girl, but as the show has developed, so has Dalia -- she's become one of show's most unexpected delights, with Chaikin's deadpan delivery proving the perfect counterbalance for some of the comedy's broader moments.
This week's episode, titled "How to Be a Baby," (Wednesday, March 6 at 9:30 p.m. EST) sees Dalia giving the lovelorn Mr. Wolfe (Rex Lee) some unexpected advice, as well as stealing two of the week's most memorable scenes. HuffPost TV caught up with Chaikin to preview tonight's episode and find out what's ahead for our favorite spoiled Chatswinian.
In this week's episode, we get to see a very special and unique Dalia trait, which is called "dry crying." How did you come up with that performance?
Oh my God. I haven’t even seen that yet. Well, filming that was actually really funny. For that scene, we did a bunch of just random takes, where they just let the camera roll, and basically, I just did whatever came to mind and I cannot wait to see what they pick. We had one where it was an extreme close-up on my mouth ... It was so funny.
The episode shows Dalia being an advice guru of sorts for a heartbroken Mr. Wolfe, but Dalia isn't exactly the first person you'd think of when it comes to imparting wisdom ...
I think Dalia is good at getting revenge. There’s stuff that comes out later in the season, and I think this kind of foreshadows that a little bit, about how Dalia wants to hurt people who hurt her ... So any chance [she has] to get back at someone who has hurt [someone], she takes advantage of that opportunity to do that.
What else is coming up for Dalia for the rest of this season, since you mentioned revenge?
Well, we have a lot of great stuff coming up for Dalia and a lot of surprising stuff that our viewers are going to have no idea about. And there’s a very great twist and turn for Dalia at the end and it does turn into a very big revenge escapade. I'm being very vague on purpose! [Laughs.]
I talked to Cheryl Hines a few weeks ago and she said that Dallas has been so focused on her relationship with George (Jeremy Sisto) that she's been missing some of Dalia's recent struggles. Is that going to continue to be an issue?
I think a lot of the time with Dalia, things are so inward for her that it would be very easy for most people to miss it. Because, instinctually, when something happens, she doesn’t necessarily have a big outward response, as most people do. She internalizes and does things like plot in her head and then [things] come out. So, I couldn’t even imagine being Dalia’s parents, but I think there’s a lot going on inside of her that people just don’t know about and I think that’s really the theme of what’s going on here is, we see these storylines play out and kind of find out later why all of this was going on. It’s just this internal thing that she goes through before it finally comes out and by the time it comes out, it’s kind of too late.
But on the flip side of that, George seems to have really noticed that Dalia's having a hard time recently and a few episodes back, they had that great conversation about what's going on in Dalia's life. Does that relationship continue?
That is definitely a relationship that stays through the season finale, which I personally love. He definitely becomes someone that’s really, really important to her. She’s never really had a consistent, grounded parent figure before and she does see that in George and I think she really starts to appreciate it and yearn for that.
You and Jane Levy haven't had too many scenes together recently. Have Dalia and Tessa got any storylines coming up together?
Yeah, there’s a lot. The revenge that ends up happening is definitely between Dalia and Tessa. And that turns into a very, very big thing in our finale. Things might get a little physical ... Things get pretty, pretty crazy.
She's had this bizarre romantic relationship with Evan for the past few episodes. Is that going to continue through the rest of the season?
That will continue for a little bit, but there’s a lot more to it that’s underlying, along the same lines of what I’ve been saying, that we find out later. But we do see a little more of them. And it’s more extreme stuff. [Laughs.]
Between the dance-off and the dry crying, you always have some pretty kooky things to do, but what's the weirdest thing you've been given so far this season?
Oh my God, so much. We all have to do the most ridiculous things on the show. It’s so funny. I think one of the most ridiculous things though, is something that I have to do in the finale -- that me and Tessa both have to do. So, I think that the dry crying was pretty funny and the kiss ... Evan's and my kiss that I have to do [this week] is so very amusing.
How often do you find yourself cracking up and ruining takes?
Too often. You know what? I’ve actually gotten so much better at it. I remember in the beginning of the first season -- because I had never really done comedy -- working with the cast that I work with, it’s sometimes near impossible not to laugh and so I was always breaking. So Cheryl taught me a trick, just to bite the inside of your cheek. Cheryl and I, when we do stuff together, I can’t look at her half the time -- I’ll break, so we can’t make eye contact because if we do, we’ll both start laughing and the hardest is when it’s me, Jane, Jeremy, and Cheryl working together in a scene. That is one of the hardest things to get through.
"Suburgatory" airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. EST on ABC.