Chelsea Handler’s Role in New TV Series

Celebrity Q&A, People
on February 21, 2012

Am I the only one who thinks it is weird that Chelsea Handler plays the sister and not Chelsea on her new TV series?

—Pepper Collins, Fort Worth, Texas

Handler recently re-signed with E! Entertainment to continue as the host of Chelsea Lately, so the late-night talk show host says after playing herself for 37 years, she chose the role of her sister on Are You There, Chelsea? because she wanted to try something a little more challenging.

"It's been much more fun to put on a wig," says the Livingston, N.J.-born comedian, who plays uptight, sarcastic sister Sloane to Chelsea's free spirit in the new NBC comedy, based on Handler's three best-selling books. "It's fun to just kind of dress schlumpy and have a completely different appearance and attitude." So, it's Laura Prepon, 31, a Watchung, N.J., native, playing Chelsea in the series that follows the exploits of a 20-something, opinionated young woman who lives life to the fullest as a cocktail waitress, friend, daughter, sister and "advanced drinker."

"It's a dream come true. I'm so sick of playing myself I can't even tell you," Handler says of acting in scenes with another actress playing her. "We all saw Laura and 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 as being."