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Fran Drescher & Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Their New Roles

Life is already pretty chaotic for young parents Dave and Rebecca Levin, but it becomes crazier—and funnier—when his irresponsible baby boomer parents, who are broke, move in. That’s the premise of the NBC sitcom Indebted, starring Adam Pally and Abby Elliott, who play an interfaith couple and Steven Weber and Fran Drescher, who star as Linda and Stew Levin. Mirroring real life, Pally, Drescher and Weber are Jewish, and Elliott is not.

“The show is about a Jewish family, and that is what gives it its specificity and flavor,” says Pally. “It’s about the day-to-day small stuff that happens in a family and people who love each other.”

Indebted cast
Steven Weber as Stew, Fran Drescher as Debbie, Adam Pally as Dave, Abby Elliott as Rebecca (Credit: Trae Patton/NBC)

Drescher says the role doesn’t stray too far from her persona in The Nanny, Happily Divorced and other roles she’s played. “She’s pretty much what you’ve been used to seeing [me do]. I like to play characters that are positive and loving, not mean‑spirited. I like to be self‑deprecating—that’s my brand of comedy, and I think that my fans have embraced that,” she says. “That’s what they’ve come to expect, and I like to give them what they anticipate and as much bang for their buck as possible.”

Drescher is also partnering with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom on a Broadway musical version of The Nanny. She’s writing the book with her producing partner and ex-husband Peter Jacobson and Bloom and Adam McKay are writing the music and lyrics.

Indebted airs Thursdays on NBC.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk (Creidt: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

In her first role since Veep ended last May, Julia Louis-Dreyfus returns in the big screen dramedy Downhill, opens February 14. It’s about a family that narrowly escapes an avalanche on a ski vacation in the Austrian Alps, and her husband’s (Will Ferrell) shocking reaction to it that impacts their relationship. “It’s a very big crisis,” Louis-Dreyfus says. “The fallout from it is seemingly small at first. And then it, dare I say, snowballs. I was immediately interested in the premise, the idea that a person can be viewing their life through a certain lens, and what happens when that lens is taken off? What’s different? And is, in fact, anything different? The idea of a reality being altered dramatically is what appealed to me.”

Louis-Dreyfus has Jewish roots on her father’s side, traceable to one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in France. She recently signed a deal with the Apple TV+ streaming service to develop and star in new programming.

Zoey Deutch
Zoey Deutch (Credit: Magnolia Pictures)

Zoey Deutch (Set it Up, Before I Fall, The Politician) stars in the comedy Buffaloed as a young woman who becomes a debt collector as a way out of Buffalo and into an Ivy League university. Deutch, the daughter of actress Lea Thompson and producer-director Howard Deutch, identifies with her father’s Jewish faith. She became a bat mitzvah and celebrated the High Holy Days growing up, and visited Israel with her family a few years ago. “I very much feel pride in my Jewish heritage and culture,” she says.

Buffaloed opens in theaters February 14.

Gerri Miller

Gerri Miller wrote and reported from Los Angeles about celebrities, entertainment and lifestyle for The Jewish Journal, The Nosher, Hadassah and others. A New York native, she spent a summer working at Kibbutz Giv’at Brenner in Israel and attended High Holy Day services at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood every year.


Author: Gerri Miller