No matter which television shows you watch, you’ve probably seen Nora Zehetner on at least one of them. She’s appeared on a whole host of series including Gilmore Girls, Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy and Mad Men. You might have also seen her on the big screen in movies like American Pie 2, Brick and The Brothers Bloom. Her versatility as an actress is quite impressive, so it’s no surprise that she’s been featured alongside so many of Hollywood’s finest throughout her career.
Zehetner may have attended the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science for a year (she’s from El Paso), but don’t let those Grey’s scrubs fool you—her switch from science to screen didn’t unfold as you might assume. "It was kind of more because I got accepted and I got to get out of high school two years early and go to college," she confesses. "I always wanted to be a grownup, and I’m not really sure why because now I want to do the opposite."
Before Zehetner, 32, became a grownup, she made her television debut back in 2000 as "Girl in Hallway" on Gilmore Girls. Flash forward 10 years, and now she’s a Lucky girl. Some of Zehetner’s lates style successes include the flirty white sundress with a simple gold layer necklace she wore at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Last Night, a mod, knee-length geometric shift dress chosen for the 2011 premiere of One Day, a sunny yellow mini shift dress she picked for the New Museum’s 35th Anniversary Spring Gala in 2012 and a dusty blue lace flapper-inspired dress she wore to Chanel’s pre-Oscars dinner earlier this year.
But while Zehetner has some serious style, her latest project is more comedy-centric in nature. Starting May 3 on IFC, you can catch Zehetner as Marc Maron’s girlfriend on the network’s new series Maron. Based on the twice-weekly free podcast series WTF With Marc Maron, the show also features Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed, The Mindy Project) and Danny Trejo (Sons of Anarchy). The podcast was named Best Comedy Podcast at the 2012 Comedy Central Comedy Awards and deals largely with Maron’s desire and struggle to maintain relationships. The show spans topics from dysfunctional father/son dynamics and unsettling dating experiences (including a run-in with a dominatrix) to Maron’s relationship with his three cats. Okay, now we know this show is going to be a hit.
We spoke with Zehetner to find out what it was like working with Maron, which of her characters’ wardrobes she’s loved the most, and to ask how we can get her glowing complexion.
Lucky: Were you familiar with Marc Maron and his WTF podcasts before you started filming?
Nora Zehetner: No, I wasn’t actually—but afterwards, when I would tell people, all of my guy friends in particular were really obsessed. It was really fun and it was really amazing because he’s in every scene and a half-hour episode was shot in three days, which is pretty crazy. He’s in all of it and it’s all dialogue and I was really amazed by how good of an actor he is and how prepared he was. And sweet! I haven’t seen it yet, but I think it’s going to be funny. If you like the podcast then I imagine you’ll like the show.
Do you prefer working on dramas or comedies?
This is the first time I’ve done a half-hour comedy and I had so much fun. I kind of wish I could just do that, but I love dramas too. It’s really fun when you get to improv and play. It was scripted, but day to day they totally gave us the freedom to improve a lot.
Being 5’3”, how do you dress for your petite frame?
I’m 5’4”. The internet says I’m 5’3”, but I am not 5’3”! I want to claim that extra inch! I go to the tailor. I’m actually on my way to the tailor right now. I find that simpler, cleaner lines work better for my size.
You’ve played so many different types of characters. Which character’s wardrobe did you like the most?
Mad Men was really fun. It was fun going in and seeing all of the costumes and getting to peruse the racks. In Grey’s Anatomy, I’m in scrubs which is not very fun. I really never want to wear scrubs again. They’re not very flattering on women. At the time I had short hair, too, and then with the scrubs on I just felt very unfeminine. I kind of wished I could wear heels and a lab coat and a dress under it.
Read on to learn more about Zehetner’s style and to shop her wardrobe essentials.
Photo Credit: WWD/Steve Eichner
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