Ellie Kemper has unbreakable bonds with many of her costars.
“I keep in touch with a bunch of former cast members,” the actress, 43, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her upcoming film Happiness for Beginners during an interview conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike took effect earlier this month.
Kemper then named names: “Jane [Krakowski], Titus [Burgess], Carol [Kane] from [Unbreakable] Kimmy Schmidt, Jenna [Fischer], Angela [Kinsey], Mindy [Kaling] from The Office [and from] Bridesmaids, Rose [Byrne and] Kristen [Wiig].”
The Emmy nominee went on to make it clear to Us that “everyone I’ve worked with is a really nice person” and that she’s “been extremely lucky” with her cast mates over the years.
“Insane performance by @joshgroban in @sweeneytoddbday followed by an Office Garden Party reunion pic with @msjennafischer?! Yes please!! PS give this man a #Tony OK?” she captioned the Instagram snap.
The Office alums previously met up for a coffee date in April. “Ummm what do we have here?! A nice little Monday coffee with the loveliest @msjennafischer … not a bad way to start the week!” Kemper captioned an Instagram selfie of the pair at the time.
Fisher commented on the post: “This was the best! Xoxo ❤️🩹.”
Although Kemper has held on to the friends she’s made in past projects, she’s stepping away from the type of roles she played in The Office, Bridesmaids and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in her newest film. In Happiness for Beginners, which is based on Katherine Center’s novel of the same name, she plays Helen — a woman who signs up for an Appalachian Trail survivalist course after her marriage ends.
“Helen is going through a really challenging chapter in her life. … She is not feeling so sunny or bright-eyed,” Kemper told Us. “And I loved as an actor being able to tap into that because a lot of the characters I’ve played tend to be optimistic and cheerful, with a pretty good outlook on life. And Helen is not feeling that at the moment. So, it was fun to play, it was a nice departure for me as an actor.”
Kemper’s costar in the romantic comedy — which hits Netflix on Thursday, July 27 — is Yellowstone star Luke Grimes. The Home Sweet Home Alone actress told Us that Grimes, 39, was a “great partner” in the film. “He’s just lovely and he’s funny and silly and he’s a fantastic actor,” she said.”
Kemper revealed that several of her costars from the flick — including “icon” Blythe Danner — have a group text. “Everybody has stayed in such close touch,” she said. “We filmed the movie almost two years ago and everybody is just still friends and going to each other’s premieres and big life events and it’s just a really sweet bond.”
In addition to great relationships with those she’s shared the screen with, Kemper has a loving husband. She and Michael Koman celebrated their wedding anniversary earlier this month.
“11 years of marriage with this guy and he is STEEL the one!!! STEEL is the 11th year anniversary thing! I got him an axe! Love you @michael.koman,” she captioned an Instagram photo of the pair holding hands to commemorate the occasion.
Happiness Begins premieres on Netflix Thursday, July 27
With reporting by Leanne Aciz Stanton