In a preview of tonight’s Mixology episode, “Jessica & Ron” co-stars Alexis Carra and Adam Campbell discuss dating, sexting and second chances.
Sarah Ricard for Rotten Tomatoes: Why don’t you two give us a little context about Mixology and set up the premise for those who aren’t quite familiar with the show.
Adam Campbell: Mixology is a comedy that follows ten characters who all, in their own way, are looking for love. They all meet in a New York bar and, over the night, they mingle with each other. They clash. They fall in love. They punch each other and flirt in hopefully funny ways. And it all takes place over one night. So the thing it would be most similar to is 24, but there’s obviously less death.
RT: And so you have ten different characters and each week we have a different combo of characters who are featured, right?
Alexis Carra: Yes, for example, every character at this point has been featured so now we’re getting into a little bit more of the characters and how they ended up at the bar that night. So, this is where you get to see how Jessica and Ron specifically ended up at the bar that night — and there are flashbacks that actually show that in this week’s episode — and what Jessica and Ron’s relationship has been up until the point where you see us meeting in the pilot.
RT: So Jessica’s character, played by Alexis, is from New Jersey, correct? And a single mother, so this is a big night out for Jessica’s character.
Alexis Carra: Yeah, absolutely. She doesn’t get too many nights out with two kids at home so she’s on the prowl and looking to have a good time and wanting to feel really good about herself on the one night out that she gets a year, so Jessica is very decked out — like, been preparing for this night for probably like a little too long and she was really excited to meet Ron at the bar.
RT: What’s Ron’s deal? Ron was a millionaire until just a little bit ago. What’s his backstory?
Adam Campbell: Yeah, that’s right. He’s a multimillionaire entrepreneur who loses everything that day and he shows up to the club absolutely wasted to meet Jessica; it’s a disastrous first meeting because he throws up in her handbag. This episode about Jessica and Ron is really an opportunity for them to just start again. Jessica is wonderful in the sense that she kinda forgives him for the vomit in the clutch and gives him a second chance.
Alexis Carra: I myself try to practice forgiveness anytime people vomit around me. I think it’s something that’s generally good to do.
RT: Well, you’re a better person than most people because I think most people, you get one vomit and that’s it; you’re done.
Alexis Carra: Yeah, I give people at least two.
RT: Well, you’re very generous.
Alexis Carra: Including babies. Two spit-ups and that’s it. And then I break up with them.
RT: So, there’s a question of a picture that Ron may have possession of. A scandalous photo of Jessica that’s floating around and the deal is once you put that out there, it’s very hard to get it back, right?
Alexis Carra: Yep!
Adam Campbell: I know this from personal experience.
Alexis Carra: Yeah, Adam. You’re such a naked selfie person. I mean, like, everywhere where you go, you’re doing naked selfies. We really have to try to keep Adam’s clothes on.
RT: I think that something about this show that’s really fun is that the idea of singles meeting at a bar is a tried-and-true method of hooking up, but now we’re in an age where people are meeting online and texting and on apps — so you’re incorporating that new technological layer of anxiety that goes with dating.
Adam Campbell: That’s true and I actually think it’s a very legitimate way now of people dating. We’ve got a few friends who’ve met purely online, and I suppose a few years ago it might have been kind of seen as an unpleasant way to meet someone, but actually, to me, it makes absolute sense. I actually think it’s far more effective meeting people online now than it might be hoping to bump into someone at a night club or something.
Alexis Carra: I love that [about Jessica] — she’s naive about the whole process. Like, Maya’s character, Ginger [Gonzaga] says, “You put your face in the picture?” and I’m like, “Yeah?” She has this element of not really being totally with it and even in the way she does the picture, it’s all just a little bit over the top and then her face is in the picture — so it’s like my character goes into “Holy S—” mode because I didn’t even think about it, which I think is interesting because a lot of people with this new layer of technology may miss certain things. I know when I did online dating, I had a guy come pick me up at my house and my roommate was like, “Why did you tell this guy that you’ve never met — that you met online — where we live?” I was like, “Oh, I didn’t even think about it because I think ‘Oh, of course guy should come pick me up.'” … That’s one area where I know Alexis and Jessica are alike. I’m a very trusting person, so I wouldn’t even think that Ron would be capable of that even though he’s also capable of losing a million dollars in one day.
Adam Campbell: I also think kids nowadays, as far as I understand, they’re quite confident about tweeting pictures of their genitals to each other.
Adam Campbell: It terrifies me what kids are doing now (not that I’m looking online to see what they’re doing). They’re quite comfortable texting each other their willies apparently.
Alexis Carra: Yep.
RT: One of the things I like about Mixology is that you have these concurrent stories and it very much reminds me of when you go to a bar with your friends because everyone’s off having their own adventures and you don’t even know it until the next day — you know, when you do the debrief of what actually goes on. I think that must be a challenge to actually shoot this show because you have all these characters and they have different storylines. How does that work on the set?
Alexis Carra: We had such a great start from the pilot so we were all very close from the beginning … We would do table reads once a week so we would know what was going on and even though we weren’t all shooting together at the same time, we would pretty much keep in touch by sending each other picture messages and texting throughout the week saying how the scenes were going. The set was really close, so even if, like, Adam and I were only shooting in this episode … we shot pretty much just the two of us together two days in a row and we didn’t even see Ginger [Gonzaga] or Blake [Lee] in that week, [but] they were still knowing what was going on in our storylines and they would check in and be like, “How did that go?” or “What’s been going on?” or “Where are you guys at?” So, we were always still staying connected. That was really helpful and at certain times we would have no clue what was going on and we would ask our script supervisor and our producers and be like, “What is happening?” Somebody always seemed to know what was happening, so we had a lot of support.
Adam Campbell: The producers were very secretive actually about what their plan was for each character. At every table-read, we would find out for the first time, ‘Oh wow, he’s going to try and hook up with her’ or ‘She’s gonna slap him’ or something. They were keeping their cards close to their chest in terms of storyline and I think that why it’s probably better for us because it was fresher.
RT: Sure, then you’re into the story too and finding out where it’s going.
Adam Campbell: Absolutely.
RT: Well, it seems to be working.
The “Jessica & Ron” episode of Mixology airs tonight on ABC at 9:30 p.m. EST.