D’Arcy Carden didn’t want to get typecast after The Good Place

D’Arcy Carden in A League Of Their Own

D’Arcy Carden in A League Of Their Own
Graphic: Anne Marie Fox/Prime Video

Though Ted Danson and Kristen Bell were The Good Place’s top-billed stars, the rest of the NBC sitcom’s ensemble quickly found their stock rising thanks to the sharp, philosophical series. As the inhuman assistant Janet, D’Arcy Carden was a key part of establishing the show’s world and tone as she guided Eleanor (Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Tahani (Jameela Jamil) through the afterlife.

After The Good Place concluded in 2020, Carden inevitably entered the next stage of her career. By that time, she had already started her recurring role on Barry, but she was looking for a new challenge.

“There’s something Mickey Mouse-ish about Janet,” she says in a new interview with Variety. “I’m wearing the same costume every day. I have a catchphrase or two. In a way, it’s all you could ever ask for. But then you’re like, ‘Let me show you what else I can do.’”

The Good Place became a pop culture touchstone in a way few shows can achieve, thanks to its snappy, specific dialogue. As much as Carden loved playing Janet, and netted an Emmy nomination for her performance, she was nervous about getting typecast, and asked Danson about taking her next steps.

“My advice to you is to do something as different from Janet as possible,” Carden remembers the Cheers veteran saying. “Do not do something in the world of Janet.”

Luckily, her former Broad City co-star Abbi Jacobson came through with the right role at the right time. Carden is now one of the stars of A League Of Their Own, a 1940s-set series inspired by the 1992 baseball movie, and her character Greta has her channeling George Clooney rather than Siri.

“She’s almost zero percent goofy. I can’t settle into my tricks,” Carden tells Variety. “But I was like, I think I have to do something like this in order to shake off every comment on my Instagram being, ‘not a girl!’”

The first season of A League Of Their Own is now available on Prime Video.

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