Grace Kaufman – Man With A Plan
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q: What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A: My feature film Brave New Jersey was just released this past year and since then I’ve been super busy with “Man With A Plan.” The show takes up most of my time, plus I have school-which is really important to me. I’m a high school sophomore right now. So sadly, geometry is a BIG project of mine right now. [laughs] I’m really hoping to do a film on my hiatus this year and I’m wanting to do some more theatre. The last play I did was an awesome play called “Appropriate” that was written by the amazing Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by the wonderful Eric Ting. I’d really like to do another musical. I’ve done several around Los Angeles. I’ve been listening to both “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Spring Awakening” a lot lately and absolutely adore them.
Q: What is new this season on “Man With a Plan” and with your character Kate?
A: This season has been fun because they’ve started to explore a little more of Kate’s social life and friends outside the family. She’s dated on the show a couple times this season. Sometimes with disastrous results as far as run-ins with my dad, Matt LeBlanc!
Q: What continues to challenge you about portraying Kate?
A: I really try not to play her like a typical cliché teenage sitcom girl. Yes, she likes being on her phone and spending time with her friends, but I try to keep the relationship with mom and dad on the show honest and respectful. Kate can be sharp-tongued and funny. She challenges her parents and wants to start finding her own path in life, but she really loves them and I always want that to show through.
Q: What are some teen issues you’d love to see Kate tackle in the future?
A: This season we touched on peer pressure as far as smoking pot. Kate made the point that just because her friends do something, she didn’t feel the need to do it also. That was something that her parents had taught her and it showed that it stuck with her.
It was a funny episode, but still dealt with important issues. I would love to have Kate deal with social media pressure, bullying, etc. – things like that, that teens deal with all the time.
Q: Have you taken anything to heart watching costars Matt Leblanc and Liza Snyder at work?
A: I have learned so much from observing Matt and Liza’s work. Specifically, their mastery of comedic timing has helped me grow as a comedic actor. They work so well together and they bring a playful energy to rehearsal, which is really important when you’re rehearsing comedy!
Q: Who would you love to see as a guest star on the show?
A: I would absolutely love to have actresses such as Carol Burnett, Kristen Wiig and Lisa Kudrow guest star on the show. I admire all of these actresses so much and have grown up watching them. Each of them is so risky and adventurous in their comedic work, and I love that!
Q: What are some of your favorite behind the scenes moments from filming?
A: I love helping Kevin Nealon make funny Instagram videos. If you haven’t seen some of his funny food videos from our craft service table, check out his Instagram account. He’s so funny and we have a great time goofing around with those!
Q: What do you think it is about “Man With a Plan” that has made it such a fan favorite series?
A: I think that the show is very funny and I am not just saying that because I am a part of it! My co-stars’ performances are absolutely priceless. I also think that “Man With a Plan” is admired because it is centered around a family that goes through many of the same situations and obstacles as most other families. To me, I think people enjoy watching it because they can relate to it so much.
Q: What advice would you offer other young individuals looking to get started in acting?
A: Some advice that has personally helped me, not just in acting but in life too, is to always pursue your passions, because life is so short. Whatever you aspire to be in your life, whether it be an actor or a lawyer, always work to the best of your ability and never forget why you are doing what you are doing. To me, acting is such a beautiful craft and my advice that I would offer to young individuals would be to take the art of acting and weave your own little world with it. This could be through always committing 100% to whatever role you are playing or auditioning for or even just admiring the performance of another actor.
Q: What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and the show?
A: I would like to give a big THANK YOU! Receiving support for the show is the best most fulfilling feeling in the world and truly makes the work that I do as an actress worth it. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity of being on the show and am so happy that I get to share what I love to do with others. Our show would be nowhere without our amazing support. “Man With a Plan” supporters are the tops!!