It’s a good week to be Jennifer Westfeldt, the actress best known for Kissing Jessica Stein and ABC’s Notes From the Underbelly, and envied for her 11-year relationship with Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm. She’s in the midst of a three-episode arc on Grey’s Anatomy (Thursdays, 9 p.m.), guest-starring as a pregnant woman who accidentally ran over her husband, then had a seizure in the hospital while he was in surgery, and now awaits an operation for an aneurysm. She stars in the Hallmark Channel movie Before You Say ‘I Do’ (Feb. 14, 9 p.m.), playing a divorcée whose current love (Gilmore Girls‘ David Sutcliffe) travels back in time to stop the wedding that turned her off of marriage forever. And, she got to phone PopWatch and graciously answer questions like, “What does Jon really smell like? Please say frosting.” Yes, she’s one lucky lady….
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was it that drew you to Before You Say ‘I Do’?
JENNIFER WESTFELDT: I don’t know if you saw my second film, Ira and Abby, but it was a comedy about the dysfunction of marriage, and whether or not it’s an outdated institution since so many end in divorce. So I thought it was just a funny synchronicity that [Before You Said 'I Do''s] theme was similar to theme I’d written about. And certainly, being in an 11-year relationship unmarried gives me a good perspective on that character. [Laughs] We get this question all the time. “When are you gonna get married?” We’ve seen so much divorce in our lives — both in our families and in our friends circle, honestly — that we’ve always kind of thought of ourselves as married and thought if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, you know. But who knows what will happen down the road.
What’s your idea of a great romantic comedy?
Obviously, all the early Woody Allen films are among my favorites, and The Apartment, the Billy Wilder film, is probably my favorite of all time. I love romantic comedies where you have depth underneath the funny. I think all good comedy comes from pain and serious situations. I think about Rushmore and As Good As it Gets. Tootsie, which was so, so brilliant. It’s so funny and so screwball in so many ways, and then there’s just real, real heart to it….
When do you yell at the TV?
I have an issue, in general, with a lot of reality TV. I watch American Idol, but I literally can’t get through the audition stuff. My stomach turns. It makes me so upset, the relentless “Look at how awful and untalented this person is.” Like, I can’t bear it. I always say to Jon, “Fast-forward! Fast-forward! I can’t! I can’t! I can’t!” I don’t do well just watching humiliation.