The new Netflix sitcom “Pretty Smart” throws uptight Harvard grad Chelsea (Emily Osment) into a world of not-so-intellectual influencers and gym rats when she’s forced to move in with her bubbly sister and her roommates.
Now streaming, the series follows Chelsea as she reunites with her ditzy sister Claire (Olivia Macklin), thanks to her losing her place to stay after her academic boyfriend dumps her. She also gets to know the other inhabitants of Claire’s house, including personal trainer Grant (Gregg Sulkin); social media influencer Jayden (Michael Hus Rosen); and tarot card and crystal loving healer Solana (Cinthya Carmona).
“When I first read the script, my head went to ‘Cheers,’” said Osment, 29 (“The Kominsky Method”). “I felt like it was sort of a similar storyline in terms of an educated East Coast woman being dropped on her head in the middle of nowhere and having to pick up where she left off from a different spot, and having to mix with the locals in a way that she doesn’t know how to do. So, I definitely connected with a Diane Chambers vibe for her, and you can see it in her attire.
“I loved every moment where Grant kind of knocks Chelsea on her butt a little bit. She’s just kind of flabbergasted by his charming good looks. She’s definitely a loquacious sort of know-it-all, and to see her not be in her element was so fun to play.”
“Pretty Smart” has plenty of growing pains as the new housemates get used to each other; prickly Chelsea initially judges Claire for her flightiness — and Grant for how he never wears a shirt and takes every sarcastic comment literally — before their charm begins to win her over.
“He’s not the brightest but he’s definitely not dumb,” Sulkin, 29, told The Post about his character, Grant. “So, I thought it was important to lean away from the stereotypical sort of stupidness and lean into something more earnest. As an actor, I felt happiest when Emily and I could work together and do our own scenes and learn about the characters and grow with them. So our scenes together were very special to me.”
Osment and Sulkin (“Marvels Runaways”) both come from Disney backgrounds; she was in “Hannah Montana” and he was in “Wizards of Waverly Place,” among other shows. Both said that gave them the groundwork for their careers.
“There was a few years of crossover there [on our Disney shows] but we didn’t shoot on the same lot,” said Osment. “I obviously knew of Gregg; we didn’t spend a whole lot of time together [and] one of Gregg’s friends was friends with one of the guys on my show, so I was hearing about him all the time. But we weren’t really in communication until we did a movie in 2013 together [Lifetime’s “A Daughter’s Nightmare”] and that really bonded us. When you grow up doing the job that we have had since childhood, there is some sort of kindred spirit kind of thing.”
“When you’re working on a show as a young person, you learn discipline, you learn professionalism,” said Sulkin. “If two cast members come onto set every day wanting to work hard and be collaborative, that’s a great foundation for a good show. And I feel like my dynamic with Emily and our trust with each other allowed us to have a great foundation not just for the two of us, but for the rest of the group.”
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