Created by comedy power couple Jason Jones and Samantha Bee, The Detour has already taken viewers on a wild ride through America—and this season the Parkers are headed north! The family does their best to blend in with the locals, but as always, their efforts are a bit… off. We caught up with Natalie Zea (aka Robin) to find out what fans can expect when Season 3 of The Detour premieres tonight at 10:30/9:30c on TBS!
This season the Parkers are on the lam in Alaska. What can you tell us about Season 3?
Well, anyone who’s familiar with the show knows that it changes from season to season. It’s almost like there’s a do over involved every year, so our do over this year is that we’re on the lam. We’re running from the United States Coastal Inspection Service, like one does, and we’re toying with having new identities, ’cause we want to settle down. We’ve been running for about… oh, anywhere from six months to a year, and the kids are really getting bummed out about it, so we decide that we’re really going to try and put down roots somewhere. But in order to do that, we have to come up with new identities, and within the first episode that completely backfires on us.
Last season we learned that Robin has secrets of her own… will more of her past be uncovered this season?
It’s become sort of a running joke, as opposed to this sort of grand statement about the details of her past. There are these really beautiful moments where she will just say something completely out of the blue, and reveal something that she shouldn’t have any knowledge about, but does. Nate always calls her on it. I don’t wanna give too much away, but later in the season she talks about how it’s really hard to burn a body, and Nate’s like, “You know the creepiest shit!”
Speaking of Nate, your co-star Jason Jones writes a lot of the episodes. How involved are you in that process? Do you get to throw in your two cents when you feel that Robin would do X instead of Y?
They’re really gracious with letting me have my own voice with this character, and I don’t think anyone can argue that the character has morphed from the pilot to where we are now based on the input that I’ve had. Even if we’re just talking about various character traits that I’ve given her without asking anybody’s permission—and they’ve welcomed it! I’ve never had this kind of freedom, and I’ve never been trusted like this before. So, I don’t know what I’m gonna do when this show ends and I have to go to a real show. They’re really gonna hate me!
Speaking a bit about Robin’s traits, what do you love the most about her as a character? Is there anything that drives you nuts about her too?
I love that she’s allowed to have flaws, be unlikable, and demonstrate her opinion no matter how widely unpopular it may be. Some of the things that drive me crazy? Well there are some inconsistencies with her—it must be hard having to deal with somebody who can flip flop on a dime the way she sometimes does. But honestly there’s not a lot that I don’t like about this character! Even that, I feel is so true to life. You know, none of us really live in a black and white world. We morph and change depending on our experiences, and I don’t think she’s any different than that. She exists on this more elevated comedic level, but that makes it more fun!
Humor-wise the show definitely pushes the envelope. Do you think there are places that the show won’t go?
Well we try really hard to not to favor one political side to another. On the rare occasion that we do make any political jokes, we try very hard to be an equal opportunity player when it comes to that. We’ve definitely favored both sides, and made both sides the butt of the joke. I think that’s really savvy on Jason’s part, because we don’t need to be more divided, really.
You’ve had such a varied career on the stage, in film, and on TV. You’ve played some really serious characters, and now you’re flexing your comedy chops with this show. Where do you find the most satisfaction as an actor? In dramatic roles or comedic ones?
My knee jerk reaction is to always say the comedic roles, but I’m definitely still in the honeymoon phase with it. I’ve done drama for a really long time, and even though I got to dabble in comedy here and there, that’s never been what I was really known for until now. That said, there’s definitely a deep level of satisfaction you can get to when you just nail a really dramatic, intense scene.
They say not everybody can do comedy, but I disagree. I think everybody has innate timing in them. It’s just a matter of mining it! For me right now though, I’m definitely still at the beginning of my love affair with comedy.