Annaleigh Ashford passes the ‘B Positive’ test for CBS

Tony Award-winning stage actress is now a sitcom star

Annaleigh Ashford of ‘B Positive’ Thursday on CBS

Q: Broadway audiences have known you for having a big presence on stage. Were you surprised to find a television project such as “B Positive” that suited that?

A: There’s such a special opportunity when you get to do multi-cam comedies, because they allow you physical comedy in a way that doesn’t sit in any other medium. It’s sort of a unique marriage of a theatrical sensibility and an on-camera performance. I’ve been watching multi-cam comedies all my life, and I feel like I’ve learned so much from them.

Q: “B Positive” executive producer Chuck Lorre had seen you on stage and wanted to work with you ever since then. What’s it like to have a TV mentor like that?

A: Chuck Lorre is the ultimate in the land of television comedy, and to be in one of his shows is truly a dream come true. Especially during this unprecedented time that we’re all experiencing, this has been a gift to me and my family, and I’m just so honored to hopefully be making people laugh at a time when they really need it.

Q: Even if Broadway was back in business now, you’d be committed to “B Positive.” What impact has the coronavirus pandemic had on the stage career for which you’ve received a Tony Award (for a revival of “You Can’t Take It With You”)?

A: As performers, we always find a way to connect with people and tell some kind of story. With television, you don’t have to fill up an entire theater 10 times a week for your product to be available.

The theater community has been completely decimated on every level — from Broadway to community theater — and I think all of us felt a responsibility from the beginning not only to help raise awareness, but to raise funds for artists across the board. And now, we’ve seen that it’s going to be an even longer wait (to reopen)

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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