Q: Two Emmy Award wins later for you as the show’s host, how does it feel to be starting Season 5 of “Hollywood Game Night”?
A: Oh, it’s been the best! It’s like having a party with people I love … and the great thing about throwing a party is that I’ll look out and see two people, who just met five minutes ago, laughing and taking pictures of each other. I think my job is to just step back and let it happen.
Q: Several of this season’s teammates also work together on such series as “This Is Us,” “The Walking Dead” and “Superstore.” Do you find that familiarity brings their game-playing to another level?
A: It sure does. They have great stories to share about each other. I also like putting them against each other, but it’s always fun to have them on the same team, too.
Q: “Hollywood Game Night” moves outside this season with a new backyard setting. What does that mean to, and for, you?
A: We have a huge backyard befitting my huge Hollywood home … fake Astroturf, the whole deal. And we play games that take a lot more physical energy. There’s one where we put the players in ridiculous pants, and we make them catch ridiculously large balls with them.
Space limitation is fun, too. We had some games (on the indoor set) that required some physical activity, and it was always fun to see the girls kick off their shoes to do it. They all kick their shoes off in the backyard. We used to have a game called “Smash the Buzzer” that we played in the living room, and we now play it in my swimming pool full of balls. There’s a lot of “balls” jokes in these episodes; last season, there were a lot of “box” jokes, so we like to keep it equal.