Why Pretty Smart’s Emily Osment Viewed Her New Netflix Role As A ‘Rare Opportunity’

At this point in her career, Emily Osment is a comedy pro, having starred in a number of notable sitcoms over the years. She’s now diving into a new role on the Netflix sitcom Pretty Smart, and the veteran actress appears to be at the top of her game. However, this particular character represents a bit of a change-up for Osment. With this, she recently opened up about why she viewed her latest role as a “rare opportunity.”

On Pretty Smart, the Almost Family alum plays the role of Chelsea, a highly intelligent and motivated young woman who arrives in California to visit her sister while waiting to meet up with her boyfriend. But after getting dumped by her beau, she ends up living with her sibling and her eclectic group of friends. Chelsea proves to be a very cerebral character, who doesn’t mind sharing the occasional nugget of knowledge now and then. I recently spoke with Emily Osment about her new role, and she explained that she jumped at the chance to play a smart, blonde-haired woman:

This was a rare opportunity for me, and I'm sure [co-star] Olivia [Macklin] can chime in here as well, as a blonde actress, it is rare that you are given the opportunity to play an intelligent woman. And that was a very nice refresher for me. I read the script, and after playing kind of a ditzy girl on television for a long time, it felt nice to switch it up.

I think just about all of us are familiar with the “dumb blonde” trope that’s been employed on both TV and in film over the years. When it comes to TV sitcoms, Three’s Company’s Chrissy Snow and Married… with Children’s Kelly Bundy are probably some of the first characters that come to mind. However, there have been those that have managed to overcome that archetype. Most would certainly agree, for instance, that Reese Witherspoon’s Elle Woods certainly rises above that notion. And thankfully, the same rings true for Emily Osment’s Chelsea. 

In addition to Chelsea’s development, Emily Osment is also quite pleased with the world that’s been built out for the show. She not only believes that it serves her character well but also her co-stars’:

And I loved the script, our writers, Jack [Dolgen] and Doug [Mand], our creators and producers, they just really nailed the universe of this show really well. There's something for everybody, and it's easy to connect with every character on the show, whether it's the good parts of you or the bad you kind of see it in everybody.

With a sitcom, it’s important to build out a tangible universe that places its leads in real-world scenarios. Not only that, but it’s important that the characters viewers are following are layered, containing both personal strengths and flaws. This is definitely true when it comes to Chelsea, who, despite having an incredible mind for academics, doesn’t always know how to interact with people.

The young woman certainly does a lot of growing over the course of the season, which was likely fun for Emily Osment. Sure, the character may have her good and bad days, but it’s those very things that keep her interesting. And should the series return for more episodes, there’s sure to be plenty of big developments in store for her, following that season finale. 

Pretty Smart is now streaming on Netflix. Be sure that you also check out our fall 2021 TV schedule for more on the shows that are premiering and returning near the end of this year.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.