Busy Philipps Talks ‘Cougar Town,’ ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Movie & the Cash Bar At the Oscars

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After a very long hiatus, Cougar Town finally returns to the small screen tonight for what is sure to be another season of big laughs and memorable moments.

In preparation for the show’s season 3 premiere (8:30PM ET on ABC), Busy Philipps chatted with Celebuzz about what we can expect from her character, Laurie, this year.

We also talked about what it’s like to be on the awards scene with her real-life best friend and former Dawson’s Creek costar, Michelle Williams, who is nominated for an Oscar this year for My Week With Marilyn. Has Busy picked out her Oscar dress yet? What does her daughter, Birdie, think of her awards show fashions? And more importantly, what’s the deal with the cash bar at the Oscars?

Read our exclusive interview below!

Cougar Town didn’t get an official premiere date until last month. Were you all worried that it might not come back at all?
We weren’t worried, because we were always assured by ABC that they loved the show, that they’re supportive of the show and that they were just trying to figure out where it made sense [on their schedule]. Personally, I was a little bummed when it didn’t come back in the fall. Then, we were just waiting, and waiting and waiting and it just felt like our premiere date was never coming. But now I think this February 14th [premiere date] is the best time for the show to relaunch, or premiere. The first episode of the season is so sweet and romantic and it just seems kind of appropriate.

Has there been any talk of a fourth season yet?
I think [ABC] wants to see how the ratings do for us this year. That’s why [series creator] Bill Lawrence has been so proactive about all of these different viewing parties, and reaching out to our fanbase and doing sort of his own guerilla publicity for the show. We got an email from him when we got the airdate, just saying, “Guys, any and all press, I want you to do it! Let’s go for it. Let’s really make this happen.” We all took it to heart, and we want the show to last, too. Our fans are so invested in the show. We want it to stay on the air for them!

Bill recently released a highlight reel of season 3, during which we find out that Laurie and Ellie are both Jules’ (Courteney Cox) maid of honor. What happens there?
It’s interesting. It doesn’t seem like Jules really wants Laurie to be her maid of honor [Laughs]. But she also doesn’t want to hurt Laurie’s feelings, so she just sort of does it. It’s a good arc to the season. The whole wedding stuff is fun, and it doesn’t take over [the show]; it’s not the whole year. It’s not like you’re going to be watching a show about a wedding … It’s basically [at] the beginning and the end of the season, and then all the stuff in between is regular Cougar Town hijinks.

At what point does Laurie’s new boyfriend Wade show up?
I feel like it’s fairly early on. You hear about him a lot before than you actually see him, because Laurie, in true Laurie fashion, meets him on the Internet, over Twitter [Laughs]. So, they’re having, like, a Twitter relationship; a cyber love affair. It’s actually really kind of sweet for Laurie and cute, and then when you finally do see Wade, it’s even better, because he’s awesome and super-hot.

I feel like, out of all the characters, Laurie is the one who deserves love the most, especially after her breakup from Smith last season.
I know! I said to Bill, I was like, “Will there please not be any scenes where I have to cry this year?” [Laughs]. It bums me out! I don’t want to cry.

Did you get to work with David Arquette in the season finale?
I am the unluckiest on the cast! I don’t get to work with any of the awesome guest stars that come in. Everyone else does and not me! [Laughs] I’m always off doing my own thing. So, unfortunately for me, I didn’t get to work with David. But I think he’s a great guy, and he’s really fun.

On the Golden Globes red carpet, Sarah Michelle Gellar said that her daughter picked out her dress. Does your daughter Birdie ever help you pick out yours?
She, like, doesn’t like anything that I wear, so no. She did not like that fringe dress that I wore to the Golden Globes. [Laughs] … She said it was too stringy.

Has she shown any interest in acting yet?
Birdie says that she wants to be a writer, director and an actor. Which is hilarious. My husband [Marc Silverstein] is a screenwriter, so she says she wants to be a writer; but she also wants to be an actress and she wants to be a director … I think it’s important to encourage your children to pursue whatever they want to pursue, so I’m not gonna put the breaks on anything she wants to do. She’s not gonna be a child actor, I will tell you that … But if she wants to do it when she’s an adult, I feel like, my parents were very supportive of me, and it’s my job to be supportive of what she wants to do with her life.

Have you decided what you’re going to wear to the Oscars yet?

Is it a long, arduous process?
Well, for me it’s not so much, because it’s not like people are clamoring to dress me. It’s really just like the five dresses that are left over. [Laughs] But, no. I have to have a fitting, and I’m working with a stylist. I’ve been in New York working; I’m doing a movie here. Then I go back to LA for a little bit, and then I’m back in New York to finish the movie, and then I fly home just for the Oscars. So, I’ll have to figure it out in the next two weeks, huh?

This is your third time doing the Oscars, right?
[This is] my third time going to the Oscars. Every year, we learn something to help improve the following year. For instance, last year we learned that, after the Oscars start, it’s a cash bar outside, so you have to bring cash. I had to borrow $40 from, like, a friend of my husband’s writing partner from college. It was basically someone I didn’t know that well. I had to borrow $40 from her, because the drinks were a.) so expensive and b.) not free.

Do you keep in touch with Paul Feig? I thought you would have been perfect in Bridesmaids.
Oh my God, you and me both! [Laughs] I auditioned for Bridesmaids. I didn’t get it. You can write that down. I’ve actually never told anybody this. I don’t know if I should talk about it. I love Paul. I see Paul all the time, and I cannot wait to work with Paul at some point in the future … It’s been really fun to see his success from that movie. And I love Kristen [Wiig] so much. I think she’s such an incredible talent. I love her writing partner Annie Mumolo. I’m so happy for them and all their success … The truth is weird. I auditioned for Melissa McCarthy’s part – and that’s what’s weird … The part wasn’t defined necessarily as one thing [when I auditioned]. I was doing a very specific take on it, and they really liked it. But I think, ultimately, Miss McCarthy is perfect in that movie … I was bummed not to be in a great movie with a bunch of people that I’m friends with that also starred all the girls, and made a s***load of money. But, what are you going to do? [Laughs] It’s just the way that it is. You have to get over it and move on! [Laughs]

Pretty much everyone from the cast of Dawson’s Creek is still famous today. Is it time for a reunion?
I mean, no, not really … I feel like I’m like the forgotten step-child of Dawson’s Creek. It’s not even really for me. A reunion would be for those guys. I know that in some way they could say, “Oh, yeah! That would be fun!” But I don’t know if anyone would actually be able to do it with their schedules. [Laughs] Other than obviously Michelle, I keep in touch with James [Van Der Beek] and Josh [Jackson] as much as we can. We’re all, the three of us, busy and all over the place. I’m happy for everyone’s success. Obviously, I feel more of a tie to Freaks and Geeks, probably, than I do that show. It was like more [of a] seminal experience for my life and my career.

Maybe you can just do a Freaks and Geeks reunion instead.
By the way, I would love a Freaks and Geeks movie. I feel like they could have done [one] 10 years later, like set in 1989 going into 1990.

Where would Kim Kelly be at that point?
I feel like she’d be working at a bank. She’d be a teller.