Funny ladies Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo have been stealing shows and tickling funny bones for a very long time. And now, they’re taking on Hollywood. The comedic duo, perhaps best known for their live chat show, Ronna & Beverly, held their own as loudmouthed Boston natives next to stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat. We chatted with Chaffin and Denbo about on-set antics, their relationship with Boston, a (possible!) sequel to The Heat, and whether or not they’ve taken any fashion cues from their characters.
BettyConfidential: What was it like on set of The Heat?
Jamie Denbo: A lot of crying, a lot of sexual assault… there was a lot of on-set drama. [laughs] It was awesome. I think when you keep that level of fun and comedy on the screen it’s definitely representative of what’s going on behind the scenes. We were laughing. Laughing, laughing, laughing. We sat at that dinner table for upwards of five hours. It was just funny. Jessica’s hair was –every time I looked at her –it was funny. It was fun to be a part of.
Jessica Chaffin: Not to mention your denim bathing suit. This was an interesting combination. We got to work with some really old friends and old collaborators. Nate Corddry is an old friend of ours, Rob Corddry, his brother, is someone that we came up with doing improv. We’ve known Nate forever. Jamie wrote these MA Men videos a few years ago that Nate was in with us. It wasn’t the first time we’ve worked together and that was amazing.
JD: It was honestly like being on set with family.
JC: Yeah, and Paul we’ve been collaborating with for years so it was basically the most fun you could have and on top of that it was really a childhood dream come true to come home and shoot a movie in Boston, and be staying at a hotel and have the Boston Herald write about it, which is still like the town paper.
JD: Our friends from home thought we were stuck up!
JC: And we took a haunted tour.
JD: Oh yeah, we did. Ghosts and Graveyards.
BC: Can you tell us more about your relationship with Boston?
JD: It’s a complicated relationship.
JC: Well I was talking to some people last night, I went to see a play last night and…
JD: Oh, aren’t we smaht? Oh, aren’t we er-ee-udite?
JC: Well, I’m like the cultured one, that’s the thing. They asked me, “Where are you from?” And I was saying, I’m always a Bostonian first. I’ve lived in LA for eleven years and I’m always like “I’m from Boston” if people ask and then it’s like well, this is the rest of the trajectory of my life– but Jamie and I hilariously live in LA, have both of lived there 11, 12 years– I can’t remember even now what it is– but we arrived at the same time and we spend a majority of our time living in a reality that takes place in Boston. Either we’re Ronna and Beverly or if we’re doing scummy Boston like Gina and Beth or the Real Housewives of South Boston or whatever it is…We live in California but we basically live in our minds in Boston.
BC: You both had some crazy outfits on The Heat…did you ever dress like that?
JC: Did you say, did we ever dress like our characters?
JC: That’s the greatest question I’ve ever been asked.
JD: Are you saying like when we were young?
JC: Neither of us had a Boston accent growing up. We really aren’t any of the characters that we play, though we talk to each other in a Boston accent all the time.
JD: I’d like to answer that question and say, before now? No. Now, quite a bit. As Gina and Beth, I love to wear denim bathing suits to my kids’ school drop off. Nothing makes me more popular.
JC: For Gina, my cousin had this girlfriend when we were growing up and my cousin grew up in this pretty working class, blue collar neighborhood, and she just believed that she was the prettiest girl in the room at all times and her attitude was completely just “What? Why wouldn’t everyone want me?” She was okay, she was pretty, but like the idea that she was the most attractive person in the world… I always thought it was so funny. Her confidence, which you have to admire, I think that that was what I decided to go with. So long as I was going to be a hooch basically I was like, I guess I’m just going to decide that I was going to look amazing all of the time. And I would never, ever share that much of my body in a regular setting but it seems like, well if we’re gonna do this, let’s go with it.
JD: For me, I would say it was all the smokers in my high school. The ones that were like, yah we’re allowed to go smoke in the courtyard, we’re gonna do it. I’m gonna skip algebra cause I don’t know what that is and I’m gonna go have a butt.
JC: A girl that has sex in the back of the tow truck.
Up next: Ronna & Beverly, dating advice + more!