For someone who didn’t start out loving Los Angeles, Sarah Chalke, 36, has been received with open arms by an industry that isn’t known for being kind. Consider her role as Becky Conner on the long-running TV show Roseanne. Or Dr. Elliot Reid on the similarly successful Scrubs. Or her memorable role as Stella Zinman on ratings blockbuster How I Met Your Mother. Not bad for the Ottawa, British Columbia native and Vancouver-raised Chalke, who began her entertainment career as an environmental reporter for the Canadian series KidZone in her youth. Now she teams up with another round of comedic heavy hitters—in this case, Brad Garrett and Elizabeth Perkins—in the sitcom How to Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life), premiering April 3 on ABC. —Jessica Radloff
Keeping with the concept of How to Live With Your Parents…, would you have considered moving back home if your acting career hadn’t panned out?
Yes! It’s such a common thing to do in today’s economy. In fact, I think our show creator has it figured out. She raised the most awesome daughter and said that between her and her parents, they made one responsible [family unit]! It takes a village to raise a kid, so the more influences the better. My mom would teach my son German and my dad would foster a love of playing the lotto!
You’ve worked with TV veterans including Roseanne Barr and Brad Garrett. What have they taught you?
I feel extremely lucky. I’ve learned so much working with these incredible comedians … [for instance], how fearless they are. In comedy, you have to be willing to try anything and not worry how it’s going to come across. It also helps when you all get along. On How to Live With Your Parents, we had so much fun. The best stuff happens when you’re having a great time.
You’re not from L.A.—or even the United States. What was your first impression of SoCal?
I love living in L.A., but I didn’t at first. I was 17 years old when I first started commuting from Vancouver for Roseanne and I didn’t move full time until I was 24. I really missed home a lot, but once my best friend and I moved down [for good], I loved it.
How do you spend your free time in L.A.?
On the weekends we love to take my little guy [Charlie, 2] to Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Center, or have a picnic at the Getty Center. I also like to see stand-up at The Improv, or a show at Upright Citizens Brigade.
You’re quite the foodie. What restaurants do you frequent?
I love Pizzeria Mozza, Laurel Hardware, Real Food Daily, BLD, Lamill Coffee Boutique … and a new restaurant that my friend just opened in Silver Lake called Hyperion Public.
Where do you like to shop?
My faves are Yolk, Design Within Reach, OK, Madison, and local furniture designer Matt Monroe of Monroe Workshop.
What are your beauty secrets?
Gregory at the Andy LeCompte Salon is amazing. For skincare, I go to Kate Somerville for facials.
Andy LeCompte Salon 616 N. Almont Drive, L.A., 310.273.4100
BLD 7450 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.930.9744
Design Within Reach 8070 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.653.3923
Getty Center 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A., 310.440.7300
Hyperion Public 2538 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake, 323.761.6440
The Improv 8162 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.651.2583
Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts 8428 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, 323.655.7546
Lamill Coffee Boutique 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake, 323.663.4441
Laurel Hardware 7984 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323.656.6070
Madison 8745 W. 3rd St., L.A., 310.275.1930
OK 8303 W. 3rd St., Silver Lake, 323.653.3501
Pizzeria Mozza 641 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.297.0101
Real Food Daily 414 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310.289.9910
Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 310.440.4500
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 5919 Franklin Ave., L.A., 323.908.8702
Yolk 1626 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake, 323.660.4315