D’Arcy Carden literally made her way out of the basement.
The 37-year-old actress now stars on “The Good Place,” but she started in New York at the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Carden went to school to be a dramatic actor, studying theater at Southern Oregon University.
“The only improv I knew about was ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway,’” she told the Daily News.
After graduating, she moved to New York with no clear plan.
“I was just wandering around auditioning,” she said. “I wasn’t quite sure what my direction was.”
In 2004, a friend invited her to a show at UCB and the rest, they say is history.
“I signed up for classes the next day and never stopped,” Carden said.
“It was such a clear moment of ‘oh, this is it. This is what I want to do. I need to be on that stage.’ I just wanted to keep going.”
Carden’s first big break came on “Broad City” when she was hired by two friends from UCB: creators Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson.
(VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
And she did, first in classes, then a weekend team and eventually touring with the UCB company.
Two friends from the company got Carden her first recurring TV role: Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, who created the hit series “Broad City.”
Carden appeared in four episodes of the Comedy Central show, as well as cameos in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Other People.”
But Michael Schur’s “The Good Place” was her first big break.
Carden plays Janet, the A.I. who serves as Michael’s (Ted Danson) personal assistant and information source for the entire Good Place.
Janet is calm and levelheaded, even when early versions of her programming turn her promiscuous or sassy.
Eventually, as Janet’s updates allow her to grow, the character takes on a personality and human characteristics; she even falls in love, kind of.
But playing the robot gave Carden and her bubbly personality the most trouble.
Carden co-stars alongside Kristen Bell and Ted Danson in the Mike Schur comedy.
“The hardest part is first few episodes where she was just the most basic version of herself,” the actress told The News.
“She’s just helpful, informative, nonjudgemental, unflappable Janet.”
As for that wild twist at the end of the first season, she was as surprised as you were; while Danson and co-star Kristen Bell knew from the time they were cast, Carden, Manny Jacinto, Jameela Jamil and William Jackson Harper found out halfway through filming.
Schur, she said, felt bad about keeping the secret for so long.
“It made our jobs so much easier,” Carden said. “We played what we knew was real. Then when i turned out that was not real, it was too late to go back.”
Season two, which premiered Wednesday night, begins with a rebooted Janet — as well as most of the cast — back to her automatic information processor.
But this time, Carden teased, “The Good Place” goes off the rails even sooner than the first season.
“Mike Schur,” she said, “knows how to tell a story.”