"It was a fantasy come true to play that part again and to go back into that world."
It's funny when sitcom friends start feeling like your actual friends, and who doesn't love a good reunion?
For 11 seasons, Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) and Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin) sat across from each other at KACL, trading barbs, sharing dating war stories, and providing the occasional shoulder to lean on.
It's been 20 years since we last saw Roz and Frasier together when the run of the original Frasier ended in 2004. But for the reboot on Paramount+, Roz surprises a bah-humbugged Frasier on Christmas, his first without his dad Martin (originally played by John Mahoney, who died in 2018), and EW has an exclusive first look at the reunion.
"I just loved getting to do it," Gilpin says of her return as Roz. "It was a fantasy come true to play that part again and to go back into that world. And there's bittersweet things because it makes me so sad when I think about John. I miss him. He was a great friend, but I feel like they dealt with that."
She continues, "They go back to John every chance they can and they refer back. They refer back to Cheers. They refer back to our first Frasier and I feel like we're kind of a part of it. It felt very comfortable there and wonderful and it was really funny. It's like a comfort when you watch it. You're like, 'Oh my gosh, I get to see this again. It's new, it's fresh, but I am getting the same feelings I got from watching it the first time.'"
And Gilpin says she's even open to returning as Roz in a regular role "if that's a possibility, if that's something that happens."
Gilpin isn't the first OG Frasier character to pop in on the reboot's first season, but Roz's reunion with Frasier is a lot warmer and fuzzier than that of Bebe Neuwirth's Lilith, who darkened Frasier's doorway in the seventh episode to celebrate their son Freddy's (Jack Cutmore-Scott) birthday. For the season finale, Freddy calls in Roz knowing that she'd be the one who could cheer up his dad.
"[Roz and Frasier] had a great, great friendship and both of them needed that friendship," Gilpin tells EW. "I think he was like her older brother and she could always go to him. And those friendships are very, very hard to come by, you realize."
And only your best of friends can greet you with a "You look like crap" as Roz does to Frasier. Well, they can't be too warm and fuzzy, after all. Roz and Frasier may have loved each other, but they never pulled their punches.
"I loved the character because I loved that I got to go someplace that is very much me, but that I'm afraid to go to out in the world," Gilpin says. "In my family — growing up in my family, and in my family now — I can be as smartass as I want to be and I really enjoy that. But I really loved being able to play that and say all the things that we're thinking, but we don't get to say."
Gilpin also loved that Roz was "really good" at her job, a job that resonated with her own personal history. "My father had been a DJ many years before, and so it was a world I was sort of familiar with from childhood."
The actress looks back fondly on her 11 seasons as part of one of television's greatest casts, recalling what an "incredible camaraderie" she had with Grammer, Mahoney, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, and Dan Butler.
"They were five of the best people in the world to be cast with," Gilpin says. "And then also all the wonderful people that came in and out all of the time. They're all dear friends, too. And then anyone that came on the show, we would just have such a good time. It was such a party and we were close with the writers and producers and everyone. We had babies together. We lost relatives together. We went through it all together and I missed them very much, but I'm really grateful that I had those years."
Gilpin counts season 3's "Frasier Loves Roz" — in which Roz and Frasier flirt with, and quickly abandon, the idea of their romance — among one of her favorite Roz episodes, and she recently caught season 7's "Voyage of the Damned," where a waiter keeps throwing champagne in Niles' face at the behest of his estranged (and never-seen) wife Maris. "We can't keep our s--- together and we're all laughing," Gilpin says. "It was a good time and that's wrong to break, but it was hard not to!"
As for what Roz Doyle been up to since becoming station manager at KACL in the series finale, Gilpin has a few ideas of her own.
"I think she's been in radio and the thing I know about the world of radio through my dad's work is that you kind of bounce around," she says. "So I would imagine she was in Seattle a lot of the time at the station, but I imagine she probably did other things. She's probably been producing and maybe she did a show of her own. That was one of her dreams.
"I would imagine that Sirius, the world of that radio would be very attractive to her, but she was raising a daughter," Gilpin continues, referring to Alice, the daughter Roz gave birth to near the end of season 5. "So once you sort of settle someplace, you kind of stay put for a while. I think she's been dating. I think she's been having a lot of fun, traveling, wearing gorgeous clothes, enjoying herself."
Check out Peri Gilpin's return as Roz on the season finale of Frasier below:
Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.