‘The Good Place’ Cast Had No Idea What They Were Auditioning For

There are plenty of reasons why fans are enamored with The Good Place. From the hysterical comedy to the bevy of colorful characters, the show has more than earned its many Emmy nominations. But, one of the best things about the show is how strong the ensemble cast is. Each actor seems to be the perfect selection for their respective character. Funnily enough, four out of the six main characters had no idea what they were auditioning for when they were cast in The Good Place.

The Good Place cast
The Good Place cast and Michael Schur | Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

The Good Place began as the brainchild of the brilliant Michael Schur who is a writer, actor, and producer. Having worked on shows like Saturday Night Live, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Schur has become one of the most respected comedic writers in the industry. When he announced that he was creating a new show, there was no shortage of excitement and interest. Perhaps that’s why Schur chose to keep the premise of The Good Place under wraps.

Only two members of ‘The Good Place’ cast knew what the show was about

But Schur didn’t keep the show a secret from everyone. He first tapped Kristen Bell (Eleanor) to be a part of the project. The two had crossed paths at SNL and after chatting for hours in a coffee shop about what it meant to be a good person, she signed on to the project. Next, Schur recruited Ted Danson (Michael) for the show and explained his concept. But, when Schur was auditioning actors to round out his cast, he was very tight-lipped about what The Good Place would become.

But if most of the cast didn’t even know the premise of the show, how were they even able to audition for The Good Place? In an interview with Rolling Stone, the cast shared that they were given fake scenes that got at the core of their characters. Emmy nominated actor, William Jackson Harper (Chidi) reflected on his audition for the show.

William Jackson Harper reflects on his audition for the show

“I was told I was going to be auditioning for a guy named Chris who works for the Innocence Project and he meets Eleanor at a conference and then he finds out that she’s not supposed to be there, and that’s all I knew about the show,” Harper shared about his audition for The Good Place. “I had no idea what the premise of the show was at all until I got the part,” Harper shared.

Someone who knew even less about her character’s true nature was D’Arcy Carden (Janet), who also received an Emmy nomination for her work on The Good Place. According to Carden, she didn’t even know that she’d be playing everyone’s favorite “not a robot.”

D’Arcy Carden had no idea that Janet wasn’t human

“There was no indication that [Janet] was AI or robotic or anything at all,” Carden shared. “It was a helpful woman who was the operator on a health line. The scene was that somebody was calling her and saying, ‘My doll is broken. So I’m calling a broken doll hotline and you have to tell me how to fix my doll.’ And she was just, like, giving people good advice: ‘Oh, the eye fell off on your doll? Well, find a button and sew it on,’ Carden confessed about her audition for The Good Place.


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‘The Good Place’ boasts a phenomenal cast

Clearly, auditions for The Good Place were a bit unorthodox. But, Schur seemed to know exactly what he was doing. The show was perfectly cast and will be thoroughly enjoyed by fans for years to come.