When D’Arcy Carden was first cast in The Good Place, she never could’ve guessed where the role would lead her. Portraying everyone’s favorite informational database in the form of a human woman, Janet, Carden delivered both hilarious and heartwarming performances. In fact, Carden’s time on the show even earned her her first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Though we know Carden as our favorite “not a robot”, the actor didn’t even realize that she was going out for an artificially intelligent being when she auditioned for The Good Place. The premise of the show was kept from the majority of the cast members, so Carden wasn’t alone in her lack of knowledge. Another thing that Carden wasn’t aware of when she was first cast was that she’d be playing more than one role.
How many versions of Janet are there in ‘The Good Place’?
Of course, Carden’s main character on The Good Place is the Janet that hangs out with Michael, Chidi, Eleanor, Tahani, and Jason for hundreds of Bearimys. But, the actor also portrays several other renditions of Good Janets, Bad Janets, Neutral Janets, and Disco Janets for the show. In fact, the Barry actor played so many renditions of Janet that even she’s lost track of exactly how many there are.
“I don’t know that we tallied it, but I’ve seen it,” Carden shared in an interview with the A.V Club when asked about the exact number of Janets. “The Good Place fans are pretty thorough. I’ve seen it on Twitter and stuff—little lists. And it’s always people arguing with each other: There’ll be a list and then somebody will be like, ‘You forgot this Janet, or that Janet’ or ‘This Janet playing that Janet.'”
Which Janet was D’Arcy Carden’s favorite to play?
Though The Good Place alum isn’t positive about the exact number, she estimates it to be upwards of 20. But, she recognizes that it’s also hard to distinguish between main Janet because of the 802 reboots she experiences. “There is a lot of Janets,” Carden confessed. “We can count them, but it’s definitely more than 20? I don’t know, because there’s also like different levels of rebooted Janet. And what counts as a new Janet?”
Even though Carden is unsure about what constitutes a new Janet, she is sure of which one is her favorite to portray. “I have a soft spot for regular old Janet-Janet,” The Good Place star confessed to Gold Derby. “It feels very natural. But I certainly loved playing Bad Janet. There was different reboots of regular Janet that felt like different shades of Janet. But Bad Janet felt like something altogether different. How fun.”
‘The Good Place’ crew let Carden improv more as Bad Janet
Carden particularly enjoyed the improv that she got to do as Bad Janet. As she has a background in improv, she was always pleased when The Good Place crew would let her play a little more. “There was always something about Bad Janet where the directors or the writers would say, ‘Okay, let’s do another one, but be meaner this time.’ They let me do a little bit more with Bad Janet than we did with any of the other characters, which was a blast.”
It’s great that Carden was able to play so many characters successfully during her tenure on The Good Place. We look forward to seeing if she’ll manage to nab an Emmy for the unique role.