Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actress

As Tessa Altman, a snarky, insightful 16-year-old who moves with her dad (Jeremy Sisto) from the big city to the ‘burbs in “Suburgatory,” Jane Levy is a fish out of water, struggling to find her bearings in an affluent town seemingly obsessed with the superficial.

But as an actress, Levy is right at home with the cast and crew of the satirical ABC series, that was a success story in its first season.

“The best part about making the show is the people,” says Levy, a native Angeleno whose past credits include a recurring role on season one of Showtime’s “Shameless.” “They are incredibly generous and fun and I could gush about them all day.”

Levy’s character is far less complimentary when it comes to Chatswin, the fictional hamlet in upstate New York where vapidity and Stepford-like wives seemingly run amok.

“Tessa acts pretty much like any other 16-year-old who gets uprooted,” says Levy, who is currently in New Zealand filming Fede Alvarez’s remake of “The Evil Dead.” “She’s obviously pretty upset about it and she deals with it through humor and intelligence. Sometimes she’s bitchy but she’s a pretty good sport considering the circumstance. Even though she makes it very clear that she doesn’t like this new place, she’s a compassionate and caring person and does embrace the characters.”

While Levy hasn’t been focusing on what happens to Tessa next season — “I’m honestly not really thinking about the future,” she reveals — she is looking forward to having a bit more creative input.

“It would be great to have a say in where her character goes because with a TV show you can go anywhere,” she says. “You can’t over think things or plan ahead too much, and that freedom is how real life is.”

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