As co-star of the new Fox laffer “Ben and Kate,” she says she has been strengthened by her background as a celebrity child, not hindered by it.
“When I was first starting, people — especially industry people — would have the attitude, ‘Do you think you can do this?’ ” Johnson says. “But it’s gotten a lot easier. People start to understand that I’m from a creative family, that this is the kind of work that works for us, and that we really enjoy it.
“Everybody has an opinion about a family living in the public eye. In a good way, it made me a lot stronger and more resilient.”
Cut to her newest endeavor. After a busy couple of years in which she scored parts in features such as “The Social Network” and “The Five-Year Engagement,” television newbie Johnson picked up a pilot that intrigued her.
“I haven’t read a bunch of pilots,” she says. “For some reason it reminded me of a movie, and it reminded me of when I watch TV and see people and characters that really mean something to me.”
In “Ben and Kate,” she plays Kate Fox, a highly responsible single mom whose less disciplined older brother (played by Nat Faxon) moves in to help raise her 5-year-old daughter.
“Nat and I had this immediate sibling rapport and we get along really well,” Johnson says.” I think both of us feel really safe working with each other, getting the work done, figuring out what’s funny and what isn’t.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult for us to keep it together. It’s a fun set with a good attitude.”