Listen: ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ Star Jane Levy Names the Singer She’d Love to Cover in Season 2

Jane Levy
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Jane Levy may have not been a singer before snagging the title role in NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” but she certainly is now.

In the quirky series, she plays a computer programmer who can hear what people are thinking and feeling through song. With a second season in the works, she’s already thinking of the artists she’d love to cover.

“I would love to hear some country music,” Levy says on Thursday’s episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.” “If there’s any genre that’s about like a yearning heart, it’s country. I know Bonnie Raitt’s not country, but she sort of is. I would love for somebody to sing Bonnie Raitt. She’s one of my favorite musical artists of all time.”

While Levy says it’s been great to express herself through song and dance, she admits it’s been a hustle.

For the eighth episode, she had to learn six numbers, including one accompanied by 200 extras. “We took three days off of production so that I could learn these dance numbers, but that’s still not really that much time,” Levy explained. “Also I have to record all the music, pre-record all of it. So there was days where in episode seven, right before we shoot eight, where I’d get off of set, and they’d be like, ‘Okay, Jane has one hour before her turnaround gets screwed up. Drive her a half hour to the college where we’re going to shoot.’ I’m in my pajamas. I get 10 minutes of rehearsal with the 200 extras, the night before we actually shoot it. So I’m in the space one time, before we do it. It was crazy, but we pulled it off.”

While a musical comedy series doesn’t sound like it would deal with heavy issues, “Zoey” tackles them head on. Peter Gallagher plays Zoey’s dad Mitch, who has a rare neurological disease and dies in the season finale but not before losing the ability to talk. He is based on show creator Austin Winsberg’s father. “I do believe most everybody asked Austin if he would reconsider having Mitch die in the finale, also because Peter Gallagher is so amazing and we’ll miss him, and also the audience loves him,” Levy said. “But Austin stood firm, and this is the story that they set out to tell.”

Levy also weighed in on who’s the better love interest for Zoey — Max or Simon. Hear what she has to say above. You can also find “The Big Ticket” at iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.