HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Lauren Ash about the perfect, heartfelt ‘Superstore’ finale, a ‘reboot season’ down the road, and more.
Cloud 9 has shut its lights for good, but the Superstore cast (and their characters) will be a family forever. The hit NBC comedy series came to an end on March 25 with a beautiful finale. When it comes to Dina, she became manager of the Cloud 9 distribution center and ended up with Garrett (as did Jonah and Amy), much to fans’ delight.
HollywoodLife got the chance to speak EXCLUSIVELY with Lauren Ash about how Dina’s life ended up. She reflected on her emotional last day on set and where she thinks Dina would be today. Lauren also discussed her determination to have a “reboot season” in the future and her True Crime & Cocktails podcast.
Garrett’s speech absolutely wrecked me. As you heard those words, did you feel that they were reflective of your experience on the show?
Lauren Ash: Absolutely. You know, it’s funny, because they shot his coverage, obviously, but then they wanted to get little inserts of all of us kind of hearing him over the intercom. He wasn’t there for those, so we were hearing the dialogue read by our first AD Mike, who is not an actor and was just kind of reading them. But it was really a testament to the power of those words. I don’t even know if they use a shot of me in that last sequence because I couldn’t pull it together. Like truly, I’m not exaggerating. I couldn’t stop crying because of the double meaning of those words. It was so specific to the characters, but it also was so specific to us and what our experience has been. The fact that this beautiful, amazing show that we’ve all loved being a part of is coming to an end, the duality of that speech, even with Mike reading it, still affected me that deeply.
What was your last day on set like?
Lauren Ash: It was really hard. I mean, it was fun, obviously. We had a ball, and we were all kind of hanging out. I actually had to run home at one point. We shot for 12 days straight to shoot the last two episodes with no break. Because of that, I had an engagement that I had to do for my podcast, so I had to run home partway through the day and do that engagement, and then run back because I don’t trust the Wi-Fi on the lot. Anyway, it was frantic, chaotic, and long, but it was lovely being with everyone. They did schedule it so that the last end of the day was that scene in electronics where we’re watching the interview videos. That was the very last thing that we shot of the whole series, which was super fun because those videos were playing for us in real-time. So it was fun to get to see Garrett with hair, see Dina and her retainer… It was overwhelming. And the thing that I remember the most was like, and then it was just over if that makes sense. With the COVID of it all and everything, like, it just ended. I don’t know what I expected it to feel like or what I expected it to be, but it was a very kind of surreal, kind of somber almost moment for me. Not being able to have a wrap party as we traditionally would. For a lot of this season, we haven’t even seen our crew that we’ve had for years. We can’t get within six feet of them and they’re behind masks, which is, of course, important and great and kept us safe, which we’re so proud of, but it was just a really bizarre, surreal experience at the end of the day.
Dina and Garrett are officially endgame, as we see in that flash-forward. Did you always have a feeling those two would end up together in the end?
Lauren Ash: It kind of went back and forth for me a little bit over time. Obviously, with the birds incident, I was curious to see if they can come back from this. But I knew that going into this season, there had been talk about eventually — and this was before we knew that season 6 would be our last — what if the endgame is Garrett and Dina getting together. I started to really get on board with that idea, and I actually really love how that story played out during the season. I think the moment for me, and this is so bizarre, but the moment in the episode with the holiday party that we did this season where Dina accidentally gets high… She says to Cheyenne that her boyfriend Brian is calling. And she’s like, oh, I can’t tell Brian I’m high. I don’t want him to know. And then the second she sees Garrett, she’s like, I want to tell Garrett everything. Watching that episode at home when it aired, I started to tear up. It was because I thought it was such a real moment that Dina doesn’t even realize at that point. That’s her person. She wants to tell him everything. She doesn’t think he’s going to judge her. She just wants to share everything with him. I thought that was realistic to them, and also very realistic to life. That’s something that a lot of people experience where you have your best buddy and, over time, you realize maybe this is my person. I thought that was a really cool way of tracking it. I was just really passionate that we got to address it in the finale. That was one of the things that I definitely had talked to our producers about. We had to make sure it’s clear that they’re together. We’ve been going down that path. We’ve got to make sure that we wrap that up, at least in some way. I’m glad that we got to do that for sure.
We do see how everyone ends up. If you could visualize it, what do you think Dina is up to today?
Lauren Ash: I think the cool thing about the show and about the characters is that I think we represent a real kind of cross-section where there are people like Jonah, who are destined to become city councilors, etc. There are people like Amy who are destined to kind of work their way up the corporate ladder and have this amazing journey into that kind of world. But I think Dina is somebody who I think is still working as the manager at the distribution center. I think she really loves that job. She and Garrett go and play laser tag on the weekends. I think she probably got another bird or two by now, and he begrudgingly says he hates the bird, but he actually really likes the bird. I think that she is someone who lives a very normal life. I don’t think that it’s a negative that she maybe doesn’t have a bigger goal, you know what I mean? I think there’s something interesting about that. It’s rare that we get to see those characters or those kinds of stories portrayed where it’s like she continued working that job and living in that town. That’s their life. Maybe they get married and have kids down the road. I could see them totally doing that. But I don’t know that there is a greater journey for her. I think that the 6 years we saw were a huge journey for her internally, and that was kind of more about what her experience in life has been about. It’s about self-discovery rather than having a large career path or wanting something more if that makes sense.
We live in an era of reboots and revivals. Would you be down to come back to the character of Dina at some point?
Lauren Ash: Listen, from the very beginning of this show, I said the pilot’s getting picked up and this show is going to run for 7 seasons. I have always been steadfast in that. Now we did 6 seasons, and what that suggests to me is that we’re going to have to do a reboot season because I refuse to be wrong. Obviously, these characters have resonated with people around the world. We have fans of the show, especially now that the show has gone on to Netflix, in so many places internationally. So many people everywhere have responded to these characters and loved these characters so much. I think that’s really a testament to the show and to the cast, and it would be a joy. I don’t think that shows like this come around that often. For an actor, I think the stars align, and you get maybe a couple of really cool ones in a career. So I absolutely would jump at the chance to play Dina again 100 percent. I need that reboot season so that my prediction comes true.
On another note, you have your podcast True Crime & Cocktails. You and your cousin, Christy Oxborrow, have talked about so many unsolved crimes. Is there still an unsolved crime that you definitely have your eye on to explore in a podcast?
Lauren Ash: That’s both the exciting and truly tragic part of doing this podcast is we realize that we can go forever. We’ll never run out of things to talk about, which is, again, very sad. It’s interesting because the two cases that we have gotten requests for more than any other cases from the very beginning of when we started this were JonBenet Ramsey and Madeleine McCann. Those are the two that have resonated with people for decades. Those are the two that people want. And I’m like, you want to hear another take on these cases? And people are saying yes. Madeleine McCann we have coming up March 30, which I’m really excited about because there actually has been new information in that case that has just come out within the past couple of months. It’s just great. It’s been such a joy doing the podcast. I have so much fun doing it with my sister-cousin Christy Oxborrow, who’s amazing. She’s such an amazing researcher. She blows my mind every week. But the sky’s the limit. We just keep thinking about what are different things we could possibly talk about? What are different cases? Are there different directions we want to take it? I also happen to have a very odd amount of knowledge about serial killers. When we did our Elisa Lam episode about the Cecil Hotel, I had to talk about Richard Ramirez because he stayed there. We’re kind of open to anything. Who knows where the path will take us. We’re just excited. It’s been really going so well, and people have really responded to Christy and how great she is with the research and how fun our dynamic is. It’s been really fun. Getting to connect with a whole new world of people has been awesome.