Lauren Ash & Hannah Simone Reveal ‘Superstore’ & ‘New Girl’ Alums They Want On ‘Not Dead Yet’ (Exclusive)

'Not Dead Yet' stars Lauren Ash and Hannah Simone reveal the origins of their characters' friendship and the previous co-stars they want to have (and almost did) on the show.

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Lauren Ash and Hannah Simone star in the brand-new ABC series Not Dead Yet. They play Lexi and Sam, newly-found best friends. When Gina Rodriguez’s Nell returns to the mix to restart her life, things get a little complicated. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Lauren and Hannah about the friendship between their characters and more.

Lauren Ash Hannah Simone
Lauren Ash and Hannah Simone star in ‘Not Dead Yet.’ (ABC)

“Sam and Lexi became friends during the pandemic,” Hannah told HollywoodLife during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “Nell had left her. She was a mom. The pandemic hit, and then all of a sudden this person it seems like that Nell and Sam didn’t really like Lexi before… all of a sudden, Lexi is new to Sam.” Hannah noted that Lexi is a “life preserver” for Sam.

Hannah pointed out that Nell’s return and discovery that Sam and Lexi have become best friends is something they will all “have to navigate throughout the season because that’s part of Sam’s deal now.” Lauren added that Lexi’s friendship with Sam is of the “utmost importance” to her.

As for whether or not Lexi and Nell will become friends, Lauren said, “It’s kind of a necessary evil I think she views it as. It’s like, well, I will do anything to maintain my friendship with Sam and if I have to be friends with her too, I guess we’ll get through it somehow… It’s so delicious to get to see the Nell/Lexi stuff happen and them kind of learning more about the other right through to the end of the season.”

Both Lauren and Hannah have previously starred in comedy hits Superstore and New Girl. Hannah revealed that one of her New Girl co-stars was almost going to be in the first season.

“They tried to get Lamorne [Morris] on the show. We were really pushing, pushing to get Lamorne on the show, but he was shooting a different show in Canada and we couldn’t make the schedule work. I’d have anybody from our cast of New Girl on the show. I think it would be super fun and weird,” she said.

Lauren Ash
Lauren Ash as Lexi. (ABC)

Lauren echoed Hannah’s thoughts about having former co-stars pop up on Not Dead Yet. “Obviously, I have a very large soft spot for Mark McKinney. I think that he would probably bring something pretty amazing. If I had to choose, I’d choose Mark,” Lauren told HollywoodLife.

Lauren also noted that Lexi is a “vastly different character” than Superstore’s Dina in “virtually every way.” She added, “Playing someone who was an assistant manager in a Target-type store for so many years I was very excited to just play someone whose complete worldview is different. Her life experience is different. Everything about Lexi was interesting to me because, yes, not only was it fun to wear designer clothes and look fabulous in every episode, but it was the fact that the character was so three-dimensional for me right from the pilot.” Not Dead Yet will air Wednesdays on ABC.