Alex Borstein loves nursing role on ‘Getting On’

Alex Borstein portrays Nurse Dawn on HBO’s Getting On.”
Alex Borstein portrays Nurse Dawn on HBO’s Getting On.” HBO

Alex Borstein has been working steadily since she made her professional acting debut in the early 1990s as part of the “Power Rangers” franchise. Since then, the Chicago native has done a variety of work, from the sketch comedy of “MADtv” to the voice of Lois on “Family Guy.”

She calls her current role in HBO’s dark comedy “Getting On” one of the most “true, three-dimensional, flawed roles” she will ever get.

In the series, which also stars Laurie Metcalf and Niecy Nash, Borstein plays Dawn Forchette, a member of the dysfunctional hospital staff caring for their elderly patients under less-than-ideal circumstances. Dawn knows how to do her job, she just keeps getting sidetracked by a demanding boss and a mixed up personal life.

“Getting On: The Complete Second Season” will be released on Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD on Tuesday, Nov. 3. That is just days before the third, and final, season launches Nov. 8 on HBO.

Borstein says the reason the show connects is because it is steeped in so much reality.

“We could easily define life as a dark comedy because our lives are filled with dark moments and comedy. We are all going to die. This show wants us to look behind the curtain and stare at that reality,” she says.

She credits Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan for creating such a complicated character. They are the stars and creators of the British version on which the HBO series is based. Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer created the American version of the show.

They saw something in me that I could play Dawn, who is nuts. I don’t know if I should be offended or delighted.

Alex Borstein on her “Getting On” character Dawn Forchette

There hasn’t been a lot of time to discuss the decision with the show’s creators. Each episode is filmed in three days, two days less than the average sitcom schedule.

Borstein calls working on the series like going to “boot camp” because everyone has to come to the set ready to work and be ready while the cameras roll.

“It’s my favorite way to work. It’s a lot like doing a small play every episode,” Borstein says.

The show has a short schedule, with each episode is filmed in three days, which allows Borstein to continue working on the animated series “Family Guy.”

She loves voice work and the way “Family Guy” is written because it makes her feel like she’s doing the kind of sketch comedy that she did in “MADtv.”

“It’s all about what I can do to get up and perform as quickly as possible,” Borstein says. “Whether it is writing my own material or this series, I just want to perform.”

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1