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The Good Place’s Kirby Howell-Baptiste Had to Learn Neuroscience and Master an Australian Accent

October 11, 2018

Though the ever-indecisive Chidi (William Jackson Harper) fell for Eleanor (Kristen Bell) in many of the alternate realities featured on The Good Place, he’s developed feelings for someone else back on Earth in season three: Dr. Simone Garnett, a bubbly, impulsive neurosurgeon played by British actor Kirby Howell-Baptiste.


You might recognize Howell-Baptiste from Barry, or her Killing Eve role as Elena, Sandra Oh’s competent though unlucky-in-love assistant, but on The Good Place she’s adopted an Australian accent and an ability to spew all sorts of scientific jargon. As Simone’s grown to be a key part of The Good Place’s core group, Vulture caught up with Howell-Baptiste to talk about joining the show, adopting an accent, and her own Simone-like impulsive decision to move from London to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.


It’s always fun to see someone new join a show like The Good Place. Were you a fan going into it? 
I was and am a huge fan of the show. I actually said to Mike [Schur] when I booked it, “I’m so excited to be a part of it, but the one bad part now is that I know what happens.”


Was there any sort of initiation?
Well, no. I think the best initiation for anyone coming in to a show is to watch it. Just watching it helped me with my audition because I knew how season two ended. Mike is really, really great about talking to you, so we had conversations once I got it about the character. He’s also really great about that. He’s very available if you want to go and pop into his office.


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