Partners is hours away from making its primetime debut, and McKaley couldn't be more excited. The show focuses on two lawyers who become (you guessed it) partners, but there's one problem: They're complete opposites in an Odd Couple kind of way. "Kelsey Grammer's character is more let's-break-the-rules and Martin Lawrence's is more of a let's-go-by-the-book sort of person," McKaley says. "It's so funny to see their personalities together." And where does McKaley fit in? "I play Lizzie, Kelsey's stepdaughter. I'm sort of bratty and super sarcastic and it is so much fun to play a character who's so out there. She does some pretty crazy things. I love playing someone so different from me! This girl is spoiled and rude and does the meanest things. My fans aren't going to know what to think!"
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Aside from her new show, she's already filming the fourth season of Hart of Dixie, which was recently nominated for a Teen Choice Award for TV Drama. "I was on set just a couple weeks ago and it was the second episode of season four," McKaley says. "Everyone was coming up to me saying they can't believe we were filming the pilot episode when I was 13 years old. The cast and crew have been my second family—I've basically grown up on the set. I could drive to the Warner Brothers lot with my eyes closed."
One of those proverbial family members is co-star Rachel Bilson, who's become a big part of McKaley's life. "Every time I go back to set, Rachel is always asking what drama I'm dealing with, whether it's school, boys, or just all the personal stuff," she says. "She's been like a big sister to me. She's always been so sweet and always looks out for me. Anyone who ever meets her instantly falls in love with her."
Finding out her show is up for a TCA was particularly serendipitous for McKaley, who will be attending Sunday's awards ceremony for the first time this year. "When I saw we were nominated I started jumping up and down," she says. "I'm dying to meet everyone and see everything in person, because I've watched it from my living room every year. I can't wait to be in the audience this time around."
One thing's for sure: Even if she doesn't walk away with a statue—or, rather, a surfboard (coolest trophy ever, if you ask us)—McKaley's still winning the game, one new conquest at a time. Are you excited to watch her in Partners tonight, and to catch her at the TCAs on Sunday? Leave a comment below!
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