"Absolutely, George is charming. He remains charming," Balsam tells PEOPLE of her ex-husband George Clooney.

By Mike Miller
October 05, 2016 03:55 PM

Talia Balsam’s real-life divorce from George Clooney has at least one major difference from the fictional breakup chronicled in her new show, Divorce.

The new HBO comedy tells the story of a crumbling marriage between a fictional couple, played by Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church.

At the show’s premiere in Chelsea, New York on Tuesday, Balsam agreed that Church’s character, Robert DuFresne, is very tough on his onscreen wife.

“Everyone has their flaws in this and that’s what I like about it,” the actress tells PEOPLE.

When asked to compare her own divorce to the one depicted on the show, Balsam said her ex-husband managed the situation more gracefully than Church’s character.

“If you’re trying to compare [George] to Thomas Haden Church’s character, not at all,” she explained. “Absolutely, George is charming. He remains charming. I’ve worked with him.”

CENTURY CITY, CA – JUNE 14: Actor George Clooney and wife Talia Balsam attend the ABC Television Affiliates Party on June 14, 1990 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

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Clooney and Balsam they tied the knot in 1989. They divorced in 1992. “I probably – definitely – wasn’t someone who should have been married at the point,” Clooney later reflected. “I just don’t feel like I gave Talia a fair shot.”

But Balsam, now happily married to actor John Slattery, said her past breakup had little bearing on preparing for the show. “I’m married, very happily married, now,” she says. “I would say divorce, breaking up, being a child of divorce, any of those things are always very challenging. And I think that’s what makes this sort of a universal thing.”

Divorce premieres on HBO Oct. 9.

Reporting by Jeffrey Slonim