Handler says her older sister, whom she plays on the show, now thinks she's a full-blown celebrity

By Tim Nudd
January 11, 2012 11:30 AM
Credit: FameFlynet

Chelsea Handler’s new sitcom, based on her memoir, is giving everyone involved a bit of a thrill. Chelsea gets to play her older sister. And her older sister gets to feel like a star.

“My sister is living in hog heaven right now,” Handler, 36, said Saturday at a Television Critics Association event in Pasadena, Calif. “The vacations she gets to go on, and she has like a million followers on Facebook.”

But Handler is quick to cut her sibling down to size. “She says, ‘I’m a celebrity!’ I tell her ‘You aren’t anything. It’s all me,’ ” Chelsea jokes.

The sitcom, Are You There, Chelsea?, premieres Wednesday on NBC, and is set a decade ago. Laura Prepon, 31, plays Handler, while Handler plays her older sister Sloane – who is reportedly based on her real sister Simone.

“What I loved was playing against type, so I cast myself as my sister,” Handler says. “[NBC Entertainment chairman] Bob [Greenblatt] wanted me to look sharply different, so I wore a brunette wig. Oh my god. That wig. It has its own sitcom coming out in the fall.”

While Handler admits that “my life is very, very good right now,” she is already looking to the future – and thinks she’d be good at more serious interviewing.

“I would like to do Barbara Walters’s interviews,” she says. “I just interviewed Piers Morgan, which airs next week. I would love to be able to ask real questions and not be expected to get a laugh every time.”