Ordinary Joe Stars Reveal What It's Like Acting in 3 Parallel Timelines

Co-stars Elizabeth Lail and Natalie Martinez reveal what makes NBC's new drama Ordinary Joe so special and if they have trouble keeping the multiple storylines straight on set.

By Brett Malec Sep 20, 2021 7:00 PMTags
Watch: "Ordinary Joe" Stars Elizabeth Lail & Natalie Martinez Spill

Ordinary Joe is not your ordinary TV show.

NBC's new drama, which premieres tonight at 10 p.m., will take viewers on a journey through three different realities after Joe Kimbreau (James Wolk) makes three very different decisions that forever affect the course of his life, including his relationships, careers and family.

Ordinary Joe co-stars Elizabeth Lail and Natalie Martinez, who both play Wolk's love interests in different storylines, opened up to E! News exclusively about what attracted them to the fascinating new series.

"For me, what initially drew me, I was really there for the stories, the struggle. I'm always attracted to struggle, I don't know what that says about me," Lail revealed. "But I like feeling like these are real people dealing with real issues, whether it be fertility or divorce or career vs. family balance. The relationships were just so full and well-written."

Martinez added, "The fact of having to play the same person but in three different lives and to see those roads not taken kind of pan out. I think that was really interesting."

2021 TV Premiere Dates

Martinez admits it's "sometimes a little challenging" keeping track of the three storylines while acting on set, given their characters' realities differ depending on which storyline they are in.

"You know we'll be on set and I'm like, ‘Wait, when was the last time we saw each other?' And I'll have to remember like, ‘You're not my husband on this. You are my husband on this,'" Martinez laughed. "'Are we kissing? Do we get along right now?'"

Parrish Lewis/NBC

Martinez continued, "It's kind of really funny. Some worlds you have to track it to make sure you're telling the proper story."

So which of their characters do the co-stars think is better suited as Joe's love interest?

Parrish Lewis/NBC

Lail shared, "I could try to make a case but I feel like that would be a disservice to the story because inside of the show it's like no choice is correct, and that's the thing we have to realize as mankind. We're going to make all of these choices that are going to define our lives and you could have had one great love over here and you probably could have had another great love over here. So I think Jenny is for him in their time and that Amy is for him in another time. They are so different, they are such different relationships."

Martinez promises that when fans are watching each storyline, you'll root for each "life to be good, and you'll hope they'll overcome whatever troubles they're having." "Within each life there's no wrong decision,' she shared.

Watch our interview with Lail and Martinez above to hear them reveal the most life-changing decisions they've ever made. Ordinary Joe premieres tonight, Sept. 20 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family)

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