The actress admitted "it was difficult to discuss" the loss of Leslie, who died in a car accident Oct. 24 at the age of 67, in the immediate aftermath of his tragic passing. Now, with some time to heal and reflect, Kyla overflowed with heartfelt admiration for her fallen friend.
"I think of Leslie and I just think of joy," she exclusively told E! News. "I think of happiness. He was absolutely the person that he showed the world that he was. There was not a day where Leslie Jordan had an attitude or was mad about something."
Kyla confirmed that Leslie was "an amazing storyteller," but joked, "I've heard things that I definitely can't repeat." More than work acquaintances, though, Kyla explained that Leslie's bond with the Call Me Kat cast was far deeper—which is being felt as the sitcom attempts to move on without him.
"He didn't really have family out here on the west coast and I like to think of us as a work family," Kyla said. "It's just very, very hard. It's weird to not have him there."
Kyla, who became Kat's (Mayim Bialik) business partner during the current third season of the Fox sitcom, is choosing to remember Leslie in her own way—and one that would almost assuredly tickle Leslie.
"I'm dealing with it by saying, ‘Oh, he's just not here this week!'" she said. "I heard ‘Well, s--t' on so many occasions. Just the things that would come out of his mouth. I'd be like, ‘Leslie, you can't say that!' But actually, he could. Only Leslie Jordan could say certain sentences that anybody else would be arrested for or condemned for."
After all, Kyla knows Leslie wouldn't want her to wallow in his memory, insisting, "In my mind, I can hear him saying, ‘Bitch, you better get it together.'"
When it really comes down to it, Kyla is just grateful for the opportunity to help keep his memory alive, saying, "I'm happy that I'm able to talk about him now."
Call Me Kat airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.