Yolanda isn’t your typical housekeeper. On ABC Family’s new comedy “Young & Hungry,” she’s actually much, much more.
Kym Whitley plays Yolanda, the housekeeper to young entrepreneur genius Josh who gets into a complicated working relationship with Gabi, his new personal chef, after they drunkenly get a little closer with each other than employers generally do with their employees. But according to Whitley, Yolanda plays a bigger role in Josh’s life than just cleaning his apartment.
“Yolanda’s witty, she’s funny, she doesn’t actually clean up a lot. Yolanda is Josh’s housekeeper but she’s really a house executive cleaner,” Whitley tells Zap2it on set. “She wears pearls and doesn’t wear a uniform. She’s the diva of housekeepers, and Yolanda’s relationship with Josh is unique. She’s his housekeeper but she’s really his house mother, his den mother. She’s almost like his mama, and she watches out for Josh’s well-being, especially with crazy Elliot around. She makes sure Elliot doesn’t take advantage of Josh.”
Expect a lot playful headbutting between Elliot and Yolanda as they both try to do what’s best for Josh. “I love my relationship with Rex Lee who plays Elliot,” Whitley says. “Elliot and Yolanda’s relationship is being built up to be nemeses, and I just love it. The things they get into are hilarious.”
So how does Yolanda feel about the new employee in Josh’s apartment, Gabi, especially after her disastrous first night of work? “Yolanda was loose too at her age so she can relate to Gabi,” Whitley says with a laugh. “She also worked her way up all her life, so she relates to Gabi trying to get a job now. Yolanda feels compassion for Gabi and she wants to help her out. I like her, but I also have one eye on her because Josh is my baby. I support her and I care for her, and she’ll probably become another one of my kids.”
Whitley can’t wait for the audience to get to know the characters on the show because of all the different ways of how they all interact with each other. “I’m excited for fans to see how smart the writing is on this show,” Whitley says. “These characters are all different but we’re an ensemble cast and we all move as one. And I have some great one-liners. It makes my job really easy.”
In addition to providing some hilarious moments, Whitley loves how “Young & Hungry” is able to strike a balance between comedy and more serious, heartwarming moments that can teach important lessons to viewers. “People should watch the show because it’s fresh, it’s young, it’s silly and I think that you can laugh while learning lessons,” Whitley says. “Sometimes you take or give someone a job like being a chef and while they might not be the most qualified, they’re the most eager and you can have the most fun with them. And in some situations, you have to learn to let go even if it hurts.”
“Young & Hungry” premieres Wednesday (June 25) at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.