Andie MacDowell only popped up via Skype chats during most of the first two episodes of ABC Family’s newest series, “Jane By Design.” Her accessories designer Gray Chandler Murray was busy traveling the world for her job — which is probably why she managed to mistakenly hire 16-year-old Jane Quimby (Erica Dasher) as her new assistant.
But at the end of episode 2, Gray made her way back to New York City for her first face-to-face meeting with Jane. According to Dasher, the most beneficial thing to come out of that encounter was the fact that Gray now knows Jane’s name.
“It’s a little bit of encouragement and motivation to keep doing a good job,” Dasher jokes to Zap2it. Gray’s presence really “stirs things up. India realizes that [Jane’s] not stepping out of the way, and everyone has to step their game up when Gray’s in the office.”
Both Jane and Gray are enjoying fighting their shared enemy, up-and-coming designer India. “That’s definitely the first thing they bond over,” Dasher says. “It’s nice to have a common enemy.”
In real life, Dasher and MacDowell love hanging out with actress India de Beaufort. “The girl that plays India is amazing,” MacDowell says. “I had a hard time liking her, which is really weird, because she plays the character so well!”
Though the most obvious template for Gray’s character is Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestley from “The Devil Wears Prada,” MacDowell says that she’s actually an amalgam of many different people.
“She’s no-nonsense. She doesn’t have time to waste,” MacDowell says. “Her job is the most important part of her life — she has no private life — and she expects that of everybody else. It’s really comic timing and it’s totally made up. I don’t really know anybody exactly like that. Maybe bits and pieces I might steal from real life.”
We didn’t get to talk about Jane’s love interests during our chat, but we asked the stars at ABC Family’s Television Critics Association press tour panel on Jan. 9 about whether Jane’s relationship with BFF Billy could turn into something more.
According to creator April Blair, the answer is yes — but in the far future. “In my heart, they’re meant to be together,” she says. “I don’t know what the path is to get them there, but that’s what I feel. We haven’t really plotted it out.”
Nicholas Roux, who plays Billy, says the option is always going to be there simply because the pals are so close. “Jane and Billy love each other. So you never know what that love is going to turn into.”