(CBS Local)– Chicago native Suzy Nakamura has created a lane for herself as one of the best character actors in Hollywood.

Nakamura grew up in Chicago, went to Columbia College, and was the first Asian-American woman to join The Second City in the early 1990s. Today, Nakamura is one of the stars of the new HBO series “Avenue 5” with Hugh Laurie, Josh Gad, and Zach Woods and credits her time in Chicago for her professional success.

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“The dream of the character actor is to do as many characters as you can,” said Nakamura in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I love that I get to do so many different things. This show is not science fiction, but it is set in an unreal world. That is different. It’s a dream job because of the people.”


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The Second City native has been in shows like “The West Wing,” “Veep,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and movies such as “Dodgeball.” Nakamura will never forget what Curb looked like before it became a huge hit with Larry David and Chicago native Jeff Garland.

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“I knew Jeff Garlin from The Second City and he basically said do this and I trusted him,” said Nakamura. “I showed up at 11pm at some abandoned office in Century City. I wore my own clothes and did my own makeup. I didn’t really know what I was playing. The scenes I did were revealing something to Larry and we revealed it to him for the first time because they wanted his genuine reaction. That was really fun and HBO loved it so much that they made it into a series. I got to come back as a different character. This character wore glasses.”