Jacqueline Toboni and I are talking about times we've pretended to like something for the sake of a significant other.
She laughs after I say mine was salsa dancing. "I don't like watching Sunday football," she says. "I come off as the girl who likes to watch football, but I just don't."
Toboni stars in Easy, the Netflix original series by Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies), where she plays a young queer woman at the start of a new relationship. Her girlfriend (Kiersey Clemons) tries to go vegan to impress her, engaging in a little innocent subterfuge that speaks to anyone, gay or straight, who's had a crush.
The anthology series, which premiered Sept. 22, approaches all the combinations modern love and dating can have--and how acknowledging those combinations can help us connect.
"You have someone from every way of life [in Easy]" Toboni says. "There's something for everyone. Through these earnest connections, you learn to empathize. You realize that, like, maybe this woman you work for is a bitch because she's in a loveless marriage, or something like that."
The 24-year-old actress of Grimm fame worked closely with co-star Clemons and Swanberg to bring a modern same-sex relationship to life.
"There was an effort in not making it an effort," she says. "It's tough for any group to turn on the TV and see stereotypes, but I think it happens with the gay community a lot."
Easy imitates life in both story and production. One scene has Toboni's character canvassing for signatures to build a women's health center. She tells me it wasn't all acting.
"When we were canvassing, [the passersby] didn't know they were being filmed," Toboni says. "I got into a couple of abortion arguments. When people got to the end of the block to sign a release, they were surprised to find out it was fake."
Toboni insists that immersion is a hallmark of how Swanberg approached the series.
"On our last day of filming, Kiersey and I are lying in bed, holding each other, and talking about getting lasered. Joe starts rolling," Toboni says. "We're just talking about our pubic hair, and Joe used it!"
The ease and authenticity of Easy drew in Toboni--and will likely draw in viewers.
"Those moments that make it real," she says, "are because those moments are real."
Easy is streaming online at Netflix.com.