Zoe Lister-Jones has been thinking long and hard about Beyoncé. “If I looked like Beyoncé, I’d probablybe wearing a thong right now,” she muses, doing her best to make a dent in a heaping plate of steamed greens at Hugo’s, an organic restaurant in Los Angeles. Bey’s booty is just one of the things on her mind: The actress also pontificates on food politics, gender dynamics, Instagram addiction and how “everyone is hypercommunicative and can’t get through a moment without texting someone, ‘I farted.’” 

A native of Brooklyn, the writer and actress attended Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she met her husband, Daryl Wein. Her first major project was a one-woman show called Codependence Isa Four Letter Word, and she co-wrote and starred in Breaking Upwards, an autobiographical film abouther open relationship with Wein that premiered at SXSW in 2009. Lister-Jones and Wein moved to Los Angeles full-time two years ago, when she landed a role in the NBC show Whitney. Multicamera sitcoms might seem an unlikely home for an actress with serious training and indie roots, but then Lister-Jones never thought she’d be an Angeleno, either. “On a daily basis, I’m like, ‘Who am I becoming? Do I like this person? I think I do.’”

She looks down at her lunch and sighs. “There are so many greens on my plate. I’m overwhelmed. This is the most L.A. plate ever.”Lister-Jones’s new projects require a bit of making out with strangers, and she admits that she’s kind of excited about that prospect. On Friends With Better Lives, an ensemble CBS sitcom that also stars Kevin Connolly, James Van Der Beek, Majandra Delfino, and Brooklyn Decker, Lister-Jones plays Kate, the last single woman standing within her social circle. “She’s a foulmouthed bitch, and she’s really on the prowl—so I get to fake-bone a bunch of dudes every episode,” says Lister-Jones. “And I’m really a people pleaser, so it’s nice to play a character who says whatever she wants."