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Laura Prepon (left) and Chelsea Handler appear on a 2012 episode of Are You There, Chelsea. - Provided courtesy of NBC / Jordin Althaus

Laura Prepon used vodka to prepare for Chelsea Handler role?

Get more: Chelsea Handler, TV
01/13/2012 by Olivia Allin

Laura Prepon and Chelsea Handler's new NBC sitcom "Are You There, Chelsea" premiered on Wednesday and the actress said that she used vodka to prepare for her role as the talk show host... and it was Handler who provided the spirits.

"I sent her a case of Belvedere to start," Handler told CNN.

Prepon confessed that the case lasted only a week and a half, telling the news site, "All of my friends, they pre-game at my house, and have drinks before we go out. So that was an awesome gift."

The new show is loosely based on the raunchy comedienne's best-selling book, "Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea." Laura Prepon, 31, plays the comedienne, who works as a cocktail waitress at a New Jersey sports bar.

Handler, 36, stars as her real-life older sister, Sloane. She wears a brunette wig to play the character, who is initially pregnant. The series also features "Glee" actress Dot-Marie Jones as a guest star.

"I give birth in the first episode; something I'll never let happen in real life," Handler, who does not actually have any children and has often joked about her love life, said on her Twitter page on Wednesday.

One would imagine that it's harder to portray a real-life character when they're already an executive producer and fellow actor on the series, but Prepon seemed unfazed.

"People ask me if I'm nervous playing Chelsea [because] she's in the scene right next to me, but I've never been nervous or stressed out about it. She lets me do my own take on her," Prepon said. "Chelsea speaks with a certain pattern, and she helped me a lot with the particular way that she speaks, but other than that they let me do my thing."

"Are You There, Chelsea," marks Handler's big network television debut following the success of her talk show "Chelsea Lately," which airs on the E! cable channel and has made her a national star.

"As soon as we all saw Laura, we thought she was perfect. She's very salty, she's very down to earth, and she's very direct, which are three things that I would identify myself with being," Handler told CNN.

Handler told reporters last week that Prepon is the real "star of the show."

"It's a dream come true to have someone else portray me because I've been living this life for a long time, and I'm over myself," Handler said, according to the Associated Press. "It's a pleasure to play my sister because everything I've been accusing her of my whole life, I can now re-enact before her eyes."

Prepon rose to fame portraying Donna Pinciotti on the long-running comedy series "That 70's Show." She has also appeared in films like "Slackers," "Lightning Bug," "Karla" and "The Chosen One."

She has also recently guest-starred on shows like "How I Met Your Mother," "Castle" and "Love Bites."

"Are You There, Chelsea" airs at 8:30 p.m. ET, after "Whitney." The half-hour comedy which stars recurring "Chelsea Lately" comedienne Whitney Cummings, and debuted last fall.

Handler performed stand-up comedy for years before scoring small acting roles, mainly on television, during the past few years. She made a guest appearance on "Whitney" last year.

"Chelsea Lately" debuted in 2007 and was recently renewed for at least two more years.

"I do behave badly and I get paid handsomely for it so I'm happy, happy to do it," Handler said on the CNN show "Piers Morgan Tonight" in November. "It's a really good time to be me."

Check out sneak peek videos for "Are You There, Chelsea?"

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