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In “The Grinder,” the FOX sitcom recently picked up for a full season, Natalie Morales plays a lawyer – a role she once wanted to play in real life.
The 30-year-old Florida native told Fox News Latino she ended up in front of the cameras almost by accident, since her dream had always been to attend law school.
At one point, she said, she thought it would become true. She applied to a magnet school and was told she got a spot via lottery, but later found out that it was all a mistake.
“When we got the mail for the school it said ‘Natalia Morales,’ so I called to let them know [of the misspelling] and they said I had not been accepted and a Natalia Morales had,” she recalled.
Eventually Morales went to a local school in Miami and ended up in the drama class only because photography was full by the time she signed up.
Fast-forward more than 15 years, and Morales is getting to file lawsuits and walk the courtrooms alongside Rob Lowe and Fred Savage.
The show, recently nominated for a People’s Choice Award, follows the joys and tribulations of actor Dean Sanderson (Lowe), who is at a crossroads after his long-running TV show – in which he played a lawyer – is cancelled.
He returns to his hometown in Idaho and believes he can be a real-life lawyer alongside his brother Stewart (Fred Savage), who is a real attorney.
“It’s an absurd show with an amazing cast. There has never been a show with a premise like this,” said Morales, who plays firm associate Claire Lacoste and does not find Dean’s romantic advances appealing.
“It’s awesome to reject Rob Lowe [on TV],” she jokingly told FNL. “It’s a lot of fun knowing my character could care less who he is and what he did.”
Morales, who is of Cuban descent, said it was a huge relief to find out the show will go on because the cast has had a lot of fun getting with these characters.
“It’s kind of mind-blowing [to work with this cast] and see these people do fantastic stuff,” she said. “We are doing something different.”
"The Grinder" returns tonight for its winter finale.