In January 2009, Eliza went back and visited her old high school, Plymouth Regional in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and talked to the students about her experiences as an actress. She also gave advice to those who are aspiring to have a career in acting.
In 2009, Eliza was cast in the pilot of No Heroics, the US version of the 2008 British comedy, but the show was not picked up, paving the way for Coupe's promotion to a series regular in the ninth season of Scrubs.
She was first discovered by her manager Kirsten Ames, who is the producer of Aspen's U.S. Comedy Festival, in a workshop in 2004.
Eliza, who plays the recurring character Denise Mahoney on the ABC medical sitcom Scrubs, portrays the same role in the webisode series Scrubs: Interns found on the network's official website.
While in high school, Eliza portrayed Bonnie in the school production of Anything Goes and one of the Mundy sisters in Dancing at Lughnasa.
She is married to puppeteer and artist Randall Whittinghill.
Eliza has natural blonde hair and hazel eyes.
Coupe honed her skills at performing comedy sketches with the Groundlings Theater and Improv Olympics.
She won the Entertainment Weekly Breakout Award in the 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival (USCAF) for the Live Performances category.
In July 2006, she was named as one of the 10 Comics to Watch by Variety.com.
Coupe starred in a one-woman show called The Patriot at the 2006 Aspen Comedy Festival. She also portrayed the role of a soldier in the all-female production of King Lear in 2003.
In 2006, Eliza played Allison in the short film The Day the World Saved Shane Sawyer.
In high school, Eliza used to keep a laminated picture of Justin Timberlake in her wallet and pretended he was her boyfriend.
Eliza: You can't improv off of bad writing. Then you have to actually create your objective, which is really hard to do in an element without the skeleton to go off of.
Eliza: When I did 'Scrubs', we were able to always do one as scripted, and then we got to play a little bit and do some stuff. I thought that was pretty loose, but then coming on 'Happy Endings,' it's even looser.
Eliza: My hands are huge. When I was on 'Scrubs,' Zach Braff used to make fun of them all the time. And now I made some list. I guess Jennifer Garner is on the top of the list for best hands and I'm fourth down. But that's for people who really like an NBA star's hands.
Eliza: My dad actually taught me to box when I was, like, nine years old, because I got picked on at school all of the time. I was on a boys' hockey team, so I would get all of my aggression out there.
Eliza: My older brother always tells me I changed as a person when I saw 'Ace Ventura.' Because when I saw 'Ace Ventura', I became obsessed. I watched the movie as many times as I had to - back then, you couldn't go on the Internet and find the script - so I watched it as many times as I could to write my own script of 'Ace Ventura.'
Eliza: Kids kill a show! It's, like, a fun concept when the character is pregnant, but then if a show runs for a while, I'm sorry, but it gets annoying when it starts to talk. You get a child actor in there, and unless that child actor is freakin' awesome, it's going to be annoying.
Eliza: In college, I went to school for acting; we had to learn phonetics just to be able to do dialects and all that stuff. I'm somebody who does better just hearing it. I'll just imitate it, and I get it better that way. When I know too much information, I'm not great.
Eliza: If you have a strong sense of who you are and what you're doing, then it's actually easier to work with other people, because you don't have to worry about them or yourself. You're just worrying about getting the best product, and all that other stuff is out of the way.
Eliza: If I'm not clear with the character, I can't do anything with it. But once I get that character, the possibilities are endless. When you have such a defined character, I feel like I can actually read the phone book and make it funny.
Eliza: I've been recognized a couple times. I get people staring at me, and I think in their heads they're thinking, 'How do I know her? Did I go to high school with her?' I think it's not registering yet.
Eliza: I'm always working out; I did ice hockey in high school, but I'm not a dance person. I mean, this was horrible, but I had a dance double in my high-school musical.
Eliza: I'd say I'm a pretty intense person. I'm definitely not my Denise character on 'Scrubs,' nor my Jane character on 'Happy Endings,' but I'm a mix of the two. I really feel that I'm kind of every character that I've ever played; it's just a part of me. And I am a bit of a control freak like Jane. I'm very, perhaps, obsessive like that.
Eliza: I would love to do a dramatic comedy. All of that, it all interests me. At some point I want to do my 'Monster,' like Charlize Theron, so I'm buckling up for that.
Eliza: I was very disruptive. I was horrible. I didn't learn like all the other kids. I had to sometimes take my tests out in the hallways because I couldn't focus. But, my teachers would come see me in the plays and were like 'I don't understand how you can focus and be in the moment in a play and you go into math class and you can't focus.'
Eliza: I was trained classically, and that's something that I want to do, but I do want to say that right now it's a good market for female comedians, and I want to explore that right now. I really do want to do dramas and meatier roles, especially film.
Eliza: I was on a show called '12 Miles of Bad Road' with Lily Tomlin - it was an incredible HBO show. We shot 6 episodes, previewed it before the finale of 'The Sopranos' it was written up as a 'Great New Show on HBO,' and then the whole thing was canned. Gone. Disappeared. That's when I realized anything can happen in this business.
Eliza: I used to play the piano by listening to it - like Chopin pieces, when I was, like, a little kid - and then the minute my parents got me lessons to read music, I couldn't do it anymore.
Eliza: I think the writers of 'Community' have moved on from my character. I'm pretty sure. I would love to go back on. I had a really good time and I really liked that character, but I don't think it's going to happen.
Eliza: I made sure that instead of people making fun of me, like every comedian probably says, I made fun of myself first so they would get distracted and just laugh. I was pretty brutally picked on for a while growing up. It was always the really pretty girls, the hot girls and then there was me. So I had to do something to get any sort of attention.
Eliza: I do have a nickname with my family; I'm called Snappy, because I do get to be a bit snippy at times. They call me Snappy Bear. That's from New Hampshire. My dad's called Crazy, my mother's Happy - it's a whole thing.
Eliza: I definitely want to do more movies, and I'm also a writer, so I have a few screenplays that I'm working on, one of them based off my one-woman show that I used to do in New York. Two of the screenplays I've written by myself, and then I'm also working on one with my writing partner, Tom Riley, who's in London.
Eliza: I cannot feel my legs from the waist down any longer. But who cares? I look good and that's all that matters. And when I die of hypothermia for wearing formal shorts in winter, tell them to put that on my tombstone.
Eliza: I don't want anyone to get seriously hurt. But I do watch awards shows to critique the clothes while I sit around eating chips in my sweat pants and in hopes of seeing some hilarious accidental nudity.
Eliza: I was the female lead in a romantic comedy. It's a little indie film that we shot in China called 'America Town,' starring Daniel Henney and Bill Paxton. I actually had to speak Chinese in the film. It was funny because I found out I was doing the film and then a week later, I was in Shanghai.
Eliza: I still have a crush on Johnny Depp, and I literally only started dating my husband because he looked like Johnny Depp - and he knows that. We've been together for twelve years, and he still looks like Johnny Depp.
Eliza: TV is the best. I wish that's how life was.
Eliza: I wish I knew that when I go in for an audition and I don't get the part, it actually doesn't have to do with me on a personal level.
Eliza: I try to be optimistic, but in this business it's so hard. The craziest stuff can happen.
Eliza: When you're walking around in Shanghai, I called it the City of Near Misses, because they do not stop for pedestrians. And the pedestrians do not have the right of way. It's those little things that no one tells you.
Eliza: There's such an odd, eclectic group of people that make up the town of Plymouth, New Hampshire. I don't think I could avoid not coming out of there with a pretty good sense of humor.
Eliza: It's so funny, because when I was growing up in a small town in New Hampshire, I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio - from the Growing Pains/What's Eating Gilbert Grape era, because he was super-hot - and I carried a laminated photo of him in my wallet and said he was my boyfriend. But no one believed me.
Eliza: I'm a kid from New Hampshire who's pretty normal.
Eliza Coupe: (in a 2006 interview) I think the terminology used in this industry is hilarious. I had a meeting the other day, and someone actually said in conversation, 'Cut to next week.' I looked around and was, like, what? Are we in a movie script right now?
Eliza Coupe: (on the characters she wrote for "The Patriot") They're the committee that lives in my head.
Eliza Coupe: (on writing and starring in a one-woman show) I didn't think anyone would probably write a better part for me than me, given the fact a lot of girls are trying to break into the business, so I did it myself.
Eliza Coupe: (advice to students who want to go into acting) Go to workshops. Learn what you can. There's always someone good giving a workshop.
Eliza Coupe: (in a 2006 interview) There are a lot of things -- I'm going to use an industry phrase -- 'in the mix' for me. I've gone out on six auditions in the last two days, and I've gotten callbacks on almost all of them.
Eliza Coupe: (after touring the country for the production of "King Lear") I thought, 'If I hear one more depressing Elizabethan, I'm going to lose it' -- I need to do something funny!