The untold truth of Beth Behrs

Beth Behrs entertained us for six glorious seasons as 2 Broke Girls' rich-girl-turned-poor Caroline Channing, opposite real life BFF Kat Dennings, but there's much more to her than just her career. The actress and trained singer (a lifelong Broadway wannabe) is also known for being a fitness advocate thanks to her health and lifestyle book. However, you'll be surprised to learn she isn't a natural in the kitchen, having only just learned to cook in the past few years.

For Behrs, self care comes first, and she strives to spread that message to other women through her book, and through her work with not-for-profit organization SheHerdPower. As a long-time sufferer of panic attacks, Behrs is passionate about helping others who are struggling. Via SheHerdPower, she advocates for female survivors of sexual assault, utilizing equine therapy to help sufferers regain control of their lives. 

Caroline Channing is just chapter one of a long and fascinating story. This is the untold truth of Beth Behrs. 

A "mortifying" rash scared her into getting healthy

Behrs is the epitome of healthy living, but that wasn't always the case. When she landed her big break as an actress on 2 Broke Girls, she was an actual, real-life broke girl. As a result, Behrs found herself snacking on unhealthy foods and not taking proper care of her body. "I was eating all the junk food they kept on set," she told Self back in 2017.

The change came not from her paychecks, but a skin rash that lasted over six months, causing Behrs to have to cover up almost her entire body on red carpets and at public appearances. The doctors told her it had happened as a result of stress, bad diet, and a lack of exercise. 

She confessed to Yahoo! Lifestyle that her "mortifying" rash was more than likely related to her "go-to breakfast [of] two sugar doughnuts," while she as also "eating mac and cheese from the box" for dinner. Behrs learned to change her diet, incorporate exercise, and get fit, healthy and happy. Soon, her skin followed suit.

She's best friends with Kat Dennings for real

Although 2 Broke Girls might not be everyone's cup of tea, we're confident no one would deny how believable the central friendship between Behrs' Caroline and Dennings' Max is on the show. As it turns out, the two actresses didn't have to force their chemistry. "From the moment I met Kat, it was like instant friendship," Behrs told Backstage

The feeling is clearly mutual as, in a joint interview with ET, the two BFFs gushed at length about each other. "Beth and I genuinely love each other and are best friends in real life, and that probably reads," said Dennings, when asked about the show's appeal. Behrs concurred, telling the outlet, "Kat and I are really great friends and I think you can see that chemistry onscreen." When Behrs got engaged, Dennings was one of the first people to congratulate her publicly. She was also, naturally, a shoo-in for bridesmaid.

She suffers from panic attacks

Behrs is open about the fact that she has suffered with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks most of her life — and it got worse when she landed her dream role on 2 Broke Girls. Through much trial and error, the condition no longer rules her life — she has discovered some tools have helped her counteract the effects.

Namely, she practices transcendental meditation regularly — particularly on days when eating super-healthy or getting to the gym for a sweat-sesh isn't possible. "I notice a massive difference in how my whole day goes if I don't do it," the self-described Type-A personality told Self. The 2 Broke Girls star is also a keen horse-rider and practices equine therapy twice weekly to assuage her panic attacks, crediting doing so with helping her to ground herself "when I feel panicky."

Behrs practices what she preaches: This is the same method utilized by her non-profit organization to help female survivors of sexual assault. More on this next.

She's a voice for female survivors

2 Broke Girls is a defiantly female-focused show, with Behrs and Kat Dennings in the leading, titular roles, and iconic female comedian Whitney Cummings working behind the scenes as a producer. But Behrs isn't simply a voice for change — the proud feminist took action, co-founding the non-profit organization SheHerdPower, which organizes free equine-guided empowerment weekends for survivors of sexual assault.

The origin story of the charity began with Behrs' debilitating panic attacks on the set of 2 Broke Girls. Cummings referred her to Cassandra Ogier, who provides equine therapy. Behrs found the therapy incredibly helpful, and the two became friends. It turns out that Ogier is a survivor of child sexual abuse, a subject Behrs feels strongly about given that one of her close friends was sexually assaulted, and she witnessed her struggle to get back to normal in the wake of the assault. Through Ogier and Behrs' joint commitment to the cause, the two founded SheHerdPower together.

"Women work out how to be clear, direct and confident, as well as learn tools to become grounded and in tune with their bodies, distinct from the mind. They learn to set boundaries and step into authentic leadership," Behrs explained to The New Potato in an interview.

She was working three jobs before 2 Broke Girls

Beth Behrs was an unknown entity prior to landing 2 Broke Girls, with the star-making role of Caroline Channing instantly propelling her to well-deserved international fame. Prior to bagging it, she had just two small acting jobs on her resume. And, right up to when they shot the pilot for the show, the actress was still working her day job. Or rather, day jobs.

"I was working as a nanny five days a week and then as a bartender and concierge at The Geffen Playhouse on the weekends," she revealed in an interview with Popsugar. Behrs credits this packed schedule with helping her get in touch with the role, telling the site, "I can definitely relate to being broke, right out of college and working tons of odd jobs to just pay the rent." What she struggled with, though, was portraying a rich kid who had never worked a day in her life. 

She's really good at knitting

A multi-talented singer, actress, comedian, and athlete like Behrs, whose Type-A personality means she can hardly sit still on a good day, is likely to have multiple hidden talents. And, indeed, she does! She's revealed in various interviews over the years that, in addition to being a self-confessed (and very proud) workout addict, Behrs loves cooking, playing tennis, and generally keeping as active as possible.

When not pretending to run lines with co-star Dennings on-set so the two can have a proper chat, Behrs tries to unwind by, among other things, knitting. As she revealed in a between-takes interview with Good Housekeeping, it was an activity Behrs learned from an unlikely source. "I learned to knit [on set] from [costars] Kat [Dennings] and Sally Field, so my knitting skills, thanks to them, are getting really good!" she trilled. Anything to keep an anxious mind calm.    

She learned about the value of money from her parents

As a genuine broke girl, Behrs didn't have to try too hard to get into the 2 Broke Girls spirit on the hit show. Unlike her riches-to-rags character, Caroline, however, she didn't come from wealth. "My parents both work in education — my mom's a teacher and my dad's a headmaster of a private school," she told Pop Sugar of her humble upbringing in small-town Virginia. 

As a result of her super-normal family, Behrs was taught the value of money from a young age, explaining how her parents gave her a weekly allowance and that once it was gone, it was gone. They instilled in her the value of saving, of planning ahead, and of counting her blessings. As a result, the actress still finds it difficult to spend money, confessing Dennings had to convince her to splurge on a pair of designer shoes even now she's a big TV star.

She's all about self care

After learning how to get fit and healthy, Behrs turned her attention to other women, realizing she could help them through her own experience. The actress wrote a book, entitled The Total ME-Tox, loaded with recipes and advice. The tome encourages readers to take it easy, making changes gradually, as she did. They can start off incorporating short walks into their daily routine, or swapping out sweets for fruit when sugar cravings hit.

The main message, however, isn't about weight loss. Behrs teaches self care above all else. "As I've started to make self-care a priority in my life, I've noticed a massive shift in my happiness and my overall state of well-being. I wrote The Total ME-Tox in the hopes that it will empower women to be authentic and the best version of themselves, without striving for perfection. I wanted to bring it back to what TRULY matters: loving yourself, serving others and enjoying the journey," she explained to Her Campus.

She co-created a YA web comic

A woman as multi-talented as Behrs couldn't possibly allow herself to get bored, so the revelation that she was instrumental in the creation of a web comic should come as no surprise. Behrs co-created Dents, a dystopian, young adult web comic exploring themes of sexuality, feminism, and environmental issues, with friend and Broadway vet Matt Doyle.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Behrs explained that she and Doyle discussed the idea over dinner years beforehand, but she thought of it in terms of TV show or movie. Years later, she got into comics, and soon after an opportunity presented itself, so they jumped at the chance. Although she found it a challenge, Behrs relished the opportunity to work in a new medium, and to include issues both she and Doyle care deeply about.

"Matt and I … are both very passionate about the outdoors. … The series includes elements of climate change, which was really important for us. We wanted to include sociopolitical elements into it, too," she explained of the comic's real-world focus. 

She only just learned how to cook

Although Behrs is a super-healthy eater and an exercise fanatic, the one thing she's still learning about is cooking. In fact, she joked in an interview with People that she didn't even know where to locate kale in the supermarket before she met her partner Michael Gladis, let alone how to cook. 

She explained that he has opened her eyes to the world of delicious cooking. "We cook together. He actually has taught me about cooking," she admitted, revealing one of the couple's favorite activities is to create a healthy meal together from scratch.

Behrs also credits cooking with helping keep her mind at ease, comparing it to meditation. "In cooking you're allowing your mind to just focus on the task at hand, and you're able to escape and put your mind at rest," she explained in an interview with Self. Well, she is all about self care.