Hot Momma: Megan Mullally talks Motherhood

ABC's new show In the Motherhood stars fan favorite Megan Mullally, best known for her role in Will & Grace as the sassy, capricious Karen Walker. We talked to Megan about her new role, the highs and lows of motherhood (or just playing one on TV), and working with co-stars Horatio Sanz and Cheryl Hines. The bottom line: this show isn’t just for mothers. What can viewers expect to see in In The Motherhood?

Megan Mullally: I think the main thing about this show, it's actually going to be really funny and the more episodes we've been shooting, it's just getting funnier and funnier and we're laughing a lot on the set and the crew is laughing, and that's always a good sign. That's the best.

Megan Mullally: Yeah, it really is fun and we've got this great, great cast, you know? It's just the luck of the draw, you never know with these things. But, everybody's got really great chemistry and everybody is really good and really funny.

Even though the show is called In The Motherhood and it's ostensibly about women and mothers and motherhood and children and this and that, I think what it's really going to come down to is the comedy and the universality of it. Because I think it's more about friends and friendship and things--so in other words, it has more of a universal appeal. I mean, I think that was the thing with Will & Grace too, that it wasn't just a show that gay people only would like. It was a show really about friendships and relationships and more universal themes. There have been a lot of family shows in the past that have been really popular, but this show is a lot different from those because it doesn't end with those faux warm and fuzzy feelings at the end. It's much more real.

Megan Mullally: Yeah, it's not a saccharine thing, you know, it's not all prissy and goody two shoes. I know it's based on a Web series, are you going to keep using real life experiences as the show continues on?

Megan Mullally: My character didn't exist in the Web series. There are two females creators of the show and one of them has two young children, just like Cheryl's character has, and Cheryl has a five-year-old daughter in real life. I don't have children myself, but almost all of my friends have young children right now and a lot of them have newborns.

And I'm hearing tons of stories every which where I turn, so there are a lot of things based on real stories. What sort of mother is Rosemary, your character?

Megan Mullally: Oh, just, you know, a train wreck. She doesn't exhibit any visible parenting ability, I don't think. There are no discernible parenting skills there, but her son has somehow turned out really great anyway and the two of them together are more like—it's more like two fifteen-year-olds sparring than a grownup and a child. So, we know that the show deals with the highs and lows of motherhood, but can you talk to me a little bit about what other sort of issues the show might start to address? Are there going to be, you know, relationship or romance issues? And, I know Horatio is the nanny, but I'm interested if anybody's going to start a relationship with him at any point.

Megan Mullally: Yeah, my character is supposed to be fun buddies with Horatio. I think there's a line somewhere in one of the episodes that they do it--she does it with him four times a year as a goof. [laughs] And Cheryl has a love interest going on with this really, really great actor, Ken Marino, very appealing actor. He plays a character called Shep and they work in the office together and she is trying to date him, even though her life is sort of prohibiting her from having a leisurely romance with anybody. But, she's trying. It seems like each three of the women are very different. Can you tell us a little bit about them?

Megan Mullally: Just starting with the three of us, me and Cheryl and Jessica St. Clair, we're really different from each other, but we're super compatible at the same time. There's really great chemistry. So, we're all bringing something different, but I think everybody's really funny.

I think Cheryl is more grounded, so she's kind of the eye of the hurricane, you know, she's so real. Cheryl is so believable and real that her comedy is so elegant. And, then Jessica is also hilarious, but totally different from Cheryl. She's kind of like the perfect mother and the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, and my character is just like this bad-ass, doesn't care what anybody thinks, sort of straight shooter, you know. Every clip I've seen, every character is funny in totally different ways.

Megan Mullally: Totally different ways--and Horatio is so funny. Horatio is so real. There's something so sweet and vulnerable about him. There are a lot of set crushes on Horatio. Horatio is the stud of the set, I have to say. You would never know.

Megan Mullally: He's the Casanova on set, that is good to know. Well, he's such a funny—he's a funny guy, you know, everyone likes a funny guy. So, we all know you from Will & Grace. I know Rosemary is a very different character from Karen, can you just talk a little bit about how they're different or how they're similar?

Megan Mullally: Well, gosh, they're very, very different in terms of the physical part of it. My whole look is totally different, but also my whole body language and my demeanor, my voice, my attitude, that's all totally different. But a thing that I really love to play in a character, in a comedic character, is a child-like quality. Like, retaining a feeling of joy and child-like abandon and I think this character has that too. That she wants to have fun and she also there's definitely an inappropriateness that they would share. But, it's an unconscious inappropriateness. So that's the main shared trait, but it's a comedy staple. Thank you so much for talking with us Megan!

Megan Mullally: Thank you!

In the Motherhood makes its series premiere tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC. Check out some video clips!

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