Sometimes, I have to say I really love my job. For the past 23 years, I’ve managed to carve out a career working with celebrities – first as a television publicist and now as a social media connector who gets to introduce some of my favorite stars to my favorite parenting and lifestyle bloggers. So imagine my thrill when I got the chance to invite writers from the west coast and one lucky blogger and her mom from Chicago to attend a private set visit and Q&A with the cast of MOM? Best. Day. Ever.
If you haven’t heard about MOM yet, it’s a brand new comedy produced by Chuck Lorre – the same Emmy award-winning producer who brought viewers the edgy and hilarious comedies “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mike and Molly.” With MOM, Lorre and co-creator Gemma Baker tackle motherhood in a way that no other comedy has done before. Christy, played by one of my family’s favorite comedic actresses Anna Faris, is a recovering alcoholic with a promiscuous 16 year old daughter named Violet (Sadie Calvano) and a nine year old son named Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal). While she struggles to overcome her alcohol addiction and come to terms with the fact that she’s never achieved her true potential, Christy has reluctantly reunited with her own mother, Bonnie, played by the ri-donculously talented Emmy award-winning actress, Allison Janney. Bonnie is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who has finally put the past behind her and is by far, one of the most over confident Cougar moms you will ever see on TV. Take a look…
During the Q&A with Anna, Allison, Sadie Calvano and producer Gemma Baker, they talked about their excitement surrounding the show, whether we’ll see traces of their own moms in their performances and the best advice their moms have ever given them.
Question: Did you bring a little piece of your mom to this show?
Allison: I always try to bring a little bit of my mother to everything because I think that’s my brand of humor. I’m not a comedienne, I can’t tell jokes. When I try to be funny it doesn’t work but when my intention is to do something and I do it commit to it 100 percent then it ends up being funny. And that’s my mother and the things that she cares about and the stakes for her for getting the table settings perfect makes me laugh. And it doesn’t matter if the person doesn’t get a chocolate turkey at Thanksgiving, they can share – she gets so riled up about place settings and flowers and hot towel racks and it just makes me love her because it makes me laugh so I like to bring any color of her to anything I do.
Anna: My mom came into my bedroom two nights ago at 11 o’clock and she’s like, “I found the perfect candelabra. You have to get it.” And I was like, okay (starts typing on computer and enters her credit card information) It was one of those things where I can’t fight it right now, I just have to invest $500 bucks and it’s worth it.
Question: What’s the best advice your mom has given you?
Sadie: When I first started the first thing my mom told me was make sure to remember as many names as possible and to thank the person standing in the corner because it takes everyone to make it possible. And to remember to thank the person who picks up your napkin and it’s just as important to thank them as it is to thank Chuck or Gemma. I think that’s one of the things that helped me the most.
Allison: My mother is incredibly gracious and kind and considerate and polite and listening to other people. Those qualities she gave me are instilled in me and I think they have served me very well in my career. I like to be an actor’s actor – life is too short and it’s wonderful to work with people who are generous and kind and gracious and those are qualities I admire in people and that’s what she taught me.
Gemma: My mom is an incredible woman. She’s a bishop and actually she’s…
Allison: I’m sorry, what?
Gemma: Yes, a girl with a bishop for a mom. So she has given me a lot of wonderful advice. One of the things that was so profound to me was that someone had said to me about my mother. Which is, “‘in this world there are guests and there are hosts and your mother is a host.” That’s something that I’ve always wanted to be like her in that way – generous and giving of herself.
Anna: This is something really specific. I think about it a lot. She used to be really scared of insects, spiders, bugs, whatever. And she got some advice from an older relative , my great aunt or whatever and she witnessed my mom being scared and she said “don’t pass that fear onto your children.” And so she after that, didn’t. So now my brother and I have a fondness for all bugs which kind of freaks people out but I love that idea that she didn’t pass her fear on to us and I love that it’s sort about being brave.
Question: Even though you’re a new mom, does it freak you out to be the parent of teenage daughter and son and what the future could hold in store?
Anna: It totally freaks me out. I can’t imagine being responsible for a 16 year old and a nine year old. It is terrifying. I love though that my character was a child when she had Violet and Bonnie was a child when she had me. So I think that you are forced to grow up really quickly but also, at least in my case, she’s immature in a lot of ways and she’s been a little bit stunted by her experiences.
Question: How excited are you for premiere night…are you worried about the competition?
Gemma: So excited. I have to say the whole process has been like being pregnant. I mean it started and I wasn’t really expecting it and then it was happening. I always wanted to have a show and didn’t know I was going to get that opportunity and it was out in the world and I know it’s coming and it’s about to happen and I am so excited that it’s about to be out there.
Allison: This is like the part where we thing our baby is really pretty so to go out there and we’re worried and we hope that everyone else will think our baby’s pretty too.
Sadie: I first learned this when I was auditioning for Mom. I was sitting next to a good friend of mine who I was sitting next and she was concerned that it was pilot season and she wasn’t booking anything. And someone had just given me this really great piece of advice. Someone told me that you have to just trust in the fact that there’s enough to go around. And that what’s meant for you will come. And I think that when we’re reading these articles about all these other shows, it’s the same thing. You just have to trust in the fact that there’s enough to go around and there are so many TV shows out there and people will resonate with what they resonate with and I have a lot of confidence in our show and I think a lot of people who are involved in it do too and i think that’s going to read. And you have to focus on that instead of all the if’s and’s or could be’s.
MOM premieres Monday, September 23 at 9:30 pm/8:30 c on CBS. Make sure you tune in and join us on twitter too! We’ll be tweeting along with the cast so join the fun by following the handles and hashtags below!
MOM premieres this Monday, September 23 on CBS at 9:30 pm ET/8:30 pm Central.
Anna Faris: @AnnaKFaris
Allison Janney: @AllisonBJanney
Sadie Calvano: @SadieCalvano