Beth Hall – Mom
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) “Mom” is the most recent project. I’ve been doing it pretty much every week so it’s been hard to do anything else.
Q) What is in store this season on “Mom?”
A) Ellen Burstyn guest stars this season as Shirley. Also, Octavia Spencer will be back for an episode, which is going to be a really fun one. She plays Regina, who was on last season as well. Christy (Anna Faris) and Bonnie (Allison Janney) are back dating and the story will follow them as they go out with men. The rest of the cast supports them and there is a lot of fun stuff ahead. As far as my character, I’m trying to find a man. Wendy is trying to find a man and not having too much success. She’ll keep on trying. She is mainly there for Bonnie and Christy. So far, we haven’t heard too much of Wendy’s problems, but just that she is single and would like to be with someone.
Q) In what ways do you relate to your character?
A) She is a crier and I am a crier. I can relate to that. When the character started out, she was called “Weeping Wendy.” So, she cried a lot! I don’t cry as much this season so that is good. Also, she likes to please people and I think that’s the same way I am. I want everyone to like me and I think she wants people to like her.
Q) Is comedic timing something that comes natural to you?
A) I think comedic timing is natural for most people who are in comedy. That’s kind of something that is hard to learn, the timing. You hone your skills with different kinds of projects. I do a lot of sketch comedy, which is a little different than a play that is a comedy or even a TV show that is a comedy. I think people who are in comedy who have really good comedic timing it does pretty much come naturally for them. I once had a boyfriend tell me, “Your life is one big straight line, isn’t it?” Everyone gives me a straight line and I have to make a joke.
Q) Anna and Allison have great chemistry. Talk about where that bond between them stems from.
A) I came on the show in the middle of last season so they were already clicking. They just really like each other and I think that helps. All of the women like each other, get along and support each other personally. That’s going to come through on the show, us supporting each other as characters. Allison and Anna genuinely care for each other and like each other. It shows with how they work together.
Q) Was there anything you added to your role that wasn’t scripted for you?
A) You always give a bit of yourself in a character. Chuck Lorre said to me one time, “You’ve really created quite a character for yourself.” A lot of it is in the writing though. As far as lines, we don’t deviate because the writing is so good. But, you are always giving a little piece of yourself to the character.
Q) What is the process for filming the show?
A We rehearse Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and we shoot the scenes that might be too difficult to film in front of a live audience (on location or complicated scenes) and Friday we shoot the remaining scenes in front of a live audience.
Q) What is like for you filming in front of a live audience?
A) I’m from the theater so I love it. It’s like a combination of doing a play and shooting a television show or film. So, I get the best of both world and I really love that. I enjoy performing in front of a live audience. You see where the laughs are and I really enjoy it. It’s not quite like a play though because we do multiple takes. So, it’s not quite like theater though in that respect. You do get the energy and immediate feedback from the audience, which is wonderful.
Q) You are a part of social media. Do you enjoy the fan feedback you receive?
A) It’s pretty fun. As my character is on more and more and is building more and more, people are saying they like the character and the show. It’s pretty exciting! I’m enjoying it.
Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure we share with fans about your show “Mom?”
A) What is wonderful about our show is the mixture of comedy and the pathos, where we are dealing with serious topics (alcohol abuse, drug addiction, fighting that and staying sober). The writers walk that line in such an incredible way where they can express that without making fun of the issue while still realizing things are fun in life. Even with a serious issue, things are funny and also things can be serious. I think this show, unlike a lot sitcoms, (especially multi-camera sitcoms) shows both sides of that, which is the reality. And we’re really proud of that.