Meg Donnelly – American Housewife
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) Katy [Mixon] plays an amazing mom and her comedic timing is impeccable. What have you learned from working with her?
A) Katy is warm and caring. She has a demanding job, but is always gracious with her time. Watching her work inspires many of my acting choices. While we do work hard, we love singing between takes and having fun on set. We are both truly blessed to be working on an amazing show with a wonderful cast and crew.
Q) We have seen Taylor grow and be more independent. As she matures, how does her family deal?
A) As many ‘real’ Moms and Dads know all too well, Katie and Greg (Diedrich Bader) are living through the growing pains of a girl growing into a young woman. They must balance allowing Taylor her independence and freedom to make mistakes, with knowing when to intercede and provide guidance and discipline. Oftentimes, it is these awkward moments that bring some of the biggest laughs. Katie Otto is definitely someone who offers her opinion! In regards to her siblings, last season they saw Taylor as not very bright. But as this season progresses, they realize she is becoming more of a free spirit.
Q) Taylor has a complicated relationship with her parents. What kind of other teenage angst and issues will we see this season?
A) The main issue that Taylor is dealing with is that she does not want to go to college and her parents want her to be on that ‘traditional’ path. While Taylor knows what she doesn’t want, she needs to determine what she does want and convince her parents that her way is best. The comedy, especially between Greg and Taylor, often comes from the awkward discussions between father and daughter. While Taylor is a bit clueless, she is often more insightful than her parents realize. Like most teens, Taylor also wants to get her driver’s license, hang out with her friends, go to parties, etc. But regardless of their issues, by the end of the half hour, the Ottos’ come together as a family.
Q) What can you tease is in store for Taylor and her boyfriend Eyo?
A) As we say, it is “complicated.” Eyo (Amarr M. Wooten) is back! Taylor takes some of Katie’s advice (that was meant for someone else), and the comedy ensues. But everyone accepts Eyo as a ‘good’ guy so we see Taylor try to make the relationship work. Stay tuned!
Q) I love that the family may bicker, but there is underlying love for one another. What is it about where they live that bonds this family so tightly?
A) As the individual family members try to fit in and be accepted in Westport, things often don’t go as planned. Each family member is quirky; Oliver (Daniel DiMaggio) with his wealth obsession, Greg with his history obsession, Anna-Kat (Julia Butters) with her death fixation and Katie, with her loud, take charge, personality. In many ways, Taylor is the most ‘normal’ of the family. It is these ‘quirks’ that lead to many of the comedic moments and bring the family closer together.
Q) Katy’s friends enjoy parenting her kids. Will we get to see more of the kids being controlled by Doris?
A) While we do see Angela (Carly Hughes) and Doris interacting with the Otto’s, Daniel and Taylor have yet to be subjected to Doris and her ‘tiger mom’ ways this season (with the exception of a few pinches of Oliver’s arm). But we have only shot eight episodes so we’ll see.
Q) Will there be any special guest stars this season?
A) Yes, George Hamilton plays a rich neighbor who comes out of prison (insider trading) and moves back into his house. Of course, Oliver (ever the young capitalist) befriends him. Comedy ensues. The super funny and talented Wendy Malick is back as Katy’s mom. I am sure there will be surprises along the way!!
Q) What was your favorite episode to film this season and why?
A) There is one episode where Katie is sentimental about Taylor getting older and not wanting to hang out with her. Taylor just wants to be with her friends. This results in a deep and personal conversation between the two characters. I enjoyed this on so many levels. It was enjoyable, as an actor, to go deeper into Taylor’s character. The audience gets to see a new side of Taylor. And shooting the scene with Katy Mixon, just the two of us on the set, felt so real to life. It remains a favorite of mine.
Q) What do you hope that fans take away from watching this season?
A) I hope the audience, which has been great and supportive, continues to take the ride with the Ottos. With so many serious things happening in the world, I hope families can gather around the TV for a half hour on Wednesdays and laugh together.
Q) You are a part of social media. Do you enjoy the instant fan feedback you receive to episodes?
A) I live tweet during every show (east and west air times). We have the greatest, most supportive and loyal fans. I enjoy the interacting and listening to their take on the show. It’s great knowing that we can bring laughter to so many people.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of the series?
A) Thank you and we love you!! Our fans are the best.