Wendie Malick Shares What’s Next for Toby’s Mom on ‘This Is Us’ & ‘Just Shoot Me’ Revival Hopes
Malick is no stranger to the small-screen, with her iconic roles on series like Hot in Cleveland Just Shoot Me!, and Dream On, and she continues to build her resume with roles in This Is Us and Netflix’s The Ranch.
TV Insider recently chatted with the television vet to get the scoop on her This Is Us future, her hopes for a Just Shoot Me! revival, what it was like working with Dan Lauria, and more.
We love you on This Is Us as Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) mother, who already had a very emotional episode this season. What has that experience been like?
Wendie Malick: It’s such a privilege because I so love the work ethic of the people on that show. They are so incredibly talented, all of them, and the writing is spectacular. The acting, without exception, is just really stellar and that whole cast and crew and writers have such gratitude for what they have – that’s really finding lightning in a bottle.
That show’s just touched a nerve in this country, and that is pretty amazing. I think everyone can relate to it in some way. There’s some character that everyone in this country and probably around the world can identify with, and they’re just tackling issues that are close to home for everyone. It’s a real privilege to be part of it.
It’s interesting too because I’m working on The Ranch on Netflix and they’re also – even though it’s a comedy – they’re dealing with some pretty intense issues. So it’s interesting how even in comedies, people are taking on some of these bigger issues.
Is it safe to say we’ll see you pop up again on This Is Us in the future?
[Laughs] I really don’t know what the plans are, but I do know that they’ve asked if I could come back in January, so I think there is going to be more of [Toby’s] family. How that will unfold? I don’t know.
[Toby’s] coping mechanism of using humor to deal with depression and how he got me out of mine, I think that’s such a rich and juicy storyline cause I know so many stand-up comedians and funny people who actually have a real dark side. So many who can be hilariously funny but part of it is a protective sort of shield and covers up some loneliness or some kind of depression.
And how was working with fellow TV vet Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) again after Pitch and Hot in Cleveland?
I love doing that. He’s one of my best friends, we do theater together too. We do two plays that we do for charity. One is about 9/11 called The Guys and another one is Love Letters. But we’ve done them all over the country to raise money for first responders and for other charities that we believe in.
Dan Fogelman helmed Pitch, which you both were both in. Is there a connection there?
Yeah, and that’s where I sort of got to know Dan Fogelman. That was a great show to be a part of, too. I loved it, I’m really sorry that it didn’t continue. I think it was a little ahead of its time.
Reboots and revivals are all the rage right now. Is there any show from your past that you’d like to revisit?
There was some talk about bringing back Hot in Cleveland for a few more and we realized, you know what, if you can’t improve on it, why would you do that?But I have had many people say, “Do you think they’ll bring back Just Shoot Me!?” I have to say, if that could happen and we got back the most wonderful writers, then actually we all thought that could be fun. We’ve remained friends after all these years and it would be sort of fun to see where those people were 15 years later or whatever.
The holidays are around the corner, what are you binging during the “winter break?”
I will probably watch House of Cards and I can’t wait for Veep to come back — love that show. Actually, I’ve missed so much, there’s so many things that I need to see that I have not seen. But I don’t usually binge-watch cause I just don’t have that kind of time.
When I have time off, I’m outside with animals most of the time or with friends, so I’m not a binger. I think an hour and a half or two hours is the most I could do. The only time I binge-watch, actually, is when I’m on long flights. I love to do that. In fact, that’s how I discovered This Is Us! I was not a regular viewer until I flew to Europe and saw like five episodes and thought, ‘OK, I’m in.’ [Laughs]
This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC