'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist': He Said/She Said With Peter Gallagher & Mary Steenburgen

Jim Halterman
Peter Gallagher Mary Steenburgen Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
Q&A Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal

In the offbeat dramedy Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, twentysomething Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) has the ability to hear people's innermost thoughts — expressed as hit songs.

Some of the most moving musical moments come from her parents, Mitch (Peter Gallagher), who's near-paralyzed and mute from a neurological condition, and Maggie (Mary Steenburgen), his wife and caregiver.

The actors (above) fill us in.

Did you know each other before?

Peter Gallagher: People always think we've worked together, but I've been a fan of Mary's for so long.

Mary Steenburgen: We had never worked together, and then all of a sudden every project was like, "And Peter Gallagher's playing your husband." [They play exes on Netflix's Grace and Frankie.]

Grace and Frankie Season 6 Peter Gallagher Mary Steenburgen

Grace and Frankie (Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

When you see you're singing in a script, are you excited or nervous?

Gallagher: Both, and then you get to work. I have to sing a song [like Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" in the series premiere, which repeats at 8/7c Sunday] literally a hundred times before I feel like I am ready.

Steenburgen: This is all a stretch for me. I work with a singing coach. And poor Ted [Danson, Steenburgen's husband] has to listen to it around the house.

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Does the show tug at your heartstrings as much as it does viewers’?

Gallagher: Those songs are a bridge. What drew me [to the show is the idea] that everybody has a story, and you don't know what it is just by looking at them. You've got to have that superpower or the interest to listen.

Steenburgen: Peter and I did a scene the other night and it was one of my favorite scenes I've done in anything in my 45-year career. I couldn't stop crying after it was over just from the emotion of it.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Episode 2 Mary Steenburgen Peter Gallagher

(Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Sundays, 9/8c, NBC