Why MR. MOM Star Andrea Anders Joined a Child-Friendly Show
By Dewayne Hamby, Contributing Writer
The new streaming comedy series MR. MOM follows the humorous exploits of a married couple with two small children when the wife lands her dream job, and their roles in the family are reversed. The comedy, produced by MGM Television, is a series reboot of the 1983 John Hughes film starring Michael Keaton and Teri Garr. It premiered as the first original series on the VUDU streaming service.
Andrea Anders (JOEY, THE CLASS, BETTER OFF TED) stars as Megan, the ambitious, organized matriarch of the Anderson family. In this interview, she discusses what drew her to the role and how it feels to star in a decidedly family-friendly show.
MOM, starring Hayes Arthur, Anders, Catherine and Elizabeth Last, and Cary Christopher, is streaming for free on VUDU.com.
What drew you to this remake of MR. MOM?
I have a soft spot for that movie, and it’s been a fun one to tell people about. When you say you’re working on it, almost everybody responds with, “Oh my [goodness], I love that movie.” It was such a great movie. Of course, I have the honor of playing the Teri Garr role. It was so exciting. The scripts are really well done, and I was really excited to work on it.
I think our writers, Mike [Culbert], Mike [Pellettieri] and Leslie [Rathejust] did a really good job. It’s a challenge to find a way into it without sounding like “Greg’s just going to stay home.” I believe that [the writers] did, and they created a story that’s less about switching roles and more about finding your way in a new situation. It’s a little clumsy and generally hilarious.
This could be a real game-changer for VUDU, as it’s their first original series. How do you feel about that?
Yeah, that’s exciting. Everything is the Wild West right now. Nobody knows when or how the next big hit is going to happen. The landscape just changed so drastically.
The way we watch television and movies is very, very different than it used to be. To be part of someone’s —would you call it a maiden voyage? —that’s exciting, that’s really fun.
It’ll be interesting to see where it goes. Many times in this business, you create something and then you send it off into the world, and it just sort of gets shot out of the sky and dies a slow death alone in a valley. Sometimes, though, it takes off and becomes something big and wonderful. Like anything else, it could be huge and let’s hope it is.
They seem to have a lot of confidence in it, because VUDU is pushing it:
Good. I’m glad to hear that. That’s great news. Let’s hope it’s definitely worthy of a following. (Sometimes with a project), you read it, and you think it’s great, and then you shoot it, and you think it’s great, and then you watch it…, you’re not sure.
This one, though, I watched the rough cuts, and I said, “That’s good.” It held up all the way through. Everybody did a good job. It’s fun to watch.
You can watch it with your children, and there isn’t much of that anymore. The show is worthy of doing well.
Did the family-friendly aspect appeal to you in particular?
I didn’t think too much about that until we were doing a press junket for it a few months back, and one of the reporters said, “I am so excited to watch something with my kids.”
I thought, “Oh, that is nice.”
When we were shooting it, we did some improvising and had to keep it clean. That makes it challenging, but also, it’s an interesting challenge. This one could go on any one of those networks and hold up to all their standards and practices. Those aren’t easy confines for writing and performance, but I believe we did it. Another success.
If that’s the case, you were kind of self-monitoring because a lot of times on the streaming platforms, at least to consumers like me, it doesn’t feel like there are any constraints.
We did know it was going to be for VUDU, and we also knew that we wanted it to be kid-friendly. We were aware for and with whom we were working. Sometimes comedy is a race to the bottom, and we didn’t have that luxury, so we kept it all upstairs. I think we created something fun and compelling and heartfelt.
I noticed another unique element is that the segments are not in the half hour or 23-minute format, they’re broken up into much smaller pieces.
When I read it, it reads like a feature that has 10-minute beginning, middle and end. It’s really interesting to read it that way.
When we shot it, we shot it all out of order. There were a lot of the script supervisors …saying, “Remember, you don’t know this yet,” or “Remember, you just found out this.”
It’s really interesting medium.
Editor’s Note: DEWAYNE HAMBY is a communications specialist and longtime journalist covering faith-based music, entertainment, books, and the retail industry. He is the author of the book Gratitude Adjustment. Connect with him at www.dewaynehamby.com or on twitter – @dewaynehamby.Do you enjoy articles like this? Click here to become a monthly partner and receive a copy of UNPLANNED on DVD!