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Interview with Megan Mullally of "You,
Me and the Apocalypse" on NBC 1/29/16
This was a fun interview. She's very nice and likes to
talk. It's clear from what she says that she's a very kind,
intelligent person that really cares about people. Nothing
like the characters she usually plays! (Megan plays
Leanne, a white supremacist on the show.) What a great
voice she has, too. I really enjoyed this. She's now the
third star of "Will & Grace" that I've interviewed. Sean
Hayes is the one remaining! That was such a great show, and
they were all so good in it. I have to say that although I
liked all three interviews with the stars, Megan is
definitely the kindest and most warm of the three. The
others were not unkind-- they were just more business-like
and not as friendly. They probably were very busy, and
rushed, and had many other interviews to do. Still, you can
tell the really kind ones because they make the time,
whether they have it or not. This show is really good;
make sure to watch it because it's very rare for broadcast
TV. Here's my review
Moderator: Nikki Lichterman
29, 2016 12:00 pm CT
Operator: ladies and
gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Megan
Mullally You, Me, and the Apocalypse Press and Media call.
During the presentation, all participants will be in a
listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will conduct a question and
At that time, if you have a question
please press the one followed by the four on your telephone.
If at any time during the conference you need to reach an
operator, please press the star followed by the zero.
As a reminder, the call is being recorded Friday,
January 29, 2016. I would now like to turn the call over to
Nikki Lichterman. Please proceed.
Hi everyone and thank you so much for joining the call today
with Megan Mullally. Just a reminder, the call will take
twenty to twenty-five minutes. Weíll ask everyone to please
refrain from asking any follow-up questions until we get
through everyone on the line. And there will be a transcript
available tomorrow morning that I can email everybody. And
our second episode airs next Thursday at eight oíclock.
So letís open the call, please.
Again, to register a question, please press the one followed
by the four. Our first question is from the line of Suzanne
Lanoue from The TV MegaSite. Please proceed.
Lanoue: Good morning.
Megan Mullally: Hello.
Suzanne Lanoue: Yes, great to have you on here. Did they
give you any - did they tell you much about your character
before you started? And did they give you a little bit as
you went along? Or did you just have to figure it out? Or
did they give you a lot of information?
Mullally: I read the first episodes. They sent me the first
two episodes and I thought, why in the hell are they - who
started me to this part? Was the first thing I thought.
The second thing I thought was it seemed like a really
interesting show and the character would certainly be
something very different from anything Iíve ever done and be
a challenge in that respect. And I always love a challenge.
So I decided to do it, but then I didnít know how it was
going to unfold. And everybody that works - everybody
involved with that show is pretty great. So as soon as I got
to London, I got a little more info about how everything was
going to unfold. But I didnít know beyond the - maybe three
or four episodes because they were writing as we went along.
It wasnít completely - I think Ian knew what he wanted. He
knew the story he wanted to tell, but the actual scripts
were not in hand yet.
So we learned as we went. And
Iím not in episode six, seven, and eight. So I - as the show
gets along, it gets much more suspenseful and I got very
caught up in - I couldnít really remember, actually, who
makes it and who doesnít. So as I was watching the show -
because I watched the UK version. I was on tender hooks,
Operator: Our next question...
Megan Mullally: I need to add that the character being a white
supremacist was obviously - gave me some pause in light of
all of the horrible racial injustice that weíre faced with
around the world, but particularly here in the United
States. And I did not feel - itís part of the character, so
in that regard I was okay with it. But I certainly wouldnít
want to - anyone to think that thereís anything funny or
comedic about it.
And later in the show I have to
handle a gun, which is another thing that Iíve never done
and never thought I would be called upon to do. And I was
very uncomfortable with that as well. But it is, again, part
of the story and itís part of the character. And so in that
respect it was justifiable.
Operator: Our next
question is from the line of Lisa Steinberg from Starry Mag.
Lisa Steinberg: (Unintelligible) with
you. Thank you so much for all of your time and the
incredible laughter youíve given us throughout the years.
Megan Mullally: Thank you. Thatís so sweet of you. Thank
you so much.
Lisa Steinberg: How did you find the
voice for this particular character? We know that Karen
Walker was higher than (unintelligible). Sometimes you alter
it per character. How did you find the voice for this one?
Megan Mullally: The actual voice - well, itís all kind
of a piece, I guess. Like sheís from Tennessee. So I knew
that she had to have an accent. But like I said, the
character is so different from anything Iíve done. And as it
goes along, youíll see sheís quite a badass. Sheís tough and
sheís kind of scary.
So those arenít really - like I
play a lot of crazy people, and thatís fun. And sheís pretty
crazy too, but in a different way and in a more sort of real
way. And then she also has another side -- the psycho with
the heart of gold or whatever.
But that comes out
slowly and itís sort of a one step forward, two steps back
kind of (unintelligible). But in terms of the voice and the
whole package, I donít know. I just had to think of - Iíve
always wanted to play a character that was tough like that
and more of a dude.
And so the way she moves, sheís
very low to the ground. Sheís got like a - her center of
gravity is a little bit lower. And so as I said, it was a
character that I had to - I couldnít reach into any kind of
bag of tricks for this one. There is nothing about this that
bore any relation to any characters that Iíve played before.
So there are certain things that Iíve done like, say,
something Iíve been a guest on a half-hour show. Thereís
certain times where I can be like, thatís character 127B.
You know what Iím saying? Iíve done that kind of thing a
lot, but this was not that. So I had to build it from the
Operator: Our next question is from the
line of Bill Harris from the Toronto Sun. please proceed.
Bill Harris: Hey Megan. We were talking to Rob Lowe last
week and he said, you know, Megan really inhabits these
roles when - he says Iíve known her for years and she was
unrecognizable. When she was on Will and Grace, people
thought that was her.
And last year I was talking to
Nick Offerman, who we obviously know, and he said, you know,
Megan really inhabits these roles. People think that itís
So Iím wondering if you know about this
reputation that you have with the men in your life, and do
you have any specific examples of when people have mistaken
you for your actual characters? And God forbid it actually
happens with this show, but do you have any specific
Megan Mullally: First of all, thatís a few
pretty good endorsements. So Iím pretty flattered.
Yes, I donít know. Thatís very sweet. Iíve - as you know,
Iím more of a character actress and I traditionally get
tasked in these character roles, although right now Iím
doing a movie where Iím playing closer - Iím actually
playing a normal person. I donít know what to do with
But yes, I guess I donít - I
think the secret to my success is reading comprehension,
honestly. I donít mean that as a joke, even though Iím
I think I just - whatever the character is
I just try to be sure Iím telling the right story. So itís
telling the story that the writer is wanting to tell. And so
I just go from there and I just use my imagination. I donít
- I never studied acting so I just try to - Iíve read a lot
of books. Iíve read a lot of fiction and I learned a lot
about characters from that, I think.
But I just go
with my instinct and I try to use my imagination. And I try
to imagine a person who would do these exact things. And I
try to get as close to that as I can. I donítí know how else
to describe it.
Operator: Our next question is from
the line of (Rena Carrison) from Metro Boston. Please
Rena Carrison: Hi. Thanks so much for
meeting with us.
Megan Mullally: Thank you. Thatís
Rena Carrison: So I -
you said that this is a very new role for you and not one in
your bag of tricks. So I was wondering - how did you prepare
for this very different role?
Megan Mullally: Well,
okay. And by bag of tricks - I want to go back because I
donítí know that I have an actual bag of tricks. But I have
a - thereís a certain timbre or a pace or a tone of a lot of
comedies that Iíve done, including theater - so including
some of the plays Iíve done and a lot of the musicals Iíve
done. Like Will and Grace was sort of like a musical comedy
without the music.
And so Iím familiar with that pace
and that rhythm and all of that kind of thing. And Iím
familiar with being - when I was younger, I was the ingťnue.
And then I was a little bit older, I was the sidekick. And
then this is something different. Sheís still sort of a
sidekick, but now that Iím older thereís a difference in
weight to it. Thereís a difference. It takes on a whole
So I guess I really had to start
from scratch on this one and I just had to try myself out in
a new way as a character who - I donít know how Iíd put it.
Iím just so not analytical about it. But I guess I had to
find a way to be this woman who - you have to play it - itís
not - the show isnít a comedy, per se, even though itsí been
marketed that way. Itís not.
And I didnít really play
it as such. I didnít ever go from a joke, although she does
say some things that are kind of funny. Some - a lot of
things that were scripted and some were improvised. There
are quite a bit of improvisations just because the character
was just very Southern American woman. And the writers were
So I was allowed to take some liberties
in that department. So I donít know. Iím not sure how to
answer it exactly because part of - I donít know. I can just
tell you that acting is so dreadful, but I guess part of it
is slightly mysterious. So I donít know. All I know is that
it was very different for me and I thought, okay, this is
going to go one of two ways.
Operator: Our next
question is from the line of Brittany Lovely from Hypable.
Brittany Lovely: Hi Megan. Thanks so
much for taking the time to talk with us.
Mullally: Thank you.
Brittany Lovely: So I wanted to
ask you just about the industry in general because this is a
show thatís airing in the UK a little ahead of schedule than
the US. So I just wanted to see what the experience of
working on this project has been like in comparison to just
a strict American comedy.
Megan Mullally: Well, it
was very different and it was very much the same. We were
shooting in London and South Africa, and all of our crew
were from various parts of the UK and just lovely people.
And I talked to my makeup artist. (Maggie Vaughn) is a
genius. Really, sheís won two Emmys. She won an Emmy for
makeup for Downton Abbey and she won an Emmy for hair for
Downton Abbey. Quite something.
And she and I had
collaborated at the beginning by email and phone about the
look of the character because that was a huge factor. Iím
sort of answering the last question a little bit and then
Iíll get to your question because Iím suddenly realizing
that the look of the character was a big part of it because
I couldnít - I didnít want anybody seeing shiny sitcom
anything in this character. So we went to work on that.
But it was different in the sense that I was shooting in
different countries and - but similar in the - regard to
just simply focusing on storytelling and working with some -
just working with other actors and working with directors in
a certain way. And those kinds of things are universal to a
I loved working with Shannon Fisher. Shannon
and I had not really - weíd only met once briefly before and
fortunately we got along like a house on fire. And sheís a
great actress and it was such an odd couple relationship.
There are a lot of odd couples, Iím sure youíve noticed, in
the show. We had a blast working together and I feel like
her style and my style are different but they complement
each other in the (unintelligible) of these characters.
And I also just wanted to add that wrapping my head
around playing a white supremacist and playing somebody who
endorses - who - (unintelligible) is played in that and in
an ugly direction like that with - itís not something that
you long to do and yet it was the character. So you find a
way to sort of embrace it, however reluctantly, because
thatís part of the story.
Operator: Our next question
is from the line of Suzanne Lanoue from TV Megasite. Please
Suzanne Lanoue: Hi again.
Suzanne Lanoue: I was enjoying the
comments earlier about how you inhabit the role because,
honestly, I didnít know that was you when I watched it. I
didnít know you were in it...
Megan Mullally: Iím so
glad. Thank you.
Suzanne Lanoue: Iím like, thatís
Megan Mullally: I wouldnít say we were going for
that, but I was very happy when that started to happen.
Suzanne Lanoue: Well, Iím glad it wasnít me. I was like,
how stupid am I that I didnít recognize her voice or
something? You seemed so different. (Unintelligible).
Megan Mullally: I heard early on a lot of people in the
UK didnít know it was me until almost the very end. But I
heard very early on that when they first screened at NBC,
people were like, whereís Megan? I thought Megan Mullally
was in this. Where - when does she come in?
thought that was pretty funny because if anybody knows me at
a network, itís NBC.
Operator: And we have run out of
time for questions on todayís press and media call. Ms.
Lichterman, Iíll turn the call back to you.
Lichterman: Sure, thanks everyone so much for your time. And
as a reminder, I will have a transcript if you send me an
email tomorrow. Iíd be happy to email it to you. And thank
you so much, Megan, for taking the time to participate this
Megan Mullally: Thank you all so much. Iím
very grateful. Thank you.
Nikki Lichterman: Thanks
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does
conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for
your participation and ask that you please disconnect your
lines. Thank you.
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