• 50°

Malick has 'Big Day' Actress plays high-strung mother of the bride

By Bridget Byrne

For The Associated Press

CULVER CITY, Calif. — Wendie Malick is not at all uptight about playing uptight.

“I tend to play extreme women who blow real hot and cold, and I don’t in my own life. I’m actually much nicer than that,” chuckles Malick as she contemplates her latest role.

She plays Jane, high-strung mother of the bride in the new ABC comedy series “Big Day” — sort of a matrimonial answer to Fox’s “24,” chronicling 24 hours of an extravagant backyard wedding.

“I find it’s a great cathartic character to play because she is just wired so nutty … she just gets out of her mind crazy over these tiny, little nutty things,” says Malick, best known for playing the outrageously neurotic fashion maven, Nina Van Horn, on “Just Shoot Me.”

“I think oftentimes I play women who kind of stand up and make fun of those of us who take ourselves too seriously, and we all do sometimes. So, hopefully, in a humorous way, you can look at (Jane) and say, ‘Oh, God, I have a little of that in me. Maybe I should look at that, and calm down and breathe.”‘

Malick was talking between filming scenes at Sony Studios, where most of the family home and wedding scene have been created on sound stages.

Naturally stylish, the one-time model is wearing a sleek, fire-engine-red dress and an assortment of offbeat jewelry — much of it her own. She would have looked the height of elegance if it weren’t for her hair, which was blown into a wind-swept froth, since Jane had just been on a wild motorcycle ride with an ex-lover, Bob (Jack Conley).

Entering the house, they discover Jane’s husband, Steve (Kurt Fuller), consorting with a glamorous stripper, Shampagne (Amy Laughlin), whom he suggests could stay and perform at the wedding dinner.

The scene is just one example of how “Big Day” conspires to expose as many everyone-behaving-badly moments as can be crammed into the tension and turmoil surrounding the wedding of Alice (Marla Sokoloff) and Danny (Josh Cooke), organized by harassed wedding planner Lorna (Stephanie Weir).

“Real time-ish” is how co-executive producer Matthew Carlson describes the half-hour series, which premiered last month.

While acknowledging the influence of “24” on the way the show is structured, producing partner Josh Goldsmith stressed its extremely different content: “They’re not defusing a nuclear bomb here. They’re arguing about salad!”

Malick likes the whole ” ’24’ light” conceit, but says sometimes it does make the actors feel like “mice on a treadmill,” because “we keep thinking, ‘Weren’t we just in this room, wearing the same outfit?”‘

Some characters wear the same outfit in all 13 episodes, so Malick feels lucky because Jane does get a change of clothing after being caught in the rain during an extremely high-voltage family fight.

Malick, 55, is married to her second husband, Richard Erickson, whom she met building houses for impoverished families — something they still do every Thanksgiving.

But, she says, “I remember as a child never wanting to be married. I just thought, ‘Why would you ever want to give up your independence?’ That freedom was so much more alluring to me.”

Love, of course, changed her mind, but the appeal of an elaborate wedding still puzzles her. Her wedding to Erickson was on a mountaintop in Sedona, Ariz., in the company of just 10 friends.

She has a theory about why big weddings are back in fashion. “I think there’s a direct correlation between how excessively people behave in their private life to how much in despair they are. It’s a fearful time for a lot of people in the world, and that whole idea of living out a fantasy has taken on a new momentum.”

A vegetarian who is seriously committed to animal rights and environmental causes, Malick has come to understand that working in comedy is OK.

“There are times when I’ve thought I wish I was doing something a little meatier, that maybe I should be working on something that’s really about something I am passionate about, that’s more inclusive of my interests and reflects my activist life better,” she says.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds