Q&A with Mary Kay Place
Triple-threat writer/director/actor Mary Kay Place joins “The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman” tonight as the woman who birthed the bawdy and outrageous Jackie.
How many episodes are you doing?
I’m in two as an actress and I directed two [others].
Tell us about Jackie’s mom, Jeanette.
She’s not the cliché mother. Although she drives [Jackie] crazy in the way most of out mothers drive us crazy, I like the fact that Jeanette is tickled by Jackie—that she gets and enjoys Jackie’s sense of humor.
You’re also on HBO’s polygamy drama, “Big Love.”
This season the writing has been ratcheted up—there’s more intrigue, tension and they layered my character a hundred-fold. She just disowned her daughter and saved her daughter’s family in the same episode. That was a surprise, because we’ve only seen her as cold and unemotional and very detached.
And on HBO you’ll be costarring in the sitcom “12 Miles of Bad Road,” playing Lily Tomlin’s sister.
It’s about a wealthy family in Dallas that has more money than good sense. It’s a comment on our culture today, written by [“Designing Women”’s] Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. One of my first jobs was for Lily in the early ‘70’s when Linda and I were writing partners, and so it feels like we’ve come full circle after all these years.
Probably your best-known role was on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” as Loretta Haggers. Were you excited about the show’s release on DVD?
It was the first 20 episodes and we did 400 and none of the real classic episodes are in that first 20, so I’m hoping that people will buy it so that we can get to the good stuff!