Martha Plimpton, Raising Expectations for ‘Raising Hope’

Martha Plimpton Fox photo by Matthias Clamer

Martha Plimpton laughs at the notion, advanced by a TV blogger, that her new “Raising Hope” has nowhere to go with its premise of a 24-year-old slacker trying to take care of his baby as a single dad, with help from his ne’er do well family.

Four shows into filming, she says, “It’s going great, really fun.  The possibilities are endless, really, when you’re dealing with family life.”

Their low socio-economic position adds to their appeal, for her.  “I like the fact that we’re playing people who are jerry-rigging their lives.  It’s like they’re using duct tape, staples, anything they can get their hands on to make it work.  The opportunities for comedy are endless in that sense.

“And also, it’s all coming from a warm and loving place,” adds the brilliant performer, who won Tony nominations in 2007, ’08 and ’09, among her many other accolades.  “These people don’t bicker with each other out of irritation.  There’s a lot of heart, a lot of sweetness to the show.  I feel like we earn all the ridiculousness of it and whatever darkness is there.”

The 39-year-old daughter of actors Keith Carradine and Shelley Plimpton was playing young adult roles herself just the other day, wasn’t she?  And now she’s playing a grandmother?  Did she have any concerns about being tagged with the G-word?  After all, as she herself notes, “Hollywood tends to age actresses very fast.”

Plimpton responds, “In this instance, no because that’s the joke of it.  In our context, that’s the joke of the show.”   She admits, “I didn’t relate at all to being the mother of a 24-year-old, and I didn’t relate even more to playing a grandmother. But we’re seeing that my character also doesn’t relate to being the mother of a 24-year-old.”

She says she didn’t hesitate to go after “Raising Hope” since 1) she wanted to work with creator Greg Garcia, and 2) “It’s the first time I’ve read a pilot where I’ve actually laughed out loud.”

And she’s not even thinking about film and stage projects right now, says the actress, whose big-screen credits range from “Running on Empty” and “Parenthood” to “200 Cigarettes.”

“My whole outlook about my work and life is that I want to have a good time, and I don’t want to get bored.  This show is fun and new and challenging for me.  I’d like to see how things pan out with it before thinking about anything else,” she says. “ I’m really committed to seeing that we get off on the right foot.”

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

One thought on “Martha Plimpton, Raising Expectations for ‘Raising Hope’

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