In case you haven’t heard, Season 15 of “Dancing With the Stars” will be the show’s first season of returning celebrity contestants. Well, get ready, because force of nature Cloris Leachman tells us, “Oh, I insist on coming back!”
There is a catch, though. The 86-year-old performer, already the eldest among the “DWTS” stars when she competed four years ago, reminds us that “When I did it, I had a bad knee, and they would give me a shot in my knee. I had about three, and it’s not good to have too many of those shots. So I had a knee replacement after the show was over for me.” Now, says Cloris, who made it through six out of ten weeks before being eliminated from the show, “My knee is still sensitive and it doesn’t bend all the way as my right knee does. So I’m sorry about that, but I want to go back and finish the last four!”
She laughs her wild laugh, then archly declares, “I must be there, that’s all there is to it.”
In fact, Cloris — who notes that ABC has a viewer poll concerning which stars should come back — says she is spending part of her time between filming seasons of Fox’s “Raising Hope” working on getting back into her best physical shape. That way, “I can be ready for anything.”
Does she have a particular regimen?
“I don’t like the word ‘regimen,’ so no,” Cloris replies. “I like to find out the latest thing in any department, and then I like to try it, no matter what it is.”
She also has parts in two movies coming up to shoot this summer (“The Home” horror flick set in chiller, and a drama that may get a title change) and another couple of films awaiting release (“Gambit,” “Adult World”).
And then there’s the talk of chances that her performance as the outrageous, only occasionally lucid Maw Maw character on “Raising Hope” might get her more Emmy attention. Cloris already has nine Emmys, the most of any actor, out of more than 20 nominations — but says her excitement about the awards hasn’t diminished at all. In fact, she feels it “more than ever.”
She also says, “If I have nine, why not ten and make it an even number? It would be easier for everyone to remember.” But seriously, “I’d be thrilled out of my mind.”