In real life, Malin Akerman is a doting new mom. But on her show Trophy Wife, she plays a reformed party girl who must learn to deal with her new husband’s three manipulative children.
Star caught up with the actress at PaleyFest’s Fall TV Preview, where she dished on motherhood and how the Trophy Wife role has mixed in with her real life!
You were cast as the role of Kate, a trophy wife. Are you embracing the term trophy wife now since doing the show?
I am now embracing it! When I first read the title Trophy Wife, I did not even want to open the script because I was like, ‘I am not playing a trophy wife!’ — someone who’s vapid and doesn’t have much to say. And I thought, ‘How much fun is that? How interesting is that going to be to play? It’s just going to be one dimensional.’ But then I read the script and realized that it’s basically everybody else’s take on what they think when they see a younger, pretty woman with an older man. They go, ‘Oh for sure, she’s a trophy wife!’ So I like that when we meet my character, Kate, we know that she is actually, truly in love. She’s in it for the right reasons, her heart is in it. She wants to be a good step-mom to the kids, so you love her! You want her to succeed…and she’s not vapid, she’s just younger and she’s just part of a different generation so there are always those things that they don’t really meet up on. But as far as the character and who she is, I really love it. So I’m embracing this kind of a trophy wife.
Has being a new mom to your son helped you in any way with playing the role of Kate, or has it been harder?
Being a new mom has been incredible. He’s awesome! This business is so great. It’s a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’ so there has been a lot of time to go be with the baby, which has been awesome. It makes me feel like I can breathe!
But I have to say, being a new mom is so different from playing Kate in this situation. I actually grew up in a family very much like this. I have two step-dads, now waiting to go on my fourth. I have a step-mom and half-siblings and step-siblings, so growing up in this crazy family was something I can relate to. Both of my step-dads and my dad were at my wedding and we have a picture of my mom and the step-dads and its awesome. I am so messed up at this point I don’t know who to listen to! I feel like I draw a little bit more from that than actually being a mom, because I don’t think Kate really understands what it’s like to actually give birth and then be a real mom. But she’s really trying and that’s what I love about her, is that she really doesn’t have a clue yet, what that entails. And she’s kind of struggling to find her way.
How would you describe your son?
He’s a strong boy! He’s going to be a strong kid, I think, so maybe football or something is in his future. He pushes things around the house and I’m like, ‘How did he just do that?’ He’s amazing.
Do you think your character in the show has any idea what she’s doing as a step mom, or is Kate having a hard time adjusting?
I think that’s the beautiful art about playing Kate. I love watching characters go through struggles and kind of figure it out. As long as they are based in honesty, I think we can kind of root for them and that’s what I like about Kate and her character, and all of the other amazing, crazy characters in the show that she has to deal with. I think that there will always be some type of craziness when you have two ex-wives, three step-kids, and a charming husband who has to put it all together. I think Kate and her husband really click because they have a good sense of humor and they have fun together. I think you’ll see over time that she’s sort of just a nice breath of fresh air for him. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. He’s Goldilocks and we’re the bears. One is a little too hot, one is a little too cold, and then he finds someone that’s just right.
Who would you say is your biggest influence when it comes to comedy?
I would say Goldie Hawn. I love the old Goldie Hawn in her movies. She was hysterical!
You do a lot of physical comedy in this show. Are you enjoying that?
I personally prefer when I don’t have to learn lines and just have to do physical comedy! I enjoy watching physical comedy and I enjoy doing it myself and I’ve always been a bit silly. Actually, my husband gets pissed off at me because every morning he can hear me get up. I keep hitting the bed post. It’s awful but its the art of being clumsy and it’s just sometimes fun to throw into your acting. So, hopefully we keep going with the physical comedy.
Do you think your co-star in the show, Bradley Witford, is sexy?
Of course he is! Come on! How else did he get three women? Stop it! He’s lovely, he’s amazing. He’s super intelligent and super sweet and very charming.
REPORTING BY: LINDSAY FARBER